~ Dolly Parton
You wake up in the morning, you get out of bed, begrudgingly most days. You shower, grab some coffee and head out to work. Day in and day out, same routine. It is comfortable and completely uneventful. You find for awhile, you like that. Get up, go to work, come home, watch tv, go to sleep and get up and do it all over again. Days blend to weeks, weeks to months and on to years. All of a sudden one day you look back and wonder where all the time has gone. What have you really accomplished? What have you done worth mentioning? What fun did you have, lives did you touch, things did you do? By focusing all of your time and attention on work, did you forget your life? "I gave at the office" doesn't mean your whole world. Focusing all of our efforts on our responsibilities and not on the things that make this life worth living, is a completely backwards way of living. If all of your energy is being spent at work, all of your being and efforts going into a job, where does that leave your life?
Each one of us has infinite value, and each one of us has the ability to make a profound difference in the lives of our family and friends, simply by being there, being a part of their worlds. Just by being who we are, we impact those around us. By the nature of our lives, our humor, our love and by the example we set. Not by how busy we are, how important we are, or how important and demanding our jobs are. Our example, our value to the ones in our lives, is us. Getting caught up in a rut of work all day and expend minimal effort to anything else, is not the path to happiness. Focusing one's whole life and time on responsibilities, without taking time for what is truly important in life, abandons all hope of happiness and fulfillment. When I die, I want my tombstone to read, "Inspired others" rather than, "Never missed a day at the office"
Work is important, I get that. But what it shouldn't be is all encompassing. It should not be the reason you wake up in the morning and why you go to bed at night. It is not your identity. It should not dictate your life and those lives of the ones you love all of the time. It is a necessary part of life, but it is not your life. Getting so caught up in the day to day, busy making a life, you forget, to actually live that life. You stay so busy working, it is comfortable and controllable, there are procedures in place for everything. Not like life, where there are no guarantees, no play book. In life you have to wing it sometimes and while that can be scary at times, it is also thrilling.
Life is what you make it, always has been, always will be. If you were to stop right here and honestly look at your life, what would you see? If you see things that you want to change, then by all means, change them. You have the power to do with your life whatever you want. It is just making that effort to follow through. Stop talking, start doing. Stop being a observer in your life and be a participant. This life is the only one we get, make it count.