Some days it’s hard not to get sucked into the vortex of things to do, places to be, deadlines to meet, errands to run. It’s a busy world we live in and sometimes it takes great determination to resist that pull to achieve, accomplish, complete, arrive, get done. I read a beautiful blog today about a mother who finally learned what a bully she had become to her young daughter – always telling her to hurry up, move faster, stop dawdling. She eventually realized that her daughter was a master in how to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, and that it was an art she would do well to learn herself. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-macy-stafford/the-day-i-stopped-saying-hurry-up_b_3624798.html)
My life is not usually very stressful – especially compared to that of a single mother, or someone holding down two jobs, or a soldier fighting in a war, or someone who is ill with no financial resources. I can think of thousands of people who have more stressful lives than me. But even I, a consciously self-employed person living in a small, unhurried town, can get caught up in worrying about getting things done – especially when I’m working on several projects at once and don’t have a lot of income coming in. After several days in “hyper mode,” I eventually remembered that one of the reasons I choose to be self-employed is so that I can have control over my own schedule. I believe with all my heart that life is meant to be lived, and that we are simply not meant to be working “machines.”
Today was one of those days I realized I couldn’t do it all, and so I made a choice to go the more civilized route. Rather than squeeze in a couple hours doing a side-job, I decided to accept an invitation to do something with two of my friends – because friends are important and one of them was going to be away for two weeks. Rather than sit at my computer responding to emails, sending out submission forms, and writing articles, I would give myself permission to sit on the patio for half an hour, get caught up on the dishes, pick some raspberries, water the plants, and play with the dogs. I hadn’t realized I had been feeling anxious until I realized I was feeling relaxed. What a gift to simply allow myself to change my routine for a day and enjoy “the little things.”
I think sometimes we allow ourselves to feel trapped – by our job, our circumstances, others’ expectations. But we can choose to be plucky and courageous. We can choose to say no to a boss who expects us to work more than forty hours. We can choose to say no to a spouse who expects us to make dinner every night. We can choose to say no to a social invitation we don’t have the energy for. And we can choose to say yes to life. We can say yes to a day off. We can say yes to a walk in the park. We can say yes to a class or course or workshop which feeds our soul. We can say yes to playing with our children or dogs or going away for a weekend with our beloved.
It is never too late to make changes – on either a micro level or a grand scale. Simply ask yourself the following two questions: What do I want less of? (Work I don’t enjoy, responsibilities I don’t want, rushing around….) And what do I want more of? (Following my passion, spending time with my family and friends, relaxation….)
You deserve to have the life you want! No one else truly knows what is best for you. Only you can know what your spirit, body, and mind need. Listen. And then take action.
It’s time to create the life you want! Let yourself enjoy the simple pleasures.