We lead such busy lives, today. We are surrounded by clutter. We buy too much and spend too much and eat too much and leave too much lying around.
Yes. I admit that I’m as guilty as anyone else. I have to make a conscious effort to clear my desk every night. I have to make a conscious effort to put things away. And I don’t always succeed.
But the biggest clutter comes from other people. How often have you planned some activity, only to answer the telephone and hear the pleading voice confirming that you are the only person in the whole wide world who can help and it’s really, really, desparate, and if you don’t help the caller doesn’t know what he or she will do?
And how many times have you given up your day out to go and help, only to find that it was something that could have been put off till another day?
That’s why we need to schedule personal time every week. We need time for our immediate family – which does not include the children who have left home. And we need time for ourselves, too. We need to protect that time. Don’t let anything trivial get in the way. We have our own needs to take care of. And if we don’t look after ourselves, we will not have the resources to look after anyone else.
This is where we need to learn the power of ‘No’. We need to learn that our time is precious and must be protected. Yes, there will be emergencies. But as one fridge magnet puts it, “Bad planning on your part does not constitute a crisis on my part.”
After all, there will always be other opportunities to look after the grandchildren; opportunities when you can plan fun activities, rather than being stressed about what you cannot do or should do or could be doing.
Cenarth Falls is a cascade of waterfalls at Cenarth, between Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire. It is a peaceful village with beautiful walks around the falls; just right for relaxation.
In these busy days, too many people feel that they have no time to relax. Making a living is such a stressful activity that they feel they must devote as much time as possible to caring for their material needs and those of their families. Sadly, this often means not having time to spend with family members. In fact, many people spend so much time paying for their acquisitions that they do not have time to actually use those items.
Yes. I know. How can you care too much? That’s a very good question which I hope to answer.
Consider a pride of lions. Each member is concerned with the welfare of his or her family. But he or she would also walk away if the circumstances dictated. If one of the pride was to die, he or she would have no worries about eating it. Not that I’m suggestion eating our friends, of course!
One of the best ways to find peace in our lives is to give of ourselves. Look around you. How many people are smiling? What about you? Are you smiling? Life, today, can be very hectic, leading to stress, misery, and ill health. In my previous post, Be Yourself – or Change, I mentioned that one way to change for the better involves taking an interest in other people. In The Power of Two I highlighted that we can all benefit from a trusted confidante.
Your local area probably has great locations for photography and meditation. A holiday at home is less expensive and offers an opportunity to find these easily-accessible places.
Some years ago I was discussing the weekly shop with a colleague. He told me that his wife had been to the local superstore, the previous evening, and returned with a car “full” of bags. She had spent most of the week’s grocery budget. On checking the bags, however, it appeared that there was little food included. As he said, it appeared that the cleaning products, toilet rolls, toothpaste, etc., far outweighed the food.
In 1943, Abraham Maslow developed his theory of The Hierarchy of Needs. In it he proposed that the physiological needs fill the most basic necessities – food and water, among other things. Safety, such as you may consider to be satisfied by cleaning products, comes second. That makes sense. We are not likely to be able to clean the house if we fail to eat or drink for too long a period.
All of this highlights the difficulties of obtaining “sufficient for each day.” What do we mean by “sufficient”?
Actors in the ancient Greek theatres would use masks to portray different characters. Even today, the international symbol for theatres is a pair of masks, one happy, one sad. The ancient Greek word for actor was hypokrites. It came to refer to one playing false, or putting on a pretence. It’s where we get the English word hypocrite.