As I was travelling back from London the other evening, listening to my music and admiring the sunset through the windows of the Oxford Tube, it dawned on me how very simple life can be. Yet we insist on making it complicated.
Taking on more than we can handle, thinking we can please everybody, stressing ourselves out because we don’t have time for the things we love doing, making excuses because we can’t meet deadlines. Then thinking once you do one thing, it will all be over. But it won’t. The truth is your plate is too full.
I am just as much a culprit of this as everyone else. Until today when I said enough is enough.
There are things in my life at the moment which I would like to do but my plate is full up. Not all of them will be scrapped. Some you can compromise on. Can that course wait until winter when you don’t have your other two clubs on? Probably. Do you really need to plan walks for your group every month? Not really, every few months would be fine.
Interestingly, it was the things I do for other people which ended up on my ‘scrap’ pile, a trend I found out by writing it all down and crossing out the ones which didn’t fill me with enthusiasm. The things on my ‘keep’ pile were the things I really love – photography, blogging, yoga, learning German. These are the ones which get neglected.
Life is too short not to pursue your passions. It’s not good enough to keep doing things because you feel you have to or because you think it will look good on your CV. If it doesn’t make you want to shout from the rooftops about it, don’t do it. People can see passion, and they’ll know when it’s not there.
So begins my process of de-cluttering my schedule. Cancelling anything I don’t want to do or have to do in my own time. Gradually I will feel happier, freer and more fulfilled.
You sleep better because you’re not worried or stressed about something. You’re happier because you’re doing the things you love most. You feel fulfilled and you want to share that with the people you love. So you surround yourself with your favourite people and your happiness can only continue.
Happiness is one of the most valuable gifts around and it is not worth compromising on for anything. That is what I know to be true and intend to honour.