Sometimes we take life too seriously. I am one of these people. I stress about money, about plans and about not making the most of my time, not doing the right things with it.. But, what is that?
I have been back at work not for two weeks, and worked 106 hours already. So I have not really missed my holidays that much, but as they were coming to an end I was worrying I didn’t get what I wanted done, and that I had missed doing some of the things I had planned to do. I’ve been thinking about this lately after discussions with people about their holidays and I wondered what is it holidays are really for? Is there really anything we are “meant” to get out of them?
My holidays were actually really productive looking back at them. I caught up with friends and family, got back to the gym, yoga and have just gone back to pole dancing, I cleaned the house from top to bottom and made it more functional. My husband and I spent a lot of time together that we don’t normally get to do, and I even did a spot of sewing and quite a lot of reading. We had barbecues nearly every day there for a while, and spent some time out in the sun… So what was I missing?
I guess we envy people who are happy when we feel as though we aren’t, when really we have nothing to be envious about. I have friends who work less and appear (on social media) to be having a good time, I often envy this because the things I like to do outside of work are few and far between because I don’t get a great deal of time or have the money to do them. Yet, when I think about it there are other areas of their lives where they feel there are inadequacies, and one of my friends in particular often tells me she envies things
I have – like time and the money to buy and do the few things I do. What I have come to realise is that we have differing priorities, and have had different life experiences. While I have a goal to buy a house and start a family I know friends who have begun either or both of these, but they still aren’t content there are still things they want to achieve or work towards. My problem is I am impatient I guess, and I feel I have wasted a lot of time making mistakes, and now these people who have “what I want” are a mirror image of what I am striving for.
This doesn’t paint a very good picture of me in my current state of mind. I am happy, my husband and I have had a lovely holiday, we have spent the time turning our house into a home and somewhere we want to be, and this year holds a lot of opportunities for us. We are getting out of the majority of our debt this year, he will be looking for full time positions when he finishes university later this year, and we are looking at saving for a deposit. Things are really starting to come together for us. I am happy with where we are at the moment, I love my job, I am setting aside some time for me to do the things I like and I’m starting to be aware of the present instead of always looking into the future.
I feel that a lot of people focus on the negatives in life rather than the positives. There are so many blessings in life, and yet so many of us worry about what we don’t have instead. I was talking to a patient at work today about the terrible circumstances some people have where they work in stressful jobs that they hate, only to end up with a terrible illness or disease that leaves them with numbered days at such an early age. I made me think about my own habits. I work a lot stressing about paying for things that continue to come up, I worry in my holidays that I’m not getting enough out of my holidays and out of my life right now, I worry that I am behind and have wasted a lot of time with my life goals… But where does that get me?
The thing that really helps me with all of this is yoga. It was my starting point to starting to let go of all this stress and anxiety. The mindfulness, meditation and presence I get from yoga have led me to creating it a place where I can let everything else go. Yoga is now a place for me to go where I can leave everything at the door, I no longer allow myself to think… If I can help it. I find the physical exertion helps a lot with that, and focusing on breathing, it’s so relaxing that I have fallen asleep at the end of a class. Sometimes when my mind is busy I can’t even read a book with so much going on in my head I am unaware of what I have actually read. Last night I started to read a book called “The Power of Now”, which is about about being present, letting your ego go and the art of controlling your thoughts. I am hoping this will help me manage stress and worry, appreciate the moment and enjoy the present and leave the future in the future.
Sometimes we need to just enjoy what we have, rather than looking for something to fill
a void we do not have. My husband and I live in a rather small house for 2 people with as much clutter as we have, and we have spoken of nothing more than moving when we have the money and time to do it. Finally the time came, and now we realised we really love the location, the house has a lot of character and we’ve made it a home, not to mention the unnecessary expense of moving and paying more rent when we manage just fine. We’ve decided to make the most of the opportunity, and use it to save for our future while enjoying what we have now.
Sometimes we just need to stop worrying about what everyone else has, what they think we need to do and do what’s right for us. Take the time to stop and notice the warmth of the sunshine, the smell of pollen in the air, of the sound of rain after a long hot day. If nothing else, I learned a technique from reading a book on positive psychology that stated we should go to bed at the end of the day thinking and recalling three positive things that happened for that day. They could be anything, catching up with a friend, or sitting in the sunshine if that’s something you enjoyed. It’s surprising what a difference it makes when we stop and have a think about the positives in our lives instead of the negatives. Spend less time on social media, comparing yourself to others.