Live, Laugh, Love or Load, Aim, Fire!

I had the ecstatic pleasure of waking up the other morning.

This I do most mornings, but for a constellation of mostly unknowable reasons, I woke up already locked and loaded, with a fire in my belly, ready to rock and roll.

Something felt different.

Cruising to Bordeaux, blasting Rolling Stones with the windows open, I began my standard ablutions, swimming around the harbour, all the while letting my thoughts soak.

Lo and behold, these soaked thoughts sprouted, and in an instant my short-term future had a completely different trajectory than it had 24 hours before.

If you asked me my “plan” – as if I have one! – the day before, I would have said, I am about to start work as a Learning Support Assistant here in Guernsey.

Yet as I emerge from the sea, cool and clear as the dawn’s light of my chilled skin, I know I shan’t be in Guernsey much longer.

The day after that, I have booked one-way flights to Kyrgyzstan.

I saw a cycnical version of the classic, “Live, Laugh, Love” mainstay cliché of home decor the other day:

“Live, Laugh, Love, and if that doesn’t work, Load, Aim, Fire”.

I do love to think through these things.

Let’s think of “Live, Laugh, Love” as necessary components to a contented life.

Live means you are are alive, you have a rewarding life, career, relationships, situation, children, or whatever else contents you. Laugh means you are happy and know how and when to unwind; not just contented, but happy. Love means you have family and friends who make it all worth it; you are emotionally fulfilled.

For “Load, Aim, Fire”, let’s not think of literally shooting a gun, but as making a decision or executing an idea or plan.

You load experience, enthusiasm, energy; you aim with planning and preparation; you fire by taking action, with actually making a decision and executing an idea or plan.

“Live, Laugh, Love, and if that doesn’t work, Load, Aim, Fire” might be better phrased:

“If you don’t feel securely situated in Live, Laugh, Love, you should probably Load, Aim, Fire.”

If you are drifting, floating about, not really doing this, hardly doing that, then life is not being lived properly, or certainly not fully. You may still be living, laughing, loving, but not all three of them, not optimally anyhow.

Pink Floyd said it best:

Every year is getting shorter
Never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught
Or half a page of scribbled lines

I, like most during lockdown, found my plans coming to naught, reduced to scribbling away through the limbo, notes towards an unsecured future. Not allowed to work, pursuing strands of this and that, yet not committed with my whole being to a project or adventure.

In this lockdown limbo, where we may feel loaded but cannot confidently aim into the future, now are we allowed to fire, trigger fingers become itchy.

Thoughts simmering away below the reach of conscious regard and without adequate expression will burst forth, as they did for me one beautiful morning, when I knew the time had come to fire at something. Anything.

I woke up loaded, quickly aimed somewhere, and fired away.

Life is too short to forever be aiming, you have to pull the trigger and make the snap decisions that see you take steps forward, whether that be in business, relationships, life in general.

Half-hearted decision-making cannot garner anything better than half-hearted outcomes.

Life. Is. Short.

We. Are. Young.

Go. Balls. To. The. Wall.

  • I will continue to curate Humans of Guernsey remotely whilst away, though the one-a-week rate at which we have been publishing hitherto will need to slow.
  • “Balls to the wall” is a favoured idiom of mine, the meaning of which everyone seems to understand yet the origin of which nobody is certain. I assumed it was rude in nature. It’s in fact derived from an innocent aspect of aviation, when the ball-topped throttle is pushed to the fire-wall for maximum power output. Every day is a school day, shags.
  • I look forward to blogging about this beautiful and baffling country, too.

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