There seems to be an art to not taking life seriously. Or at least not taking it too seriously and letting it overrun you. And it seems that this goes back and links to the idea of, or the need to if you like, being too busy.
Children seem to have this down. They do not have any worries and enjoy their lives. They play, they laugh, they make a mess of things. Things that make them more creative, productive (although not in grown-up terms), and definitely happier.
I know you’re going to tell me that this is not – can not – be true of all children. Well, it is not true for all, but is true for most. You’d have to exclude children in war zones or those that are forced to work in sweat-shops around the world (to feed our consumerism mind you), and of course first-world children glued to computer and phone screens and whose experience of the world is limited to school-living room-bedroom (and a few other regimented activities). But with the exception of first-world kids even those deprived of a “normal” life still find a way to play and have fun – at an interval between bombings, on the way back home after a long shift at a dilapidated factory/workshop, after having taken care of their younger siblings.
With my existential/philosophical rant about modern life over, time to get back to my point.
We, as grown ups, need to learn how to enjoy life more. How to pause and take in life – not work and productivity, LIFE! A cynic might say that life is dictated by work and productivity. A child though would say “who cares about school and homework, I want to go out an play with my friends until the sun goes down, or go fishing,” (or some other child’s activity).
Instead of following the example of children and enjoy our lives, we let our worries and our concerns overwhelm us. We let them suck our energy like a vampire. We become joyless and unproductive – and often we damage our health in the process too. I can attest to this latter one, simply because the effect of such living are accentuated for me (having a chronic disease like MS).
I recently came across an interesting TED talk on exactly this topic, how we have forgotten how to relax and “play.” How we let our lives overwhelm us.
But I’m veering off track again. And I’m forgetting where I was going with this. So, let’s wrap it up.
I have one word of advice for you. Wear sunscreen!
Just kidding. But that was an interesting intermission, right?
So, back to point.
There is no reason to take life too seriously. Most of it is out of our control. We can try and make sense of it or manage the multitude of variables that will define our lives, but the truth is we cannot. That is not to say that we should just surrender to the “inevitability of fate.” No. A person is still a person, and one of the things that define a person is how you try to manage anything that life throws at you. But, making 5-year plans (or even one-year, one-month, and one-day plans), and insisting that you stick to them, without looking at the possibility that things will digress and you will end up at some very different “result” than the one you had planned for is simply irrational. And if you don’t enjoy the journey, it really won’t matter if you achieve your goal anyway.
Kind of like this blog post. I started typing with only a general idea of where I would like to go. I doubt I got where I should have. I still ended up somewhere interesting. And I had fun in the process. I hope you did too.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. During that time I had a gazillion ideas for my next post jotted down in my notebook – you know, the one I said I’d keep so that I can remember what I want to write about. In the end I started writing about something entirely unrelated.
So, here’s a thought: Forget about the two-week rule. I will try to write at least once a week. Maybe more often if “inspiration strikes” or something interesting happens (although I hope not the latter, because interesting usually means drama). The new principle will be “write while you remember it,” not according to a schedule.