I was once watching a cheesy fashion related show about accessorizing (it was probably closer to the late 90s when we still over-accessorized everything). The woman was saying that when you get ready for a night out you should look at yourself in the mirror and take off two items (the scarf and the necklace or the earrings and the bracelet) and then you will have a well-balanced look. I have no idea why that has stuck with me – but the other day in the midst of the chaos of my day I looked at my calendar and realized I have totally over-accessorized.
In less than a week we are moving to the U.S. from South Africa and in the last two months I have been more “productive” than ever before. This busyness snowballs into a mass of too much and rolls ahead to the point that I often get absorbed in the snowball that makes me nauseously dizzy. And thus, anxiety takes over. That evil little “a” that has knocked on my door throughout my lifetime resurfaces which loves to bring her neighbour Big “D” – depression.
But it’s different this time.
Over the last several months I have made a very conscious effort to change some destructive patterns, first starting with working through the Artist’s Way, working with an incredible life coach and spending a lot of time reflecting. In this space I have been seeking out a new way of living life focused on my passions (and it’s been quite a journey to unmask those) and creating balance. I love to plan and do a lot within each day, there is so much I want to do in my life – but I continually seem to get overwhelmed and lopsided focusing too much time on one area of life (like work) and forgetting the other important areas (like caring for me, taking time to acknowledge my own accomplishments, relationships with friends and family, being in nature, physical activity…).
I have also been questing the meaning of life in all of this – yes, I know this is getting deep – but what’s the point of working a 9-5 job that I don’t love except to pay bills for things that I don’t necessarily need. So, as Jess and I have been working on transitioning to the U.S. we are hoping to leave behind the old way of doing life. Because what really is the meaning of life, for me it is this: to actually be in the moment, right now, creatively living and being in this life with the one’s we love and want to be with. Life’s too short to be so focused on my to do list and doing what I think is right that I miss out on what’s happening right now with the people I love.
One of my first steps in living a more balanced conscious life is to look at my schedule every day or every week and take a few things off. If my day is so jam-packed, I miss out on life. I miss out on the impromptu coffee with a friend or a chance to grab my camera when I see a beautiful flower posed in perfect lighting. How much I have missed in my life because I’ve been so busy and so planned that I didn’t have time to stop.
Jess and I will arrive in the U.S. with no jobs, setting our GPS for Boulder, Colorado. And when people keep asking us what we are going to do there – we respond simply, “we are going to live”. We have made a very conscious decision to relocate not for a job but to a space that offers us fresh air, a healthy lifestyle, a slower way of life (although I suppose I can still make myself busy even in the slowest of places), an intellectual space, and international hub of athletes and academics, liberal thinkers, and a wonderful big space to raise a healthy family (without bars on the windows and tall fences surrounding our home).
We have looked in the mirror and we are taking off old and over-used accessories to make room for a more creative, beautiful and well-balanced life.