This post is dedicated to all those people who love their work, are perfectionists.. It is also dedicated to all those that will make them rethink their priorities in life. It is a translation from a blog I read in Greek. I did my best to translate it as close
as possible to English.. Listen to this and continue reading ..
We do not live, we run.
We run, something to catch, something to do, someone to see, something to pay, something to hear, something to learn, something to read, something.
From the moment we open our eyes until we close them, we run.
Even during the moments that we rest, even during our leisure time, even then, we have to do something.
‘What are you doing?’
(This is the most worrying answer)
‘What are you doing?’
(This is the most common answer)
If you stay for an hour without doing anything, just looking at the wall or to a tree opposite, you feel guilty.
If they see you staying for an hour without doing anything, just looking at the wall or to a tree opposite you, they will recommend ‘antidepressants’.
Because beyond the job you have to do, beyond your tasks, you can utilize this time reading, listening to music, doing gymnastics -rather than ‘losing’ your time.
As if time for ‘musing’ is a wasted life.
As if the rest of our life, where we keep running to catch something, is a life that is ‘gained’.
We even raise our children with this ideal of a ‘tireless effort’.
Stimuli, more stimuli, burst of stimuli once they get born, so that they listen to Mozart, so that they speak until they get two years old.. and then more stimuli, educational games, reading and learning about music and extracurricular activities and constructive games (as if the game may be something different) and dvds and tablets and swimming lessons and learning two foreign languages from an early stage (because it is then that they learn more easily).. our children are running behind us such as we do.
We run and so do our children
You should always do something, so as not to “waste your time,” not to lose your time.
But this empty time is a human need.
When we let our brain to empty, we then get closer to our core.
Because all the things we learned and all the things we are about to learn, everything we do and everything we run to catch (all that you give, all that you deal, all that you buy -beg, borrow or steal), are all garments of the mind.. and when you put too many things in your mind, then the mind inevitably may collapse at some point
Mental illness is the pandemic of modern civilization. Depression, compulsions, phobias and especially anxiety.
Because we run. We run to catch the life and we do not understand that life is left behind.
What we are chasing is the fata-morgana of our expectations that we should have.
Because we should be successful, we must have more money, we must be educated-smart-beautiful-fit-happy-joyful, we must have the smartest kids, and we have to be better than the others, we need to have more money than the others, to be more educated-smart-beautiful-fit-happy-joyful than the others …
We need to do, we need to be, we need to have something more and more..and so we run to have this ‘something’ and we strive to achieve that ‘something’ extra, that ‘something’ big, and finally there is this moment when you realize that you lost that little thing, that ‘little less’ that you had.
You did not enjoy your body and your youth, because you always wanted to be thinner and more handsome / or, more sexy, more like Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.
But in your eighties, you look at the photos of your youth, you understand that you were more handsome / from what you have thought.
You did not enjoy your partner, because he/she was constantly moaning and did not make enough money, and he/she was not romantic-beautiful-sexy enough and because you missed the chance to spend time with him/her, because you both had to run.
But when you get eighty, when you no longer have him/her next to you, you are nostalgic about his moaning and his/her faults and that silly way that he was telling you: “Well, yes, I love you, how many times will we repeat this?”
You did not enjoy your children, because you had to send them to kindergarden so that you can run to offer them everything and you had to prepare them to school, to send them ready to elementary school, to send them to learn English-French-music-theater-ballet-IT, and they had to study all day so that they get to university and then leave home before you even realize it.
And in your eighties, you look at the photos of your children and you realize that you were too busy to give them as many hugs as you wanted, you missed to play with them, because you had to run and they had to run as well
You now look back and you realize that you had no time for anything.
You did not manage neither to see your friends nor to understand your parents.. or to fall in love, to live, to dance or to do all those things you once considered important when you were a child.
And this seems strange. You were always running and yet you had no time for anything.
Then why were you running? So as to pay the bills? But you still owe to bills and new bills arrive every day.
And you understand that you were running so as to survive.
I am sorry to inform you, but now, when you are in your eighties, you have no time left for remorse.
You have only some more time to live, so do not waste it in remorse for the things you have not experienced or lived. After all, time is always like that, so little, regardless your age.
Take a deep breath and empty your brain.
Do not run anymore. Hold on, stop!
And if you’re not eighty, if you have young children, hold their hand, hug them, play with them. It will be too soon, before you realize it, that they will not want you to hold their hand, when they will not be children any more.
And you will not be young, vivid for much longer. Life lasts as an eye blink, no matter how fast you run.
Hold on! Take a breath.
(“The loneliness of the long distance runner” is a short story by Alan Sillitoe. It was also turned to a movie by Tony Richardson, in 1962 and it was turned to a song by Iron Maiden.)
-Translated to English by aktinaki- direct link in Greek here