Do you ever think about simply de-stressing your life? Just letting stuff go that you have been doing like an automaton for years and years, with little joy involved.
I realize that most people can't quit jobs or stop caring for their children. That's not what I meant. What I was thinking of is those optional things that we take on because saying "yes" seems to be the thing that comes first to mind out of guilt or rote.
I used to have a hobby that involved traveling and competing. I was heavily into it. In fact, I made a big name for myself. But after 20 years of competing, hearing the gossip about others, seeing people put others down, I walked away. I could feel the unhappiness every time I would get ready to head out of town for another event. I simply didn't want to do this anymore. So I quit. Just like that. I am still involved in the sport but in a different way now. I no longer am stressed by it. And that feels wonderful.
I used to think that as a young person, I could take on everything. I hungered to be really good at everything that I did. I wanted to be the best. I achieved some of those goals, but no longer have the desire to take on so much. I have realistic goals now--to improve my knowledge of something I am doing but not get carried away. I want balance in my life and in the things that I do.
And yes, I have a couple of boats. And they require maintenance. But the joy that I get from being on them, having them as a sanctuary, is immeasurable. There is also the garden that I love. The flower beds that we tend. But all of this is not competitive and isn't about comparing myself to others. We are simply enjoying these things for what they are and the beauty that they bring to our lives.
I want to blame the drive that I have had on growing up in a home where I was pushed and prodded to be the best. Maybe it was that or simply hard-wired by my genes. None of that matters because it's what I think and do today to veer off the rigid path of a pre-determined life that really counts. And I am veering again this weekend. I will be back home on Monday. No shoes, no shirt, no problems--I'm getting to it.