Whilst it can be of phenomenal strength in literature or poetry, music or film, repetition in life is arguably among the most tedious and irritating experiences we are doomed to suffer. At least that is the way it can feel. Time passes so quickly and yet at once seems to stutter and start over the same hurdles. Without challenge we would be bored, but why do the same lessons have to be repeated?
I seem to be stuck in a nightmare circle in my day job where the same problems, which have already been reviewed and seemingly resolved, crop up time and time again whenever there is a contract or staff change. Is it that people are inherently incapable of taking instruction from others, always believing they know best and resisting guidance? Is it that they are entirely unable to learn from mistakes? Or unwilling, perhaps?
I am become that broken record, continuously providing the same instruction and the same piece of advice over and over and over again in an endless whirl leaving me to frequently and repetitively pose the questions: “What is wrong with people?” “Am I speaking English?” “Where is the nearest brick wall so I can bang my head against it?” There is something severely distasteful to me about having to revisit something already considered closed. Why?
As a child I was very lucky – my parents would often read to me, making stories and characters come alive and igniting that love for storytelling which means so much to me today. One book, one phrase, always stuck with me, and I can, even now, hear my father’s voice uttering it: “And don’t look back”.
Has that phrase, don’t look back, so ingrained itself in my subconscious that any repetition, any revisiting of the past stokes impatience in me? Has it become my underlying philosophy in life?
Don’t look back.
Life is too short to dwell. Too short to spend time re-doing something that was already done. Too short to linger on what has gone.
Don’t look back.
Repetition. It can be a beautiful and poignant device.
Repetition. It can be the most depressing point of the day.
Don’t look back. Don’t dwell on it. Move on. Embrace the repetition. Perhaps that has to become my new mantra. Perhaps I will learn something, even if others won’t. Perhaps reaching for optimism in our lowest points is to truly find strength within that we did not know was there.