Imagine life as a special dinner. I know it sounds strange, but today I envisioned all the activities and chores I had to do during my day as different plates that had to be served during a dinner. Some plates you decide to make because they are your favorites. Other plates will be prepared because your guests like or need them, in case of allergies, for example.
The more people invited to this dinner, the more you have to cook. Yes, it would be great if it could turn into a potluck, but let’s say most guests depend on you for ingredients and appliances to prepare food. This way, you end up cooking a bunch of different recipes at the same time. Then you need to keep an eye on all of them, stirring and tasting. If you think about it, you will realize that the more guests you want to please, the more you have to cook and the fewer of your favorite plates you will be able to prepare.
Now, switching back to real life: Can you imagine this happening every day? Aren’t you usually exhausted after you prepare such an event? Imagine this every day of your life! Please understand I am not saying you shouldn’t offer dinner or lunch to friends. That is not the point. Dinner has just been mentioned here as a metaphor for your daily life. What I am trying to say is the more tasks you fill up your day with, of course the busier you will be (which might be a good thing), but also they will dictate how your days go. If all duties and activities you choose to do during your day are done for other people in your life, the less you will be able to give yourself, and at some point you will feel exhausted, since you don’t get to enjoy doings you like to do yourself. Obviously, it is a great thing to help others, but try not to limit your day to just giving, you also need to receive sometimes. Even if your way of helping others feeds your soul in terms of bringing you joy and fulfillment, it is still important to reserve time for yourself to regroup, collect your pieces, and keep your sanity. And that can be done in many ways, depending on your preferences.
What do you think is better for the world: To have people who act like zombies while they unhappily go through their daily activities or joyful people who also do things they are passionate about? There is a saying by Harold Whitman that relates to this thought: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
I suggest baby steps before you turn your world upside down to rearrange it. First, stop to think about what is going on in your life that feels like a struggle; what can you eliminate or at least change for the better? Focus on one item at a time, and after a while you will have fewer struggles during your day, and more activities that will fulfill you. I wish you the best organizing your “daily dinner”. Maybe we can talk about it when we have a potluck together.