What are you too busy doing?
We all have things we’re not looking forward to and despite knowing we’ll feel better once completed we still put them off. It seems crazy, yet, to me, what seems even madder is putting off the things we really want to. There are more of us guilty of this than we would chose to admit. It seems we are just too busy.
This poem, by Edgar Albert Guest summarises only too well that “Tomorrow” feeling…
He was going to be all that a mortal should be
No one should be kinder or braver than he
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who’d be glad of a lift and who needed it too;
On him he would call and see what he could do
Each morning he stacked up the letters he’d write
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn’t a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give to others, he’d say
The greatest of workers this man would have been
The world would have known him, had he ever seen
But the fact is he died and faded from view,
And all that he had left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do
None of us are here forever. Don’t forget your loved one’s and live your dreams.
What if tomorrow never comes?
A few years ago a good friend bought me a new book for Christmas. Written by Tom Hodginson, “How to be free” is described as a joyful blueprint for modern living, highlighting that consumer society has not led to a widening of freedoms but quite the opposite. In essence we have been sold a lifestyle where GDP continually rises, we spend all we have keeping up with each other and, as we worry about income we still spend, spend, spend. Some people are getting much richer from this, many are getting increasingly anxious though they do have the latest phone.
On first receiving the book I said I found some of it interesting yet rather wishy washy. It seems however, after over two years on the road, living with fewer things and travelling the globe seeing folk with even less that I am now more ready for the messages the book holds. I admit I’m not entirely free of my consumer roots – I still like nice things- but I am ready to adjust a lifestyle to become richer in other ways.
For a number of years I was fortunate to see my salary rise – far from rich but doing ok. However, as earnings increased so too did the quality of food and clothes I bought. I upgraded my home, my holidays and, inevitably, my levels of debt. I was living the dream? At the same time some friends remained static. I questioned their ambition, yet, while their status remained “normal” so too did their stress levels. I wore nice shoes yet went to work while having shingles.
Two years out and my ambitions have changed. I plan to downgrade again with the aim of being mortgage free such that less of my time needs to be filled working for others. Of course, I will need some income. Of course, I may work for others but I hope that in needing less financially, others will need less from me emotionally and physically. I will not be working so much out of hours. I will not be answering email during holidays and days off. I will be giving my best, hopefully doing something I love but still having time and space for me. I’m aware not everyone is in a position to do this. I realise I am fortunate to be able to try but I do believe more folk are able to should they choose.
So look out….I may not talk quite so much about my new shoes, I’ll be on the old style cell phone but I will have a blooming big smile.
Here’s working towards freedom.
I haven’t posted a blog on this site for a while now. I guess I stumbled, felt unsure. My experience of myself and others tells me there is a need to hear inspirational tales, get help to develop plans and find confidence and encouragement to help us move forwards. That in essence was what my bold-souls site is all about.
However, as is common, we start to doubt and ask questions. I don’t want to just end up with some personal diatribe and need to overcome the doubts I have. I read a quote recently by Vincent van Gogh…it goes like this….
” If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”.
I don’t know if people will get this blog but I’m still going to write it. Following a recent conversation I feel sure that we need a way, a place and a format for asking difficult questions, for finding a way to reflect and ensure we get the most from life.
In the past days I read a sad headline yet one that is at the very heart of why we can’t just sit around and be complacent. It told of a lady that having recovered from breast cancer and just celebrated a final treatment she died suddenly of other causes. Our time here is precious yet we act as if we will live forever. Quite simply…..we won’t.
We are all in different situations, have various commitments and responsibilities but the single thing we all share is that we all have just one life. Looks like we all need to overcome our doubts and obstacles and pick up that metaphorical paintbrush.