A Spicy Life

Everyone says variety is the spice of life. If you’re too focused on just one thing, you can miss out on all the rest.

August has been a rough month for me because I’ve been working overtime. When I finally clocked out each day, I was too exhausted to do anything, including the things I love. It’s been one long blur of working, eating, and sleeping. But mostly working.

I used to be on the path to becoming a workaholic. But after being beaten down, overworked, and under-appreciated at one of my previous jobs, I began to see things more clearly. That company didn’t care about my well-being. They didn’t care if I was hurt, sick, or just worn-out. They wanted me there doing my job at any cost. That was the problem.

So I made a decision that I wouldn’t sacrifice my well-being so freely. Don’t get me wrong, work can be stressful and exhausting, but when it is chronically so, there’s a problem. And I will work hard and get my job done as quickly and efficiently as I can, but not at the expense of my health and sanity long-term. That’s too much of one thing.

This applies to all sorts of areas. Too much free time can lead to boredom and sometimes trouble if someone doesn’t have an outlet for their energy. Too much laziness can lead to health problems or obesity. Even too much sun gives you a sunburn. It goes on. Too much of one thing always tips the scale and something else has to be sacrificed. A good balance of many things levels it out and gives it variety.

In perfect timing, Labor Day weekend is upon us. And I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m looking forward to rest and relaxation after a long month of hard work. So if you feel a little worn out, take some time for yourself. It’s not selfish, it’s adding some spice to your life. And it’ll make things that much sweeter.

Photo credit: p3nnylan3 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Photo credit: p3nnylan3 / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lest I Become Like Them

 

Photo credit: Baalel / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

To be heard. To be loved. All of us want that even if we don’t recognize it on a conscious level. When deprived, kids can act out or get involved in various levels of self-destruction. Adults can be much worse.

Loneliness drives people to do strange things. Without love, we cannot survive. We self-destruct and feel unworthy of reciprocal love, and sometimes we never understand why.

I think it’s hard to find a listening and caring ear. Most people are so self-absorbed that they can’t get past themselves to reach a deeper level in a relationship with others.

We’ve become impersonal. Distant. Closed off. No longer human. If I reach someone on a human level, would they reach back? Tell me we’re not lost and destroyed by the technology of our own making. It makes me sad to see cell phones become as attached as a limb. Especially while good company walks along right next to you. I need some hope. Some truth. Some humanity. Lest I become like them.

But I am like them. I have the same faults, sometimes the same dreams, and always, that thin veil of humanity that so easily tears. Why is transparency such a hard concept? Why is it so hard to be the person we are born as? None of us were meant to live as someone else. And if we spend all of our time pretending to be someone else, we inevitably end up following the life path of someone else. So we’re not happy because we’re not living the life we really dream of.

The sad thing is that so often, we don’t even realize that we are “them.” It’s the whole “us-versus-them” thing. There is no them. Just us. We are all on the same plane, even if we’re playing by different rules.

I’ve always considered myself a very real person. I don’t try to make myself seem like something I’m not. Unfortunately, that sometimes leads to saying nothing at all and not revealing who I really am, especially to new people. It’s like I’m afraid to reveal who I am because I’m afraid I’ll be taken as something I’m not. I’m just as fake as the rest of us.

When I should be gentle, I’m indifferent. When I long to cry, I put on a tough face until I can escape to a dark bedroom to let the real emotions out. I just don’t understand why emotions are considered so bad that we’re encouraged to hide them. Hiding emotions hides our humanity. We weren’t meant to be robots. We are human. And sometimes, humans cry. Sometimes they are angry. And you know what? That’s okay.

There really isn’t anything wrong with being angry. Anger itself is not the problem. It is how we let the anger shape us. If we let it take control, we’re in deep. But if we use it constructively, we can change the wrongs we see in the world.

So let’s stop this masquerade. Let’s be human together. Open. Honest. Human.

 

 

Photo credit: Baalel / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)