Time – if only I had more but do we really need it?
How many times do you hear the plea “I wish I had more time” or ” I wish I had more hours in the day”? Talk to anyone these days and it seems they are struggling to keep up. I wonder how many of these people have taken a moment out to think about how many of the things they are busy with they don’t really need to do?
It’s true that its a busy world that we live in but I often wonder just how much busier it is than it was in my Granny’s day. Granny worked in service and there’s no doubt that she worked hard. Up early in the morning, setting the fires, scrubbing floors by hand, even smoothing the pile of the carpet as she worked her way backwards out of the bedrooms. There would still be time to go to the cinema on her day off, walk to the church on Sundays, walk to local fairs and dances. She still had fun, and lots of it.
In my musings I can see that it was certainly a simpler, if harder, time. Life was more black and white in that you knew what was expected of you and when and were rarely encouraged to want more.
Contrast that with the ‘you can have everything and have it now’ attitude of today. We are encouraged to want more, do more, see more and know more. We are bombarded from all directions and it’s not just the marketing people telling us about the latest must have gadget or tempting new chocolate flavour. We are expected to know what is happening all over the world now, not just in our own village or town. This gives us a huge amount of information to process.
There is an expectation that we will help everyone and everything. Look at the number of appeals for charities and other organisations who are working on great causes, there are so many of them.
At the same time there is a need to know more to be able to make more informed decisions. Food isn’t what it used to be. We now need to know what goes into it and are constantly trying to find out what impact it will have on our bodies, or it’s production has had on the environment. Once upon a time it was grown in your garden or by the local farmer and the only concern was whether or not you could get enough.
All the labour saving devices mean that we don’t naturally live active lives (no more scrubbing floors and kneading bread). Instead we look for exercise classes and have to fit in a trip to the gym.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going all Good Life on you. I wouldn’t contemplate self sufficiency as a personal choice. I don’t have the stomach or the stamina. I do wonder though how many of these improvements are really better for us and how many just create more for us to do.
So many of us now live a life of stress and anxiety, and boy do we have a lot to worry about now that we know all this stuff! We know our lives have become incredibly complex and it’s not really a good thing and yet we wear our busyness like a badge of honour.
It’s time to break the cycle before we break ourselves.
So I could do you a top 10 tips on how to simplify your life but let’s not complicate things. For one minute today just stop and think about one thing that you don’t really have to do and simply don’t do it. Phew!