The healthy discomfort of not having a clue


“Can I tell you something about swimming lessons?” I told Kitty last night, “The thing is, it doesn’t matter how you do. It doesn’t matter how quickly you get across to the other side or how well you get the hang of each stroke. Because lessons are about learning – that’s the point of them – and if you could already swim, you wouldn’t need teaching.”

I’m not sure she was listening, but because she was keen to get back to what she was doing, she made the right noises to make me go away again.


I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know what I’m doing in the scrapbooking world right now.

Well okay, let’s re-phrase that, because what I’m *literally* doing in the scrapbooking world right now is splattering in gold, layering up pretty papers in shades of pink and mint and popping down one photo – usually of the cat.

No, what I mean is: I don’t know what the plans are for me in this thing or even if there are supposed to be any.


The idea of Design Teams isn’t feeling like such a sweet fit for someone so about recycling and simplicity.

The teaching thing isn’t feeling at all right for my introverted temperament.

And the self-promotion required for any kind of product release type of project? Well, we all know that’s just not me.

I guess the thing is that at some point in this sort of thing, we need to look at where we’re headed and ask if it’s a path we want to be on, if it’s a path that leads to a place that our future selves will flourish.

But not knowing quite where you should be aiming is an odd place to be. But hey, hasn’t everything kind of gone odd just recently?


Relocating, I’ve decided, is like someone picking up your jar of pebbles, giving them a good rattle around, then up-ending them into a completely different configuration.

Everything’s changed and the mental stress of getting your head around it all again shouldn’t be underestimated.

And it’s not just the big ‘where’s the supermarket?’-type stuff that’s stressful.

It’s things like working out how your new washing machine operates and figuring out which drawer of the freezer your cupcake tub fits into (a. ‘auto’ setting seems to work okay, and b. the top one, only in that slimmer box your mother-in-law used to keep her spoons in).


So, this is me right now: the kitten edging out of her cat-carrier, sniffing the air, part-excited and part-terrified, not sure where she is or what may be coming next.

But you know what? In God-land, that’s a very healthy place to be.

Because when everything’s up in the air and we don’t know what’s next (or even whether anything is), then we fall back into the arms of the One who’s been walking along behind us the whole time, gently nudging us on into the next step of our unknowns.


I find all that “just enough light for the step you’re on”-stuff pretty annoying, mind you.

I’m an organiser and a planner. I like to know in which direction I’m headed, what I ought to be aiming for, what I need to be preparing and how I can be breaking those big goals down into smaller, achievable tasks.

I like to see that I’m doing well. I’m just not happy struggling across the big pool, learning these stupid new strokes. I want to go back to the place where my every little jump in the baby pool got a round of applause and delight.

But here I am. Resting, trusting and hanging out on rainy beaches with only my camera and some seagulls for company: the healthy discomfort of not having even a *single* clue.