Some people are born vivant by nature. Others have to make an effort because it is stored in their DNA that life mainly consists of work. Making them feel guilty if they don’t. I fear I belong to the latter category. But I’m trying to change it. You can learn to enjoy. With trial and error.
Someone recently asked: what do you really want to achieve in your life? And my answer came naturally: to be happy. Which was very confronting, because apparently, I wasn’t yet. Not surprising, because when I started to think about it, I realized that my life consists very much of ‘duty’. With a super-Calvinist background behind me, the idea that life consists of work and doing things is very much in my system. Not that there’s anything wrong with work. Absolutely not. Certainly not when, like me, you have the best work in the world and therefore also get intense satisfaction from it. But still, something gnawed…. Lack of balance and relaxation.
So I’ve decided that I want to dramatically change my life towards ‘enjoy more’. For the first time in the 1.5 years that I have lived here, I am now sitting on my beautiful terrace surrounded by plants with a view of the medieval church tower. I never allowed myself time for that, and now as a challenge to myself, I have been working for 2 days, not in my room, but in the sun with a detective. Indeed, to enjoy. Didn’t know that it increased the quality of your life so much. Took 44 years for that coin to drop, but definitely intend to keep going!
The challenge is twofold: 1 actually set aside time and do fun things. Don’t leave it at an intention, but really put it into action, with a certain regularity. 2 and that is perhaps even more difficult: IF I do that, to do so wholeheartedly and not secretly feel guilty. Not giving in to the feeling that I should actually be doing something more useful.
“Doing nothing” can be very beneficial, someone said to me in an interview this week. “We are just not very good at it in the West….” But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Everything you do is something you’ve done for the first time, and you can’t master anything without practicing really hard and often. So this week is high on the agenda: doing nothing. No clue how to do that successfully. Who has tips?