“What is the meaning of it all…Easter…Christmas…St. Patricks Day…what is it all about? The lady that muttered this question to a friend recently inspired this column. Maybe I picked up on her words because somehow of late they mirrored how I have been feeling about the rush of life. April is more or less in, school is out for the next two weeks and I can’t help wondering if they messed about with the speed of time when they reset the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) last June. Every calendar event since, Valentines, St. Patricks and Easter has piled on top of one and other. The shops gushed red, yellow and green when I overheard the innocent shopper in a supermarket wondering what was it all about.
In some ways life has slowed down—the recession has seen to that—but in other ways life is hammering on at an alarming rate. Social interaction and retailing is happening behind electronic devices and it is expected that everyone is wired to some sort of social media. Communication is happening at a mass produced level 24hrs a day but are we fully present and savouring the precious moments in life? Events ‘coming at ya’ can often feel like a constant rush towards the next experience. Problem is, when you feel calendar days are fluttering away like the sands of time, life can end up being one big blur. Even if you do accomplish a lot of things, you can lose something far more valuable — you can lose your zest for life.
I notice this in children especially when it is ‘no big deal’ to eat in a restaurant or go to the cinema. I would have given my right arm for either when I was growing up. The narrow winding lane that I lived on was a very long road from anywhere so outings and events where a rarity. One thing I didn’t lack was ‘quality’ time with my family. We shared so much time together (there wasn’t much else to do) that I think we all ended up craving solitude.
The funny thing is I still do. I don’t want to be ‘ON’ all the time or follow the latest fad or have a stack of followers on any social media platform. I don’t care what the next big thing is or who has broken up with whom in celebratory cuckoo land. My time is precious and I have learnt to watch for time wasting things that can zap my energy. In today’s mobile techno global world it’s becoming more difficult to find solitude or time to recharge the batteries unless they are the type that plugs into a socket! But I am talking about making time for self-care and self-renewal on a regular basis and adding into your schedule some simple pleasures that fill up your cup and inspire you to keep your zest for life. You can find simple pleasures in anything you do. The activity itself is not the focus but how you experience that activity.
It can be a challenge to make time for self-care and self-renewal on a regular basis but the pay off can be huge. It’s like breathing life into your own life. When you take the time to rejuvenate and revitalize yourself, it can transform your life into a more enjoyable one. Start during the Easter break by giving your own health and happiness high priority. May you all have a happy and restful Easter.