Trying to be a superhero?

Are you trying to fit more into already overfull days?  Maybe you really believe that once you’ve finally mastered your life to perfection, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy life.  But life’s demands are never done once and for all; taking a break once everything is done and perfect means you never get to take a break at all – until the very end.  And this, unfortunately, doesn’t work so well.  The wish of the dying is never to have completed their to-do list, or fitted more into their days; they are about spending meaningful time with the important people in their life: their children and spouse; family and friends.  The unnecessary long work hours, the workplace demands and urgencies are far and forgotten.

Whether it is taking a weekend to play with your kids and show them a new part of the world; cosy conversations with your spouse while holding hands; moments with your toddler watching the forest come alive; these are the things that matter in life – not being a superhero, not getting one more task done, one more demand dealt with, one more load of laundry folded, or more time on social media.

You live the life of an aspiring super-hero if:

  • You cut back on sleep to allow yourself time for personal things – whether it’s exercise or Netflix.
  • You don’t have enough energy to prepare healthy, enjoyable food for you, or even to simply walk outside & breathe.
  • You find yourself saying yes to stuff that doesn’t belong to you when your plate is already overfull, because it takes too much energy to say no.
  • You find yourself too exhausted to throw a ball, to play, to have fun.  It just feels like another chore.
  • You’re addicted to phone & screen time: texting, email, social media, TV and Netflix.  You get lost in it.
  • You know you don’t deserve a break until everything on your list is perfectly done – which probably means never.
  • Life has become a chore.  You feel no motivation and no energy for anything much outside of obligations.
  • You feel like either on, rushing full blast to the rescue – or off and practically comatose.

There is only one person who can make decisions about the kind of life you want: it’s you.  Do you believe that one day, life will be perfect and things will magically fall into place?  It won’t.  Life is not perfect and not magic: you make your life what it is.  No excuses, no apologies, no guilt, no blaming: you decide what’s important, what matters and what doesn’t.

What matters more in your life, right now?  This is probably the most important question you need to answer for yourself.  You decide, you do, and you live the consequences.  What matters more to you: your workplace 24/7 culture or getting enough sleep?   Netflix or having a moment with your spouse?  What will it be for you today?  Consciously or not, you make decisions that build up your days and your life, and no decision is always a decision with consequences.

Here is one suggestion for today: make a conscious decision about what you want for your day.  Do this for today, just one day at a time, and your life will change and become like the dream life you hoped for.  You might start with what you do on your weekday mornings: getting up later and rushing to get coffee and pastry on the way to work?  Ask yourself if this is what you want, and if you like the consequences.  If you do, fine.  But if you don’t, then do something different.  It could be as simple as turning off your electronics and getting to bed a bit earlier, so you wake up earlier, get a real breakfast and a morning that feels easier.  It’s the simple, small things that carry the most power in your life, the ones you repeat every day without even thinking about them.

Become aware of what you do; choose one thing to change and do it.  Life is better without the cape of flailing super-heroes.


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