I find it fascinating when something I used to do regularly I suddenly choose to stop doing. And then there’s the decision to start again. I do this with many things in my life. Of course, there must be a reason. Everything we do has a reason. And a positive reason too, I believe, even if the outcome isn’t always positive (that’s another conversation).
Right now, that has meant listening to shortwave radio again. It’s something I used to do when I was much younger. I used to love hearing the shifting, drifting sounds of far away transmissions, almost impossible to hear, and often in languages I didn’t understand. I knew that they were being transmitted from hundreds, if not thousands of miles away. And I could hear them on this small box of electronics! It used to be a source of wonder. Then it was no longer a source of wonder, it was just something I used to do. When I decided to travel through the Middle East in 1999 and 2000 I rediscovered the joy and pleasure of listening to shortwave radio. The first thing I would do when I had found somewhere to sleep was to find the BBC World Service on my radio and it provided me with not only news but a much-needed familiarity and comfort. It was not the news I craved for.
So why now? After all, I can listen to virtually anything I want online – BBC World Service no longer broadcasts locally – and why using a radio? The quality is excellent online, and on the radio it is subject to the weather, solar conditions, local computers, and many other factors. Why bother? Because it is an effort. I find that comforting. I know that this will be linked to my memories of all the other times I used shortwave radio – tt’s the emotional connection.
For me, the quality and the white noise and the having to search for things is what makes it a pleasure to do. It’s not easy. That is what listening to shortwave radio is all about. That’s why I’m listening again. I don’t do it all the time, to the exclusion of everything else. It has its place in my life.
So take this blog. The post before this was published in July 2019 and it’s now December 2019. Until July I was posting every fortnight on average. Then I stopped. Why did I choose to stop writing? I was enjoying writing and I still enjoy writing. Perhaps I hadn’t anything that I wanted to share and after a few weeks, I simply forgot about it. Or maybe I became unsure as to why I was writing? Or both, and more besides. So why is it I suddenly want to write again? And is it suddenly? Maybe I’m just taking action by actually writing.
I’m not doing this because it’s the end of the year, although I’m sure that has some bearing on it. It’s certainly not a resolution I’ve made – “This year I’m going to post every hour/day/week/month about what is happening in my life” – not because they’re a bad idea (although if I want to make a change I do it immediately), but because that’s not a motivator for me.
I know why I’m writing this – because I want to share, to communicate and I can’t do that unless I sit down and write. I want to make that emotional connection. To connect, to connect with you, the person reading this now. Because I want to make a connection for it’s important to me. It’s something I want to do more of in my life – make a meaningful connection with others.
What have you stopped doing? Why did you stop doing it? Have you thought about starting it again? What would starting it again bring you that’s positive and helpful in your life? I’d love to hear about whether you’ve experienced something similar – so why not get in touch? It really doesn’t have to be shortwave radio, but if it is I’d definitely love to hear from you!