My previous post was on the tenants of Stoicism, one of which is to acknowledge that time is our most precious resource. Growing up, I was always mesmerized by the determination and discipline that both of my parents poured into their work. Both of them had multiple jobs throughout my childhood so that they could afford to keep a relatively nice roof over me and my sibling's heads as well as save for a comfortable retirement. However, I noticed how this workload ate away at my parent's energy and their time to enjoy themselves.
I consider myself very lucky to be able to support myself as a self-employed musician. The fact that I get to make a living doing something that I enjoy, already puts me in a state of immense gratitude. Being self-employed means that I can carve out my own schedule, but since I find it extremely difficult to say 'no' to people or performance opportunities, I often find myself without an actual day off for weeks or months on end.
Striving for a balance between effort and allowing means working diligently at whatever field or career path you've chosen, but with equal emphasis taking time off, away from the desk, the computer, the phone, and the day planner to sit back and enjoy a deep breath of fresh air. There is no point in working every single day of your life to fill your life with money and the things that money can buy without taking the time off to enjoy the gift of life and make memories with those you love.
We're driven by a multitude of motivations and an almost constant desire for more - not just for ourselves but for our family, friends, and neighbors. Can we free ourselves from want and bask in the gratitude of all that we are given? Next week I am going to discuss the notion of "affluenza" a term coined by Adbuster's magazine. Leave a comment if you feel inclined!