Take the Time to Sit down and Listen 

Looking back, we can find a new land or perspective in the past. At the time, we often take events, big or small, for granted and dismiss them from our minds as if they did not matter.

And then suddenly – days, weeks, months or even years afterwards – they come sharply into focus and we see them again with new eyes. In this clear daylight of the mind, we see strange connections with past and present; we see un-dreamt of patterns in our lives and the lives of the people close to us.

We now spend fewer and fewer nights away on holiday. Holidays give us time to unwind and reflect. Many of us now settle for long weekends. Weekending, however, degrades the whole concept of vacations. Weekends we can take at any season, but reflection takes time. Time, in fact, is the whole point and purpose of vacationing. Time by the armful, time heaped up and overflowing and we enjoy an expanse of time so bright it makes us squint. And it takes time just to get used to time, to adjust our rhythms and slow the pulse.

Think about who you are and where you want to be. Think through all pending decisions. We all play losing games at times and do things that are self-defeating or even self-destructive, things like not eating well, not getting enough sleep, working excessively long hours and getting too little exercise. Mismanaging time is also a losing game. Procrastination, leaving for meetings at the last minute and spending too much time on low-priority tasks can considerably heighten stress levels. Overload and feeling there’s not enough time are big problems these days.

It’s important to make room for leisure. Many people feel guilty when they indulge in leisure because they consider it selfish. The reason there’s so little leisure time is that we have stopped giving ourselves permission to have it. Stress has become a fact of life but it need not become a way of life. Most of the stress that most of us experience is actually self-generated.

– Rebecca Kwangware.

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