Just how this post came about illustrates the difference between THE THING and The Things. I have a to-do list for today, but instead of taking care of that I m here. Behind my computer at six thirty P.M. with a glass of wine. Pushing back my schedule, on which I m already seriously behind, for at least another sixty minutes.
Because writing, more often than not, simply hijacks the day. Or in this case the evening. Which is why I always repress the urge to do it (write for pleasure).
And today I was successful.
I had my pink desk time in the morning (playing with my notebooks and listening to inspirational videos for hours) but I also did my most important and “worldly”, task:
to redo and catch up with the online part of my program for the yoga studio.
I had intended to do that for weeks, but since I had a mental break down and was happy to even be able to teach, I had put it off. So today I made it a priority to get this (reboot the online program) done.
Congratulations Miss Harteveld.
Except with the returning of my strengths, something else returned too. Which is the need to write. For the past couple of weeks I have made a meager one-Facebook-post-a-week. But that too, is now changing. Repressing the urge to write will become more difficult by the day.
It will turn into a force to be reckoned with.
Which is exactly what it used to be before The Acute Depression.
I basically lost my will to live after Max died. That’s what it felt like anyway. I’m not going to diagnose myself but I had conversations where I reassured people that I wasn’t going to kill myself. The fact that I even felt compelled to say that, and that it was met with a sigh of relief, indicates I was far from my usual passionate self.
So I’m very glad that’s over, but those weeks did have one unexpected benefit.
I didn’t have my day hijacked by writing.
And when I did feel like writing, I had plenty of time, because I had lowered my expectation to zero as far as my other obligations or self-care regiment went. All the time in the world.
Yesterday I composed a post of the few diary entries I did make, that dark month.
You can read it here:
The Hero’s Journey episode 5 The Will to Live, Teach or Make Money
To live up to the title of this current how-to post, THE THING versus The Things. A crash course prioritizing illustrated with Reylo but relatable to everyone, I m now going to break it down and illustrate what your THING is, versus what Your Things are.
And I ll throw in some “Reylo” which, for those who don’t know what that is, are the Star Wars fans in favor of Rey and Kylo Ren getting a relationship.
First: “The Things”
“The Things” can be recognized by being urgent, pressing, accumulating, status-giving. They’re important by any, if not all, worldly standards. In my little example here, “The Things” was taking care of the content for the online program.
Do note that when you’re feeling totally crap, f.e. depressed, and are not able to do The Things, and that this will cause you to feel guilty. Even when you would have a permission slip from your doctor that you’re mentally ill, and should ab-so-lute-ly NOT bother yourself with The Things?
You’re STILL going to feel guilty for not doing The Things.
That’s because they’re The Things. That’s what they do. That’s how you can recognize them. Feel guilty for not doing them? Immediately put them on pile number two.
Labeled “The Things”.
In the case of Reylo, the relationship between Rey and Kylo Ren, when he asks her to join him on a worldly level, to reign the galaxy? The scene where he reaches out his black gloved hand?
That is Kylo offering her The Things. He’s offering her success by worldly standards. Rey would become an empress or queen or whatever Kylo and her would redub leadership of the First Order. She would become a mother, most likely to the heir of Kylo’s throne.
She would be Somebody. When first she was literally Nobody.
That’s another aspect of “The Things”; they’re outcome focused. They are aimed at attaining or acquiring a certain result.
There is this high profile meme, that a lot of people use on a day-to-day basis:
“What would you do if you could not fail?”
And it’s supposed to inspire people to go for their dreams. When in reality? There is a much more powerful meme, exactly opposite to that;
“What would you do if everything you did would fail?” (by worldly standards)
If nothing would make you money. If you would not be able to hold on to any job, not make any endeavor a success. No relationship, no project. Nothing you would do would give you anything sustainable nor validation from the outside world.
THEN what would you do?
That’s THE THING!
In my case it is writing. In my low of being depressed I wondered where my rock bottom was for bouncing back, making money, taking care of myself. I assessed it was at paying my dental bill, getting dental care. If I would have to live not being able to do that, I would get myself back on my feet.
But now that I m passionate again, and feel alive, I know it’s also writing. I would always want to write. Preferably on a computer, but in a notebook if I have to.
Even if I would have to rise early to go to that normal job, to pay for those dentist bills, I would still get up and write at 5 A.M., to nourish myself on a soul level, to feel alive.
And with Reylo, the relationship between Rey and Kylo?
For them being together without achieving any results, is THE THING. With Kylo taking the risk of losing his position within the First Order, and Rey possibly having to break ties with the resistance.
In episode 8 General Leia Organa, Kylo’s mother, was head of the resistance. So chances of Rey being declared persona non-grata based on her relationship with Kylo were slim.
But in 9? Who knows.
Finn and Poe, the male runners up within the rebellion, may not be so forgiving when she hooks up with what they perceive as the number one nemesis of the free people.
Within the Reylo community there is consensus that when Rey and Kylo’s hand touch in a Force vision (Kylo’s not “really” there) the energy of this hand reaching scene is entirely different from the “Join me” (to rule the galaxy) scene. The most notable difference is that Kylo takes his glove off for this.
Text continues below the video.
In this scene they touch for reasons that are THE THING.
Kylo Ren answering Rey’s invitation to touch hands is not bringing either one of them status, it was not on their to do list, and they do not touch out of obligatory guilt.
If they had not done it, if Rey had not taken the chance to reach out, or if Kylo had not bothered to return the invitation, they would not have felt guilty.
It would have felt far worse:
As if they had deprived themselves of something.
As if they had missed their calling, because they had rejected or ignored someone who had moved them to the bone. Missed out on the one who could very well be the most important person in their lives.
Because that’s the biggest difference between on one side “The Things” – the urgent, accumulating tasks and the worldly rewards attached to them. And on the other had THE THING; the spontaneous, eruptive calling of the heart and your soul wanting to do something.
The Things are rewarding by worldly standards.
But THE THING is what will give you the sensation of being alive, of having your foundations shaken, emotions violently flaring up. If you have anything, or anyone, you can’t say no to? Even if it resulted in absolutely nothing aside from the experience itself?
That’s THE THING.
Those are THE THINGS. You can have multiple passions, fascinations, more things that make your heart beat faster.
And after three hours and three glasses of wine, I can assure you that each of those passions is worth burning your entire to-do list for.
An Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living
I m still not sure about this. And I have not spoken about this for a very long time. But I have a private mailing list, where I write about what is REALLY going on. Stuff I’ll probably never be able to share publicly. Ever since Max died, I stopped writing them.
But now that I feel better I will pick it up soon, so make sure you’re subscribed.
Sign up for this private mailing list HERE and make sure you get it.