What’s your current outlook on life? Is it rosy? Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?
What’s your focus on right now? Not in general; I’m not asking if you’re an optimist or a pessimist, but rather how you view life right at this moment. If that’s a bit too pressing or hard to nail down, then what has your focus been on for the last week or so?
Work? Play? Dating? Family? Adventures?
For a lot of people (mostly nine-to-fivers), Labor Day marked a turning point: summer’s over, back to work. Was that the case for you?
I have a friend who’s a schoolteacher, so the beginning of September signalled back-to-school; and, consequently, back to work. She’s a hard worker and a perfectionist and wicked stressed out. Weekends are too short and there just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done during the week.
I want to urge her to enjoy life – to step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the scenery. Smell the roses, as it were (though I’m more of an hyacinth kind of guy – but I’m sure, dear reader, that you’re picking up what I’m putting down).
Thing is, I don’t know that that’s necessarily the right advice. The Beatles did that song “to everything (turn, turn, turn) / there is a season (turn, turn, turn)…” Those lyrics are actually from the Bible:
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
I’m not a big Beatles fan, but I think they get the vibe across pretty well: it’s about balance. Sometimes we’re supposed to sit back and figure out what the cloud-shapes mean, and other times, we’re supposed to buckle-down, put our noses to the grindstone and work.
So my basic question is this: is that right? Is it proper or even possible to enjoy the ride all the time? Is my friend just in one of those times of war, sewing, gathering, breaking down, planting, etc.? Do those times have definite beginnings and endings, or are they more grey than black and white?
That is, are these times measured in hours, days, months, or are they measured in moments? Does proper balance dictate that these times be part of our daily lives, ups and downs within each day, or should they be segregated and confined to busy-times and vacation days?
I don’t really have an answer. That’s why I’m asking you, dear reader. I suppose that for me, everything is always grey. That’s why I call myself agnostic. Sure, I’ve had those buckle-down, no enjoyment times, but they’re not all drudgery: I get a certain enjoyment out of the accomplishments along the way. “Life is a journey, not a series of destinations.”
What do you think? What’s your outlook right now? Are you pursuing your passion(s) daily with your every waking breath, or trying to fit it (them) in where you can? Are you succeeding?