Life is about using what we have to the fullest, at least that’s my idea. We put others before ourselves forgetting that we need to care for our well-being first so we can be there for others.
Giving too much
We are so busy we are living an unsustainable lifestyle. I’m not talking about shopping, but the number of commitments we place on our time. The term unsustainable doesn’t just relate to the strain we put on the planet, or the financial burden many countries are buried under, it can also relate to giving too much of ourselves to causes, or others in terms of our time or even our money.
You can’t be all things to all people. ~~ Unknown
What are we sacrificing when we are scheduled 3 or more nights a week after working all day? We sacrifice time with our children, time to pursue a hobby, even sleep. Do you find it hard to say no? I used to. I felt that to be a good friend it meant I had to be there when my friends needed me. Funny thing is they knew how to say no when a need of mine infringed too much on them. We can be good friends only when we learn to be good to ourselves first, and that means saying no and finding our boundaries when it conflicts with something (even a nap) that is more important to our own well being.
You are always valuable, worthwhile human beings – not because anybody else says so, not because you’re making lots of money, but because you decide to know it. ~~ Dr. Wayne Dwyer
Dealing with Stress
We are learning that stress can negatively affect our health, from causing us to gain weight, interrupting our sleep cycles, and even serious health issues can arise. A goal of mine when I changed my lifestyle was to confront the issues that caused me stress. For me bills hanging over my head are stressful. I worry I will forget one and incur a late fee. I slowly reduced the number of bills I had, first eliminating a bill for television reception. I rarely watched it, but for some reason believed I needed reception just because the TV was sitting in my house.
Frugality: Where you’ll enjoy what you have, instead of longing for stuff that doesn’t really matter in the first place. ~~ Unknown
Eliminating the TV reduced even more stress. I no longer watched the news and had to hear the latest “bad” news that not only came on at 11pm but flashed across the bottom of the screen when least expected.
95% of American’s watch TV everyday with TV on 8 hours per day. Adults watch 5 hours, children aged 2-5 3.5 hours, over age 65 6 hours. This is our primary activity after work and sleep. ~~ from Radical Simplicity (page 6)
Another form of stress came from certain people. Do you know someone who is so negative about everything that it seems to rub off on you, even after you part company? It was time to take a good look at the people around me. Who were my real friends and who were the ones who were negative or took advantage? I let those go, freeing that dreadful moment when I saw their name on my caller id.
It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are. ~~ E.E. Cummings
We can’t eliminate all stress immediately, but I found ways to take baby steps in the right directions daily. I am amazed by the choices some people think of that I hadn’t thought of when I was in their position. Today Miss Minimalist shared a story by Evelyn who with her husband owned a home, but knowing she wanted to stay home when her baby was born, rented out the home and moved into a basement apartment, and they couldn’t be happier with their decision two years later. Would you have ever considered renting when you already owned a home?
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~~ Leonardo da Vinci
What can you do today to take back control of your life?
The people most satisfied with life, it turned out had strong social connections, found meaning in their work, got to exercise what they considered to be their highest talents and had a sense of some higher purpose. ~~ from No Impact Man (page 26)