Maybe, Slow down
There is a story once told about a fisherman and a wealthy businessman in a Brazilian village. A businessman on a beach saw a fisherman relaxing on his boat after a day’s work and went ahead to ask the fisherman why he won’t work some more while the day was still young. To this, the fisherman responded, “Why? I have enough.”
“Enough?” the businessman asked, perplexed. “Why stop at enough when you can do more. You know, get a bigger boat, expand your business, move into a nice house and make even more money.”
“And after that?” the fisherman asked.
“After making so much money, you can finally retire and enjoy some rest.”
The fisherman replied with a gentle smile, “Isn’t that what I am doing now?”
I think that we run too fast and that, in the process, we don’t see that we are running in circles. Setting goals, crushing them, just to set new goals, and there is nothing with making the most of life. There is nothing wrong in giving in your all, but is there anything left for you after giving your all? Some joy, some fulfillment, and just a little reckless abandon?
Can you afford a few minutes to smell the coffee, tuck a flower behind your ear, or even dance in the rain? Maybe not literally, but can you afford to do the little things that make life worth living? Or are you just caught up in this rat race?
On my most tired days, I constantly ask amid tears if it is all worth it. Last year, I was not earning as much as I do now, but why does it not feel like it? Why does it feel like I suddenly want more? Like I still have to work twice as hard. How much more do I have to work? I am afraid sometimes that life would demand all of me, and I don’t think I can give all of me for something that’s not eternity.
I don’t know how else to explain this.
I want to be happy, and I want to have enough, but what is enough? Where can I draw the line? How can I be okay with enough in a time like this? Eventually, it’s a dilemma. It’s like I am in a loop. To be content with just good enough or keep going. How do I know contentment is not settling, and how can I tell that pushing myself to keep going is not greed.
Maybe this is the price we have to pay for housing something as delicate as humanity, the endlessness of everything, the constant need to show up each time. Sometimes, it feels like I can’t even pause to catch my breath like I am constantly left behind hard as I try, and if I have already lost, I might as well slow down.
I saw a quote somewhere years back that said, “Never leave something good to find something better,” I thought it was the most foolish thing I have ever seen, but I don’t think so anymore. I don’t. Maybe better is a hoax, I don’t know.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense. I know that I would give in my best each day, but God help me, I would also dance at the start of my day. I would stop a few moments in front of a flower. I think it’s beautiful, whip my phone out and take a picture. I know that I would sit with my family and friends and talk about life, moments my endless pursuits couldn’t buy me. Those breaks in between living, I would take them, along with some deep breaths.