Treading water


Do you remember when you was a kid and time seemed to be the slowest moving thing ever? Those car journeys felt like an eternity when now on reflection it was probably 45 minutes. I remember always wishing time away to get to different things, different landmarks. I couldn’t wait to get to 13 so I would be a teenager, then to 16 so I could do rude things and smoke, 17 so I could drive. Then 18 so I can drink and watch any movie, 21 so I can get into any club and I’d be a bonafide adult. Wait what, 25, 30, hang on a minute where did you come from? 40 ok ok stop now, I get it!

We don’t change the speed of time its just how we perceive it. The old man used to always say ‘time and tide wait for no man’. That is so true, take every living thing off of the earth and the tides will continue to change and time will continue to roll on. I fact time is pretty much something we have invented, well we have created this theory that we only have a certain amount of time or things are governed by time. How many excuses do you hear, or even give out yourself; ‘oh I don’t have enough time to get that done’ or ‘I’m going to run out of time’. All phrases and excuses we have formed along the way. The truth is, once we realise this and free ourselves from these self inflicted restraints we can see that yes, ultimately we are on the clock because at some point we will all have to cash in our chips but until that day we have free reign over how we use our time. That is why we have to get as much in to our lives as we can. Unfortunately though this can be easier said than done.

Life is full of twists and turns. We take on commitments such as family, mortgages, careers and it can feel like we are… treading water as our lives tick by. Do you remember as kids we thought we all lived to 100? Sadly the reality is a little less than that and for me it would  appear the men in my family rarely reach 70. On paper that gives me 28 years until Val Hala calls me. You’d think that fact would alarm or scare me but it doesn’t. It doesn’t for a couple of reasons. Firstly I keep myself in the best possible shape inside and out as I can and as physically strong as I can be. Secondly I try and pack my life full of the things I want to do and with the people I want in it, but mainly I’m not scared or alarmed by it as quite frankly I have no real say in when that day will be. You could argue and say avoiding risky or dangerous situations will bring the odds down but then I could spend life too petrified to look out of the window then trip over the cat and go flying down the stairs and snap my neck. Thats not doom and gloom or being morbid, quite the opposite actually. Its saying go out and live life, whatever happens happens but the very worst thing you can do is bob about here treading water. We all hit putts, we all get unhappy. I suppose the two biggest ones being our relationships and our careers.

With work, yes you’ve no doubt got responsibilities that come first and foremost but that doesn’t mean you should spend life doing something you don’t want to. We’ve all got to work so why not do something that inspires you and makes you happy? You don’t have to rush the change but there is no reason why you cant change it. You don’t even have to be out there going all maverick and changing the world but you can have a job that makes you happy and the chances are if you are unhappy at work it’s because deep down that you need to make that change. After all, I always view it as if you’re not working on your own goals you’re working so someone can realise theirs. Think about it, your boss, no matter how big or small the company is, they are just someone that wouldn’t work for someone else anymore and begun to chase down their own dreams. No ones different in that respect, it just comes down to what we accept; make our boss rich and happy or have that person be you? Not the easiest path to take but for sure its the most worthwhile.

However, maybe the bigger of the two and certainly the one that consumes us more is our relationships. Of course no long term relationship is going to be a non stop, never dipping romantic whirlwind until the very end. Life will make sure of that when i sprinkles it with a few problems here and there but things will slow down and thats when our minds can be against us. The difference being is this just a lull in the relationship or has unhappiness truly set in? Here we must turn to our reliable friend that never steers us wrong, our gut feeling.

That niggle, that quiet voice we hear but silence when we don’t really want to listen. Life and our relationships is really where our gut feeling serves us best and its only to our own detriment that we choose to ignore it. Think of that little slice of time that we are here, if you’ve chosen to spend that time with someone shouldn’t it be a gut feeling of sureness and clarity? A relationship that makes you feel as if you’re treading water is the worst, far worse than with your career. If your career is stationary then more than likely you can come home and talk to your partner about it but if its your partner in question where does that leave you? Yes we can confide in friends, family but the one we should be talking to is our gut feeling and it will be a brief conversation. Something along the lines of ‘You know you’re not happy, so change it’. No one wild it for you, no one wants to find themselves in that situation but it is changeable, everything is changeable and it will be the right thing to do. Do not let that sadness consume you, love in life is so important so it deserves to be the right love, the love you deserve. That is essentially what happens, we have the love we deserve. It’s not selfish to want to be happy and the other party has the same right. If one side isn’t happy then realistically then the other side isn’t too, even if they don’t know it.

It’s so easy to ignore it though, to soldier on just taking it as thats how things are. It ‘s what becomes the ‘norm’ for us. There’s already ex amount of time devoted and served so were sure it will improve and get back on track. Now that may well be the case, but just run it past your gut first. Do what will be right for you, you don’t have to do anything in a horrible way but you must put yourself and your happiness first. Your partner will thank you for it ultimately and your boss will or I’d like to hope, should wish the best for you.

As time ticks away beyond any of our control its important we enjoy a fulfilled, love drenched and happy existence. No doubts, curiosities or questions. Just the happiest existence we can put together ourselves.

So if you feel like, for whatever reason you are treading water, ask yourself why. Search out what is giving you that feeling and address it. We invented the concept of time so we should also invent the concept of refusing to not be totally happy while we use that time up. Life doesn’t need to be grand or flamboyant, it just needs to be all the elements you want to make you feel complete. Whatever level makes you happy then strive for it, achieve it and embrace it and whatever you do don’t settle for anything else because we all deserve to fell it, to be it.

We don’t know when we will have to give everything up and make the return leg so put yourself first, find your happiness. Break away from the pattern and safety of treading water, it maybe feel easier than taking on the waves but it is slowly exhausting. Break free and start to swim again.

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