Burning the candle at both ends

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It begins innocently. We take on more and more with each passing day and begin burning that candle at both ends, always with the thought in mind that never the twain shall meet. But they do meet, and someone always gets burned.

burn the candle

In today’s economy and struggling markets people take on more burdens to cement themselves to their jobs. Fiscal responsibility tends to equate to physical and emotional exhaustion but we do what we have to do to secure our stability. It has become a dog-eat-dog existence.

Although we may see that candle as everlasting and continuous, we lose a little piece of our sanity with each drip of wax that is dispelled. A layer of our resolve, like the dripping wax, is melted away from us and collectively pooled into a well of fatigue. The moments of freedom we so carelessly took for granted are a thing of the past and the work day increases in its longevity.  As the winds of our reality fan the flames, the candle burns faster at both ends leaving us with more of a sense of panic and less candle to burn. The days seem longer, the nights seem shorter and we strive to hold fastidiously to our workaday reality.

It is our individual responsibility to snuff that secondary flame – to only allow ourselves one wick with which to burn our energy. If we allow others to dictate how much of the candle we burn at one time we may as well cast ourselves into the inferno and spontaneously combust.

The purpose of a candle is to burn for long periods of time, from one end only, and cast a glow of light that is warm and comforting. Burning that candle from both ends decreases the amount of enjoyment that candle is meant to purvey and exponentially diminishes the enjoyment that is elicited from that one single flame.

Strike your match carefully.  Predestine how much of that candle you are willing to ignite and at which pace you choose it to soften and dissipate.  If you light it sparingly, it will last much longer and the enjoyment of that flame will last that much longer.

Here’s your stick…..draw your line

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The sand lays in wait. Millions of grains stretch for miles and the beach seems to be swallowed by the horizon line.  But you boldly step forward, take that stick (or your finger) and draw your line.

Personal limits are a must-have.  By setting boundaries, by drawing that line in the sand, we take a giant step towards preserving our integrity.  The line we draw becomes an invisible wall of defiance and gives us the strength to truly stand behind what we believe in and allows us to have the courage to defend that wall.

Knowing where you stand is more than half the battle.  Many people can aimlessly wander through life with no true convictions.  They are easily swayed and can become lost in the crowd, without ever truly engaging their basic human right to have an opinion.  But allowing ourselves to have that opinion can define who we are, to the core of our being, with no outside influence and no second-guessing.  We can create a line that we won’t cross to avoid being swallowed in the maelstrom of millions of other ideals that don’t represent our own.

It’s perfectly okay to have boundaries.  Our opinions are like doorways to our mind.  We can leave those doors wide open and allow others to come in and hear those opinions, or those doors can remain closed to safeguard our thoughts without really having to defend that line.

Have an opinion and be willing to stand behind it.  Here’s your stick – feel free to draw your line.