Personal Reflection: doing less and the meaning of life.

I would like to start this piece by thanking my followers and my readers. I have not been dedicated to updating this blog regularly due to other tasks requiring my attention; yet you’re still here! Thank you for your support.

I have been slowing down, acknowledging that my energy is finite. Around Thanksgiving, I wrote about how my reliance on a calendar book was increasing my anxiety. I was feeling stifled and frequently overwhelmed; as if my life had no flexibility. Currently, I am sitting on my couch with my two dogs with nothing on my to-do list. Daring to peek into what February 2021 will bring, I am realizing I have successfully broken my toxic creating-a-to-do list habit.

While I believe in the helpfulness of a to-do list during times of extreme stress and busy-ness, I don’t feel I always need one for home and work. This has caused a big halt in my productivity, but who needs to be productive all the time? Just because that is the way I have always been doesn’t mean it is the way I always have to be. It’s a beautiful thing in life – we can choose who we want to be and work on making a change.

While doing nothing and cruising Reddit recently, I found a Twitter post from a user named @ambernoelle. It states, “…I don’t think your life has to have a purpose, or you a grand ambition; I think it’s okay to just wander through life finding interesting things until you die.” This feels like a simple, beautiful notion.

There are certain things that we need to do in life and there is a lot of pressure to achieve and succeed. The pressure is spoken and unspoken, self-inflicted and inflicted by others. Our long-ago ancestors worried about shelter, food, procreation. Life has gotten a lot more complicated over the past few hundred years. Your average adult worries about those things plus a plethora of other matters such as fitting in, job promotions, appearing successful, networking, ensuring proper nutrition and healthy exercise habits because of sedentary jobs requiring long-hours, our physical appearance, debt, furthering our education to increase our marketability, if we are doing what we were meant to do…I could rattle off more but I have more ‘nothing’ to do once I finish this post and I am excited to get back to that. You get the picture. Our lives are fraught with pressure and worry.

What if @ambernoelle is right? What if she has figured out the meaning of life and it isn’t all as complicated as we imagined? We are here for a limited amount of time and what we do with our time does play a part in defining who we are, but it is important to be defined at all? When we go, we go. Memories of us may live within others, perhaps shared over a few glasses of wine accompanied by laughter or tears, but ultimately it the satisfaction over our lives comes from ourselves. Plainly said: I stopped caring if other people feel my life was lived properly, had meaning, purpose, or if I achieved my highest potential. We should be looking into our own lives to determine that. We need to be happy with ourselves.

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