Of course, this answer may be different for everyone. Sure we can agree on the obvious ones:
Donate your time or money to worthy causes.
Do work that’s important to you and others.
Be an example of love.
That last one is the hardest I think. And if I’m honest, to be a consistent example of love I think I need to slow down. As a society, we’ve gotten into the habit of being busy. We equate that to being important. I’m definitely guilty of it. But they aren't the same thing. And I think keeping yourself running ragged all the time is a disservice to just about everyone. I tell my students all the time: rushing never looks good. It’s as true on the dance floor as it is in life.
How do I know? I’m a lot less tolerant of “bad” driving when I’m running behind - though clearly the person in the car ahead of me isn’t the one making me late. I sh/could have left five minutes earlier. But I make excuses for myself and I lash out at them. And let me tell ya’, when your seven year old gets impatient with the line of cars in front of you when the light just turned green, you re-evaluate your behavior.
And speaking of kids, I’m much more patient with mine when I’m not multitasking. And they notice! Heck, at least half of bad behavior is because a child is crying out for attention. And what is so important about that text or email that I can’t respond later? ... while the kids are asleep... dreaming of the fun we had together that very evening. There’s that flare for the dramatic again;)
So does that mean stop multitasking? Is that even possible?? I do tell my students to give all of their attention to their partners - only then can we do our best listening and our best giving. I don’t know if you’ve experienced being fully present recently - but it’s blissful. Sometimes exhausting, it’s true, but also regenerating. Hmm… a paradox… maybe that’s what life is.
I remember when I was young I used to hate the word content. I used to say, “I never want to be content” (disdain dripping off that nasty word). “It means you’ve stopped trying to be better.” And there’s truth there. The definition of content reads, “satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else”. Now, as an adult, I can tell you the moments I've been content are my favorite moments in this world.
Yet we’re constantly told to work harder, never settle, be the Best!, and all that jazz. Aren't we lazy if we're not improving? How do we reconcile the two? Time management, perhaps? Spend eight hours a day working our tokuses off and the other eight waking hours being present with our family, friends, and selves? I struggle to make that schedule a reality and I rarely sleep eight hours?! Now that I think about it like that - a simple hour allocation - what do I do with my time? Hmm… I may be on to something.
If you’ve succeeded in satisfactory time management, please tell me how! Otherwise, I may have to experiment and write a blog about it. Till then, if you’re still down with the winter blues, do what I did - go see “The Greatest Showman”. I know you’re laughing - and I’m laughing with you - but it’s true: it’s hard to be down about life when you’re singing and dancing!
See you on the hardwood!