Slices of Life

So much happens in a day, a month, a year. Our lives are so fast-paced that we barely have time to check in with ourselves, to reflect on the here and the now. We all have interests, hobbies, things we enjoy, things that make us happy and really light up our souls. How often do we get to those things? Chances are that they are gathering dust on the "One Day" shelf - patiently waiting for the 'right' time, when work commitments, social commitments and other life commitments won't interfere with or be jeopordised by a moment of self-indulgence... of actually doing the things we love and want to do.

But why do we feel guilty spending time doing something good for ourselves? Why are we unable to spend 30 minutes a day learning how to actually start and finish a knitting project, how to prepare the soil for a new vegetable garden or just tinker with the tools in the garage? Why is it ok to spend two hours (or more) watching Netflix or to constantly scroll through other people's 'amazing' lives on social media? Why not make that amazing life our own and live it ourselves?

Human beings have a tendency to wait, to postpone, to avoid. We can come up with endless reasons why we can't, won't or simply don't feel like doing something when that little voice in the back of our mind so desperately tries to encourage and remind us to get going... to start and not to wait until tomorrow. Too often, we smother that little voice. We push it away and silence it - choosing instead to spend our precious (and limited) time staring at a plethora of screens. And yet, all this screen time and consumption of noisy and glittery content only leaves us feeling empty, unhappy and unfulfilled.

When I was still a teenager, my mom once had a conversation with me about the different aspects and facets that make up our lives. She likened life to a pie (in my mind I imagined a beautiful apple pie with lattice pastry on top) and explained that in order for the pie to be whole, each slice has to fit perfectly into its place. If the slice is smaller than the space allocated and available to it, the pie will not be well balanced or complete. As with the pie, our own lives are made up of different slices - think work, family, health, wealth, fitness, hobbies, etc. If we neglect one or more of these areas in our lives, we soon begin to feel the imbalance. We become frustrated, unhappy and dejected.

It is no secret that modern life is stressful and even more so now that we have a global pandemic to contend with. People are anxious, on edge and tense. The world has become extremely competitive and unforgiving. In times of stress and hardship, it is only natural to want to hide, to want to postpone, and to attempt to avoid certain things. And yet these difficult times can be immensely valuable too. Sometimes we have to make life a little harder for ourselves in order to grow, to develop, and to evolve. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to do what we don't want to do. And ironically, we sometimes have to force ourselves to do the things we do want to do too.

If there is one positive thing that has come out of the pandemic, it is the fact that we have been granted a little more time with ourselves. We've been given the opportunity to become a little more introspective and self-aware. What better time to reflect on the things that add value to and complete our lives (pies)? Are we actively pursuing our interests, hobbies and ideas?

Here's to becoming proactive, to facing life head on, and to balancing all the slices of our lives :)

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