After having to spend a lot of time at home recently, I’ve had the opportunity to do some introspection and reflection. This has helped me to look at time differently and to prioritise how this most precious of all commodities is used.
Being forced to slow down and reduce the speed of my daily treadmill has definitely been a good thing. Life had become a bit too fast, too predictable with too many entrenched habits – sort of living on “auto-pilot”. I’m sure many of you know that feeling. As I sat quietly one day, I realised that over time our lives speed up with the extra work and family responsibilities we take on. However, one thing’s for certain, the hours in a day available to us remain unchanged. It’s how we choose to use these hours that counts!
As part of getting into the rhythm of a quieter pace of life, I started each day by taking our dog Kelly for a walk. This has been a totally uplifting experience. From the moment Kelly saw me putting on my walking shoes, her excitement was palpable and contagious. She would literally dance up the driveway showing her pure appreciation for being taken for a walk.
In the suburb, I saw many dogs being walked and I often stopped for a chat with the walkers, allowing the dogs time to socialise. I learnt that many of the dogs were being walked by gardeners who worked for the owners of the dogs. That was when it dawned on me. As a result of having limited hours and ever-increasing responsibilities, we have no alternative but to outsource some of our responsibilities. We employ gardeners, housekeepers and au pairs to take on some of our responsibilities. What we lose sight of is that we sometimes also outsource many of the aspects of our lives that give us pleasure, joy and meaning.
Typically, we all need to work to earn a living and generally both spouses work to be able to afford the desired lifestyle. Unfortunately, the need to outsource tasks becomes an inescapable reality. Maybe we should take time to press the “stop” and “assess” buttons before deciding which tasks to outsource. Perhaps the focus should be on outsourcing tasks that need to get done, but don’t really bring you any joy – some of these may fall into the “chore” basket. Whatever you do, try not to outsource tasks that bring you contentment, joy and bring a smile to your face – whether it’s doing homework with your child, making dinner, walking your dog or tucking your children in at night. Make sure you keep those tasks for yourself as they can bring huge rewards for your inner person and for your relationships. Don’t outsource the stuff that enriches your life and the lives of those around you.
Try to keep your best life for yourself. Otherwise when you look in to what your life looks like, you will find you’re on the outside paying for what’s going on inside and you’re missing the whole wonderful story.
This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted. (E&OE)
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