You don’t have time – I know. Life is busy happening and won’t wait around for you, so you must keep up to its pace, or else you will be left behind – trust me, I get it.
When was the last time you did something at your own pace? Was there ever a time?
Possibly, when you were a baby. You cried out when you wanted something – often food. You enjoyed sleeping, giggling and making a mess just for the sake of it.
Before you knew it, school started. Suddenly, you had to be up by a certain time in the morning, fall asleep by a certain time in the night – and even food was rolled out on a set schedule. Sure you spent your early years as a student of play, but soon the colourful toys were replaced by standardised tests to standardise you. You didn’t catch on immediately but you were being funnelled into a life defined by deadlines and performance.
And now you’re here, reading this. You don’t really have time for it – I’m still aware of that fact. But you’ve decided to stop by today, so here’s a hello to you!
Today is made up of 24 hours. You’ve made time for sleeping and dreaming. You know you will always make time for eating. But the rest of the hours that are left for you to play around with are often filled up by you thinking about what you need to get done – not necessarily doing it all, but definitely making a huge list of it all. The reality is on a day-to-day basis, you are unlikely to use every single hour working away to shrink your professional looking to-do list. Yes, yes, you are very busy and there’s just so much to do – but the thing is, there will always be so much to do which will inevitably keep you busy. I hope you don’t think that life is defined by a tick-sheet and deadlines, because there is more to you, but you won’t be able to see it if you aren’t looking for it.
Do you remember the last time someone you cared about asked you to join them for a day out? An entire day doing nothing! No, no, no that won’t do, you can’t afford to waste time like that – so you told yourself. Then you turned to that loved one and politely rejected their offer, you promised to reschedule and you explained that you hate being so busy all the time.
What you didn’t realise in that self-centred moment was the hand that this other human being was holding out to you. They wanted to spend an entire day with you – talking, laughing, enjoying and exploring – but what you saw was a waste of time.
You see, when you create an infinitely long to-do list, whether it’s in your mind or on paper, you peek into the possible future and then do some mental arithmetic. Dividing up the vaguely calculated time you have until your wishy-washy deadlines by the number of tasks you must accomplish, you begin to sense that your time is incredibly precious – and people will have to wait.
I’m going to burst your bubble. You are being lazy. How can something be more valuable than someone? Of course you have to work hard, make money, pass exams and run tedious errands – so does 8 billion other people. You let your unrealistic list of tasks build up in your mind and exhaust you from the inside out. When you do get an hour to yourself, you feel too tired to bring someone else into your picture – keep going like this and it will be a lonely portrait. It’s time to change. Value life above menial tasks.
Make a date with your best friend – time spent together is an investment for the future of your dreams. Spend time with your family – hear what they have to say and be interested in what they have been doing. Put in the effort for your loved ones – if they can’t come to you, then it’s time you go to them. Treat your loved ones with the respect, support and crazy charm that only you can dish out.
Building relationships is the true hard work of this world. Now go out there and reciprocate the love that you have been shown!