Come the revolution

You probably have one of these – the time when everything will change. Retirement is traditional and winning the lottery is popular. When the good thing happens. When there’s more money coming in than going out. It’s often a perfectly sensible imagined point when we get to start living well. Of course what some of us do is then move the goalposts quietly. We never quite get there. This is never the year to stop striving and start living. And the years go by, and sometimes we run out of time before we get round to all the things we were going to do when it was a good time to do them.

The truth is that cutting back on the striving to make room for more living only happens when a person chooses to do it. We’ll find lots of reasons why we can’t actually just go for it now – money being the main one. I think it can be about the fear of living. What if living isn’t as good as you thought it was going to be? What if it’s better to live for an imagined future rather than dealing with trying to make things good in the present?

All of this keys into our ideas about sufficiency. When will we have earned enough, bought a big enough house, saved enough money, stockpiled enough things? What do we think we need to be happy? And if we’ve been beaten about the head with work ethics then we may feel we’re not entitled to be happy unless we can somehow do that alongside working ourselves to the bone.

Last year I was obliged to slow down. To do it, I had to question my stories about money and sufficiency, entitlement and need. I had to recognise that body and mind could not take what was being asked of them. I had to keep telling myself that it was safe to slow down a bit, that I wouldn’t be leaving us wide open to financial disaster. I had to deliberately choose having more of a life with more joy in it.

It’s easy to imagine that joy will turn up naturally at the appointed, magic hour without us having to do anything else. That’s not how it goes, but as we wait for the magic hour, opportunities for happiness pass us by. The only way is to jump in and make it happen, to choose it, make time for it, and do it now, not at some never-never point in the future when it falls spontaneously into our laps, because that fairy tale keeps us where we are, and stops us from living.

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About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

8 responses to “Come the revolution

  • Christopher Blackwell

    This is problem for most people, but especially if one is poorly paid.

    A good life is basically based on how many good experiences, we allow ourselves to have.
    Putting them off, just means not having a life that we ever enjoy, or feel grateful for having lived.

    Worse it can make us mean spirited about others who do not limit their experiences like we were doing.

    We only spread what we have most of inside. If it is anger, then we spread anger, if it is misery, then it is misery. But if we are basically happy, then we spread the warmth of happiness. You owe it to yourself, and those around you, to become as happy as you can.

  • Yvonne Ryves

    I stopped when we decided our jobs were too impossible, too stressful and definitely not worth it. We sold up moved countries and decided to take our chances. My life has changed, my work has changed, I have changed. Any regrets? Only not doing it sooner. It’s amazing how little you can live on when you step away from a consumer driven society 😄

  • Yvonne Ryves

    Oh and how many experiences are not dependent on paying others for them

  • Yvonne Ryves

    Couldn’t agree more Nimue. Live music is ALWAYS worth paying for 🙂

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