Wednesday, January 25, 2017

There Is Joy In Being

“What often matters more than the activity we’re doing at a moment in time is how we feel about it”.

-Brigid Schulte


I always try to be as honest as I can without hurting other people’s feelings.  However, I can never reveal all my deepest thoughts and feelings  because not everyone would like them.  When I think about how I feel about whatever I am doing, I sometimes feel like I am doing many things in my life that I don’t really want to do for people who don’t always care or appreciate it.  Like many people I have seldom felt in control of my own life.  Yesterday I wrote about spending less time thinking of ourselves and more time thinking about others.  This type of thinking is certainly noble.  However, giving of yourself is different than having yourself taken.  Other people’s demands and expectations can be overwhelming at times.  Sometimes when people ask me what I want for my birthday, Father’s Day, or Christmas I say, “I would like an entire day when I can only do what I want to do and I do not have to meet someone else’s needs or expectations”.  Am I being selfish?  My wife recently brought up the subject of a vacation.  She expressed what she wanted to do.  In recent years I have gone on family vacations to Universal Studios and Disney World.  Both of these experiences were exhausting and I thought I was going to die a few times.  For me personally a week alone in a monastery would be the perfect vacation.  However, I tried to have an open mind with my wife so I stated that I would be happy to go on another family vacation as long as it wasn’t a working vacation that included non-stop activities.  I want to go somewhere and do nothing.  Even at a time in my life when I thought my life would be a lot easier, my life usually feels like nonstop activity from morning to night.  There is always something to do or somewhere to go.  How do I feel about these activities?  I feel frazzled and exhausted.  Many activities are unavoidable but some are unnecessary.  Few are my choice.  As the great Mahatma Gandhi once said, “There is more to life than increasing it’s speed”.  As the not so great Michael Brown once said, “There is more to life than busyness”.  There is such a thing as sacred leisure.  There is value in non-doing.  There is joy in just being.   


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