‘A busy life does not mean a full life’.
‘ We should work to live, not live to work’. We all know that.

‘Nothing worth having comes easy’. We all have an exception to that in our lives.

We can all quote wise anecdotes and analogies ad infinitum to each other, with that little knowing sideways-cock-of-the-head and gentle tone of voice. But somewhere along the line, we learnt to wear ‘busy’ as a wholesome badge. Even in our dreams. (How many dreams do you have about chilling out on a beach??)

So smile at this, because you know you do this…. Wake in the morning and rush around to your self-imposed deadline. A successful morning is when you fit in an extra item into your early hours, deal with something gone wrong and STILL get into work/ school earlier than you usually do. You may allow a tut to pass your lips as someone CLEARLY lacking spatial awareness cuts in front of you; but there will be a sense of achievement once you pass them without slowing down. At lunch, you revisit your to-do list over whatever food meets the requirements of your afternoon (nothing too carb-heavy if you have meetings, easy to eat if you are at your desk). You fret sometimes about how many things you have to do (to your own imposed deadlines) and but know that you will have a sense of accomplishment if you get through the top 5 by 5pm…. And so it goes.

I admit this happily: I can’t be who I need to be at that pace. I can’t be a friend, a supporter, a colleague, a student, a lover, a daughter… I certainly can’t contemplate being a mother at that pace. I can’t hope to listen enough to be helpful and kind, to let my body find enough equilibrium to be healthy, to find enough space to be truly creative and inspirational. At that pace, I become expert at nothing other than racing to my own end, over which, with every step, I am relinquishing control.

Notice how you always find time to do that one thing that was urgent that day? Well, this is me making myself an urgent matter. It’s not about not working hard, it’s about investing as much in myself as my job security. It’s about not only living at the weekend. It’s about meeting those precious personal foibles that cause me angst head on from now. Why? So I can be the best me I can be, for myself and all those I love. So when I open my eyes every morning, I can love what I see. And when I close my eyes for the last time, there will only be peace and a Mona Lisa smile.

What time do you have today for yourself?



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