“Sometimes people let the same problem make them miserable for years when they could just say, So what. That’s one of my favourite things to say. So What.” – Andy Warhol
It was a couple days past Christmas and my wife and I were caught up in one of those big, stupid arguments. I was not sure what to do. I felt guilty for causing her to feel hurt and hammering this wedge between us; and at the same time, I felt angry because it appeared like my voice wasn’t being heard.
So what did I do?
I left my wife in tears sitting at the table as I got up to go to the grocery store to pick up a few items for supper. (Probably not the best decision!)
While walking up and down the isles at our local grocery store with my list in hand, my mind was wondering. I was wondering about life, about our power and freedom to choose, about what really mattered – like my marriage and my family.
During the drive back home from the grocery store my mind settled upon an interesting thought.
“Maybe, just maybe, this is all nonsense.”
The days and weeks prior to this moment in time were filled with their fair share of overwhelm. I felt anxious about all the things still lingering on my to-do-list, all the dreams and intentions gathering dust on my bookshelf, and it was here, while driving home, where this peaceful thought revealed itself.
“What if this is all nonsense?” I pondered. “What if?”
As I have stated before, we live in a culture that relentlessly bombards us with images of what it means to be a success. And on top of this, we seem to have adopted the belief that busyness is a virtue that we should take great pride in.
How many people do you connect with during the week who readily proclaim just how busy their lives are?
Busy at work.
Busy with their kids’ sporting events.
Busy answering emails.
Busy with their honey-to-do-list.
Busy with their workout routine.
Busy making choices.
Busy walking the dog.
Busy with Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Busy eating, drinking, and entertaining.
Busy attending meetings.
When is enough, enough?
Who or what is influencing our fast paced way of living life? In other words, who’s rules are we living by? And how is this state-of-mind impacting our health, our relationships, and our happiness?
In his book, A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough, Wayne Muller grapples with this very issue: “We live in a world seduced by its own unlimited potential. We are driven by a presumptive grandiosity that any economic, social, or political limitations can seemingly be overcome with more speed or technology. But for us, as human beings, our limitations remain constant, eternal, and fully intact. Rather than feeling large and omnipotent, our own very limited, human days are likely to feel more cramped, overgrown, and choked by impossible responsibilities. At worst, we feel powerless; no matter how strong our hearts, or how good or kind our intentions, each day the finish line seems further away, the bar keeps rising, nothing is ever finished, nothing ever good enough. So we work and add and never stop, never back away, never feel complete, and we despair of ever finding comfort, relief, or sanctuary.”
Muller laments, “So many good-hearted people I know are exhausted.”
What about you? Do you feel exhausted too?
Crafting a New Story:
Perhaps the virtues our society upholds and the daily pressures we place upon our loved ones and ourselves hold very little value.
What if we chose a life that honoured courage, creativity, rest, mercy and kindness above perceived success and busyness?
What if, rather than being driven by the relentless voices of consumerism, shame and fear, you could experience peace and joy like the very oxygen that fills your lungs with every breath you breathe?
What could you and I create together then?
How might this influence the way you and I spend our time, our money, and our resources?
Perhaps it’s time to start rewriting the script of your story and begin playing the role of the hero – the one who overcomes their perceived antagonist, and through the process, experiences the simple joy of living.
Well, because just maybe, this is all nonsense.
Today’s Unitas Project:
- Commit to one day a week, or if not a day, commit to a time every day where you will intentionally remove yourself from all work. No phones. No computers or tablets. No email. No voicemail. Nothing.
- Use this time to go for a walk in a forest or park, to read a good book, to play a game with your kids, to reconnect with yourself, to tend to your garden, to enjoy a meal with loved ones, to play, dance and sing, to learn to simply be.
- Give thanks for whatever you discover during these sacred moments because who knows what you may find!
Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.
Photo from Shutterstock