Isn’t life a funny thing.
I was sorting through some papers recently and I came across some materials from a hobby I had many years ago. As I sat and flicked through the papers and books, I remembered the enjoyment I used to have. I remember the people I interacted with and I began to miss it. I also began to wonder why I ever stopped. I mentioned the hobby and what I found to a friend and my wonderment on why I stopped. She said “that’s normal, sometimes life just gets in the way”.
That got me thinking. How can Life get in the way of Life? If we let Life get in the way, what are we missing out on?
We are all familiar with the various sayings relating to life and getting the most from it, so how can it get in the way? Very easily really.
The current pace of life is very fast. We are bombarded with information through the various forms of media. We are under pressure to perform at work, to earn money to pay the bills, support our families, etc. etc. The list is endless (or so it would appear).
With so many demands on us in our daily lives, it is easy to understand how some things can fall by the wayside and, if not picked up again, can be forgotten altogether. Forgotten, that is, until sometime in the future when we stumble across some remnants from the days we were doing that hobby or job.
In a way, I see such an occurrence as if we were in a very crowded street. People are rushing everywhere pushing and bustling along. Now imagine that you are carrying something you like (maybe a book) and in the melee it gets knocked from your hands, but before you can reach out to pick it up, you get carried along by the crowd until, in time, you forget about the book altogether and move with the flow of the crowd. Then, out of the blue, you are passing a book store and you find your book in the window. The memories come flooding back to that day you last held it before it was knocked from your hands and left behind.
It is one thing to lose a book or to forget about a hobby, but, if the pace of life is so fast now, what else are we losing? What other parts of our life are being ‘blocked’ by our life?
Are we losing sight of more important things than just hobbies? Things like relationships, family, friends, intimacy, etc.
Think about it.
We become so caught up in the demands we encounter in our lives that we can miss that coffee with a friend, that visit with family and friends, that time for talk and intimacy with a loved one. Sometimes we don’t even realise that, by our actions, we have in fact begun to move and leave these important things behind.
We promise that we will make it up to them tomorrow or next week, but we rarely do because by then we will be faced with new situations and things that need our attention. So tomorrow, becomes next week. Next week becomes next month and next month becomes ‘let’s pencil something in for the holidays’, etc. etc. Before you know it, your thoughts change to “I couldn’t contact them now, I’d be too embarrassed, it’s been so long”.
It is time to STOP!!
We need to re-focus our attention on what is important, not just to us, but to those people and things that are really important to us (not just work).
Take a moment while you read this to reflect on someone (or something) you have been neglecting because ‘Life has gotten in the way’.
When you think of these people and things, how do you feel?
What memories are these thoughts triggering?
Feels good doesn’t it?
Now for the big question; What are YOU going to do to change the status quo?
Are you prepared to jump off the treadmill for a little while and re-engage with the people you have been neglecting because you have been too busy?
Remembering our image of the lost book and the crowds from earlier, are you prepared to leave the crowds, the hustle and bustle of life to enter the shop and once again buy that book?
We can all use life as the reason/excuse for missing out on the important things in our lives. We keep using these excuses until it becomes too late. Then we mourn the lost time, blame our lives and increase our regrets. Yet each one of us has the power to make it right.
You have the power to re-kindle that relationship with a loved one, a spouse, partner, child, family member, friend, hobby or thing. YOU alone can regain the intimacy and connection that you now miss because of your ‘schedules’. The challenge for you is; When are YOU going to do something about it?
I challenge you to step off the merry-go-round of life and take back the life you have blocked out. Make time at least once each week to pause the rat-race and re-connect with the things that are important to you (the rat-race will still be there when you get back!).
At the end of the day, it is within your control to make sure that YOUR life doesn’t get the the way of YOUR life…