This afternoon I had coffee with a good friend of mine, and they mentioned that sometimes they feel like they aren’t doing enough, and that’s gotten me thinking, what exactly does it mean to enough in this world anyways?? In our forever busy society, where “go go go” seems to be the mantra, and “I don’t have time” the motto on the coat of arms, it’s the norm to have a variety of things on our plates. Also it seems that seeing as according to experts our dinner plates have grown, our schedules seem to have grown along with our dinner plates.
For some reason we have decided to work upwards of 40 to 50 hours a week, and be involved in this that and the other thing, and make ourselves sick in the process. My question to you is…why? While I was at the UofA, I gained some more insight into the idea of margin, and the importance of mental health. I was enrolled in the BFA Technical Theatre/Stage Management program, which requires that you take six classes, and do a practicum one semester and then stage manage/assistant stage manage a show another semester. Now up until then I had never taken more than 4 classes (well…except for the lame sauce linear system that I was subjected to in middle school…but that’s another can of worms), but I wanted to do it, so I did…and I crashed and burned and was completely miserable. Why? Well, I know as well as the next person that the occupation of student requires that at least a few times in your life you end up staying up into the wee hours of the morning finishing that 10 page paper for sociology (been there, done that) or studying for that exam for the next day, or finishing that large assignment because you procrastinated and it’s due the next morning (been there too—but mind you, who hasn’t?). But what happened at the UofA was that this happened practically every night for weeks at a time, because you didn’t have time to do things otherwise if you were in show and I couldn’t do a proper job on anything. I also for my own mental well being just had to say “screw this! I need sleep and a mental health day before I go off the deep end!” It’s a good thing to say, learn to say it, learn to do it! I have personally never been so tired in my life, and I’m glad it’s over and I have decided to come back to the Basin. Yet I keep asking myself, why do we put that kind of pressure on ourselves? Is it really worth it? Not really, your mental health is FAR more important. So you know what’s a good word (to quote Frank Hackett the pastor at my church) NO! It’s an excellent word, spending time with the people that you care about and doing the things that make you happy and burn yourself out, is FAR more important than being the President of the Horticulture League, along with planning a mission to Ethiopia, and baking fifty zillion cupcakes for a bake sale, and being a volunteer driver for that parade. So word of advice, one best thing, not the 5 good things, and spend the rest of the time doing what’s important to your mental and spiritual health. That’s what’s enough in my opinion, and doing 50 zillion other things is what’s just plain ridiculous.