Do more of what makes you happy

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The weekend had arrived and I had my to-do list all mapped out.  Friday would be the day of chores since Saturday was going to be our first big check-in and the start of family season at the lodge.

As luck would have it, Friday turned into a spectacular day of weather.  In the cooler hours of the morning, I took my garbage to the dump and ran my errands in town.   I arrived home knowing that my list of chores had not been completed but when I saw the sun shining on my deck, my list of chores suddenly changed, as did my outfit.  I opened all my windows, donned some shorts and a t-shirt and went outside to bask in the sun for as long as I could.  As fate would have it, my neighbors chose to embrace the day as well and burn everything they wanted to dispose of and the smoke penetrated every ounce of air I was trying to breathe.  My dog and I quickly made our way indoors and wistfully closed the windows.

I stood inside, my head going back and forth from my vacuum to my laptop and I surreptitiously neglected my remaining chores.  I opened my laptop and sat down to write what would end up being over three thousand words for my new book.  My dog was still shedding even though I had her shaved, my carpet looked like my dog had exploded, more dust had settled on every surface in my home and my dishes were still waiting to be put away but I didn’t care.  I deferred the menial tasks to concentrate more on the things that truly make me happy.

My vacuum will still be in the same place on Sunday.  My dog will still be shedding and the dust particles will still be dancing in the light that filters through my windows.  But, just maybe, those words that flowed through me on Friday would not have waited for another day.

Do more of what makes you happy and do it often.  Life is much too short to spend it doing things that don’t truly inspire you and make you feel like you are living your best life.  I spent a great deal of my past living for others and now it is time to put aside the things that can wait and focus on the things that consume my thoughts and make me the happiest version of myself.

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.