Summer is coming to an end. For many of you with kids in school, it’s likely already over. The first Monday in September in the US is Labor Day, and that’s often when I’ve marked the end of summer. Hopefully you had the chance to get a break from life, the pandemic, and work with some vacation this summer.
I’ve tried to work hard, be successful in my chosen career, and at the same time enjoy my life. That means time for me and my family away from work. It also means meeting responsibilities that I have, which include taking care of my home and animals. In other words, chores. All of this adds up to a lot of time necessary to accomplish my various goals, needs, and desires.
There are plenty of things, both in life and work, that I might put off for a period of time, expecting to find a block of time to handle them later. I think this is a common idea that I see friends, family, and plenty of others doing, optimistically viewing the future as one where more time will appear.
It might, but likely it won’t unless your life changes a lot. To me, that means that I need to find time today, make choices, delay some things, but tackle others, both responsibilities and desires, mixing them to create the life that I want. I was reminded of this again while watching this Abel Wang interview. It’s one of the last of his life, as Abel finally passed after a battle with cancer this summer.
He chose what was important to him, which is great. He also chose to live his life, not waiting for a distant future time. While most of us might expect we have years to live, you never know if that period of time might be much shorter than you expect. That mysterious future where you can finally visit that place, spend time with someone, accomplish a task, or anything else might not materialize.
I used to take stock of my life every year on my birthday. Was I doing the work I wanted? Are there things I wish I’d done the last year? Am I happy with life if I died today? That last one was a big one, and for years, I’ve felt I would be happy with how I’ve spent my time. These days my wife and I are getting older, and we evaluate the things we want to do on a shorter time frame, setting goals, making plans, and trying to ensure that we are really enjoying life every few months.
That doesn’t mean we’re always playing. We do have some busy work times, but we work to remember that we can’t let life get away from us for more than a few weeks before we need to ensure we’re balancing out the things we are obligated to do and the things we want to do. Finding balance has been helpful to ensuring that we can cope with stress, while not letting it overrun all aspects of our lives.