I shared this Tweet on Sunday:
— Julian Summerhayes Ⓥ (@JuSummerhayes) July 28, 2019
It probably doesn’t mean much to you but it was wrought in a moment of self-reflection, based on what my eldest daughter has achieved in her short life — she’s 22 — and the way I’ve allowed my life to evaporate before my very eyes.
I want to be clear that when I talk about saying “Yes” to everything, I don’t mean to give in to the temptation to buy, consume and live a life of excess. I mean to accept life, fully.
When I think back to when I was my daughter’s age, I was ensconced in an office working in excess 100 hours per week to try and keep an ailing recruitment business afloat. It nearly killed me. I didn’t live; I existed. My routine was fixed before I got started: wake up at 4 am, travel to the office and be at my desk by 5.30 am and work on to 8 pm. I did that five days a week and at the weekends I spent most of the time in the office. It was pretty routine for me to still be at the launderette at 12 midnight on a Friday night so I could go full gas on Saturday. At the time, I was renting a room in a small flat in Kilburn. My landlord thought I was fu*king mad. Looking back, I was. Truth is, my business partner had neither the desire nor the work ethic and absent my graft I’m quite sure we’d have called time on the business much earlier than was the case.
You’d think I had this burning desire to run my own business. I didn’t. I was asked if I wanted to go into business, and I said “Yes”. It wasn’t a mistake but I sure as hell wish I’d known how much I was taking on in trying to grow a business from scratch, particularly given I had no experience of a) running a business, b) managing people and c) recruitment consultancy.
Ah, well. That was then and now is now.
But, actually, I’m not much different now from when I was 19/20. I feel obliged to do stuff and, as a result, I keep missing out on life.
The obligation to work.
The obligation to provide.
The obligation to be seen to be doing the right thing.
It sucks. I mean it really does hurt to not allow myself a bit of slack.
Perhaps I’m too hard on myself. There’s no perhaps. If I’m not wired then I’m not living.
But that’s not life.
Going with the flow; being true to who I am; and not worrying (always) what others think is the essence of life. OK, perhaps they don’t equate to being awesome but who said that there was a need to be anything other true to who we are?
(Surely, in the end, how we live is how we live.)
In my case, I know I need to bust some old habits and do the things I keep promising myself will make a difference in my life but I know I’m making it too diffucult.
Just say “Yes”. That’s all I need.