These last few months have been a little weird for me. I’ve had a few people close to me and a few people close to people I know pass away. Some more unexpectedly than others but I don’t think that ever alleviates the pain of losing someone. I am never sad for those who have gone ahead of us, I dwell for those left behind. Mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, close friends; those are the people I think about. I don’t think anything I say to these people is fitting and I would just rather offer them a hug. I feel it says more and gives more of what they need at that moment, some sort of comfort.
Usually when these things happen around us I think we gain, at least momentarily, a better perspective on life. We are able to slow down our world and reflect on the things that are truly important. We appreciate our lives and our relationships a little more. For a few days we are able to look around and see beyond our problems and our busy schedule and we see things in a different light. Unfortunately I think too many of us move away from this state a little too quickly and without realizing it, we get sucked back into the vortex of life. We go full throttle again.
I know we can’t stop being busy because we all have things to take care of. People talk about this work life balance thing but I think the idea behind it is a little skewed. Work life balance often alludes to a world in which we make time for the busy work but we also make time to slow down and decompress in some sort of balanced way. In my opinion this adds rather than reduce stress for people. I think balance is more about finding a state of flow. A state in which you are comfortably growing in the most important areas of your life, whatever these may be as long as they are the ones YOU prioritize.
For me, I want to grow spiritually, I want to grow as father, son, brother, friend. I want to grow professionally as well, be it through employment or my own personal projects, I simply want to be able to be of more value today than yesterday. The things I need to do to allow this growth to be continual in these areas should dictate my daily actions. In this state I don’t need to make time for enjoyment because growth is enjoyable, because I should at this point be doing things based on my priorities. For example, I made a decision a while back that the hours between 6-8ish PM are 100% dedicated to my kids unless I have a meeting outside of the house. I work through the day, pick them up at 5ish and make it home around 6. For two hours is all about them and once they are in bed its back to the grind. Certain nights me and Nic skip work and dedicate make time for each other but we also enjoy the nights we are working side by side. We both have things we want to accomplish on the professional side and so we bust our asses at night while trying to sacrifice our kids the least possible. I try to be present, fully present in whatever activity I am doing so it makes a lot more sense to do it this way even if it means sacrificing a little sleep. This being said I think balance really lies in how we feel and what we think about as we go through our daily activities not in the activities themselves. Feeling good about the things you’re doing usually means they are aligned with your priorities and your personal goals which means you have to be really clear about what these are knowing that situations will always arise that will try to pull you away from them.
When we lose or are close to losing someone close many of our so called problems seem to disappear. Things that ate at us suddenly lose importance. Things that stressed us out, that did not let us sleep at night, that caused conflict with different people in our lives, that kept us away from the things we truly deem important. The question is why? Why do we wait for something like this to happen for us to refocus. I think the first thing we have to do is to stop calling certain situations ‘problems’ when they don’t even come close to deserving that title. I think this will help us maintain perspective as you go through life. It will help us to maintain this state of mental slowdown in which you are able to dissect and manage your emotions accordingly.
I think too many of us are out here declaring ruined days over a flat tire or spilled coffee. Too many of us declaring ruined lives over credit card debt or loss of a home while not paying enough attention to ruined friendships or lost time. Too many of us put more effort into keeping our house clean and fixing our credit score than into keeping our minds clear and fixing our relationships. I know these things are important but truthfully I think we invert our priorities because those things feel urgent while the intangible things never really do. Until something happens. We lose someone or our health is jeopardized and we are right back at paragraph two.
I apologize for the rant. These are just some thoughts I’ve had lingering in my head for the last couple of weeks and writing them down helps me understand them better. I know I might have said “I think” and “in my opinion” a lot here and that’s because I don’t think I have all the answers. I don’t know what’s the right way to deal with life. I don’t think I have found that state of flow yet and most importantly, like most of us, I too get lost sometimes.
PS. Honestly, I am the number one persona who needed to be reminded of this.