Tag Archives: life

Time For Ourselves And Others

How often have we missed doing something we really wanted to to because we thought we didn’t have the time? When was the last time we put off calling mom or a brother or talking to a friend in need for days because of a lack of time.

My teacher once said that the only time one doesn’t have time is when one is dead. I’ve seen friends who were going to pass on develop a new perspective on time when they knew it was limited. Minutes in a day, family, personal relationships, doing things they’ve always wanted to do became so much more important as they rushed to make the most out of limited days or months. Those who were strong enough were lucky. Others who weren’t lay in beds talking about how they wished they could do this or that.

Reading Tuesdays With Morrie reminds me again that we don’t spend enough time doing things that matter. Some of us have forgotten to enjoy life, to be happy and to tender to our other needs as we rush about a daily ritual of earning money to accumulate this and that.

In my late twenties I was so preoccupied with working hard to buy a nice house and car that I lost myself in that chase and struggled to keep up with the tide of loans and bills.

Mitch Albom wrote about the hunger to gobble up new things and shared this … “These were people so hungry for love that they were accepting substitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can’t substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship.”

It seems my happiest moments were in the company of friends doing simple things like talking and doing silly things which didn’t cost an arm and a leg yet that didn’t register.

Over the last six years, I’ve rediscovered the joys of giving, doing things for other people and receiving thanks and love in return. Its hard to describe the feeling when someone gets better because of help you’ve extended or when you can see how much of a difference you’ve made in lifting a person out of the dumps they thought they were in. Sometimes all it takes is a few moment spent talking and I’m sure we all have a few moments to spare.

So I end this train of thought with a quote and a question.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” ~John Wooden

Do we really not have time or can we take a little time away from other things for some moments to do right by ourselves and others?

How Do You Look At Life?

My teacher spoke about how people perceive life and how that perception makes a world of difference between how happy or driven one is. That inspired me to reflect and write this post.

“why me” vs “try me”
– does one ask “why me?” when faced with obstacles
– what if ones thinks “try me” instead and charges head on to meet and work through obstacles
– chances are life’s obstacles won’t seem that huge and one is more focused on other more important things rather than the small bumps

My thoughts about this are that it is relatively easy to take on the role of a victim in life. Several years ago my god-brother commented that my instinctive response to things was “no” and I tended to look at a glass half empty. Disappointments and set-backs faced then seem to have affected me more than the joys around me and all the wonderful things I had done. Focusing too much on problems and the half empty parts of my life, I moved from contentment to a place of self-pity blaming everything and wishing for things to get better.

The first step to getting out of that place was to make a decision that I wanted to change. The next step was figuring out how.

The solution I chose was to recondition myself. I read it takes the same amount of energy to be happy as it does to be unhappy. It’s mostly a matter of habit and habits can be changed. Being more positive, patient and looking at a glass half full makes a difference in making it easier to get out of bed and look forward to things that come along, good or bad. So that’s what I’ve learnt to do … be positive.

What comes to my mind when I hit a bump or a rough patch? A reminder to myself that with hard-work and determination I can overcome this, especially after all the amazing things I’ve done in my 39 years. If I could move mountains previously when I was 22, I can move even bigger mountains now.

“going through life” vs “growing through life”
– going through life like it’s sentence you have to live out not opening your eyes or yourself to all the interesting and wonderful things out there
– growing through life by taking in things, meeting people, learning new things, trying new things and embracing the ever-changing world

The one thing I remember in my late 20s was how packed my life was and how I managed to juggle work, leisure, my passion for theatre and dance as well as a boyfriend, 2 cats and family.

I decided to slow it down when I hit my mid-30s thinking I’d done a lot and it was time for a break. Taking time out for myself led to periods of lazing around and a state of inertia. Result was that it seemed easier to decline new experiences leading to my comfort zone shrinking bit by bit till I was rather hermitish. Going through life is a very apt way of describing that period as each day seemed longer and the passing of time harder. Sleep was a wonderful means of escape.

I blogged about how its hard to get out of a state of inertia but reconditioning myself led to me crawling out of my comfort zone and trying new things. Now that I’m back to packing my days and nights, I’m feeling more energetic and eager about what each week and each new experience brings. I realise now it’s not about slowing down to enjoy life but to keep doing things to enjoy life.

I hope to continue this growing and enjoying of life into my greying years. I wanna be one of those cool old uncles who has a twinkle in his eye, who is able to adopt and use new technologies easily, who never shies away from new experiences and who has a treasure trove of stories to share.

So how do you look at life and what kind of old person do you want to be?

Your Job Cannot Be Bigger Than You

My teacher spoke these words and it struck a cord within me. He went on to say how one person undertakes responsibilities reflects the way he is as a person and that life would not send you a job that is bigger than your ability.

As time goes by work can get into a grind, your eyes start to glaze and blur with each passing year as you go through the routine of work.

It’s easy to let things slide and once you do, it can be a slippery and hard slope to climb back up. Letting standards drop at work and learning to accept compromises can get into a habit which spreads into the other aspects of your life and it can lead to a downward spiral.

In my 20s and early 30s I used to fill every moment of my life with some activity or another with an ability to find deep reserves of energy to take what I was doing from pretty OK to wow. Passing the 35 mark I started taking things a little easier and paused more often to do nothing and enjoy the moment. It was hard at first because feelings like guilt, letting go of overly compulsive behaviour and letting my attention to detail slide because not everyone could work like I did were things I had to deal with. But I finally got around to appreciating quiet moments and be happy with doing and achieving less.

After taking things easier for a while, I learnt the laws of physics with regards to inertia apply to life as well.

It was hard getting my engine revved up again to perform and live life as fully as I used to. Having a monkey in my life, picking up tennis again and taking up different things to fill up week nights are helping in moving my 60kg out of it’s slowed state back into a higher gear.

Lately I’ve been thinking of doing more professionally and have plans of drastically switching my full-time job come 45. My teacher’s words are a wake-up call in some ways as the job switch at 45 is likely to demand much more of me than what I’m doing now or did before. If I don’t start prepping myself, start pushing myself to where over-performing and finding reserves of energy regularly is the norm, I might find myself struggling. Or perhaps life might think I’m not ready for the role I want and thus not allow me to take the path I hope to.

Work isn’t a definition of one’s self. Our selves, values, standards and morals would be reflected in the job we do living life and working the job we chose.

Perceiving Life As A Game

Came across this really interesting quote as I was surfing around on related topics to The Law Of Attraction.

I guess sometimes we focus so much on wanting things to go well that we forget to appreciate and learn from the good and the bad that happens. Its all suppose to teach us something and help us grow.

Life is supposed to be fun. Get out there and go play! Tackle some of those compelling choices you’ve been avoiding, accept the consequences, and grow from there.

Full article can be found here: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2006/12/life-the-ultimate-game/