Thursday, June 30, 2011

To Do Or To Be?

      In theory, I know life  isn't an either / or situation.  Life is a blend but my conundrum is what is the overlying aim?  In this case,  I am considering  the best use of my time.  This is always an issue for me.  I am forever considering how I want to live my life, how I want to spend my days.  I am determined to make the best use of my life but I can't decide what that means.

       On the question of to do or to be, I am flummoxed.  Do I spend my lovely summer days "being"?  Specifically, "to be" means to stay in a comfort zone.  "To be" means to stay where I am uber comfortable - mostly at my house, in my
neighborhood.  It means to read, to write, to paint, to futz with the yard work, to ride my bike in the extended neighborhood, to go out with friends, to chill with my beautiful daughter, to romp with the new kitty, to nap in the afternoon sun.  In short, "to be" means just that: to be comfortable and settled with my days.  No surprises.  No novelty.  Only comfort, familiarity, and ease.

        "To do" requires more effort. "To do" compels me to move out of the familiar and into a place that necessitates more energy, more work.  The payoff, however, is adventure. The reward includes  new experiences, new people, new memories.  I expand
my world.  I learn and become more of who I am.  I challenge myself and presumably become a richer person in the process.  There are surprises.  There are cranky moments.  There are lonely times and times when familiarity seems king and adventure sucks.  I have more currency to add to the bank of JT.  For me, however, "to do" is hard work.  If "to do" means travel or taking a class or volunteering somewhere - it all means I have to put out precious energy.  That's the roadblock.

    Again, I am well aware that it isn't an all or nothing sort of situation.  How about balanced portions of both to be and to do?  For some strange reason, I find that much easier to say than to do. Really, I want to plant myself right here in Sebby  and just "be".  But a part of me screams in anger:  you can't do that!  You have a life to LIVE.   Get out there and do it.

     I had this conversation with someone I know recently.  His take on the conundrum is that if you are happy, it doesn't really matter whether you be or do.  Your life can be rich and full even if you never leave the house.  If you are happy (or even content) living a simple and unencumbered life of reading, writing, and "being", then that is your ticket to a full life.  If that is not enough for you, then, yes, toss in some "doing".  The "doing" however should not be forced.  It should reflect what you find makes you happy.  To go out and "do" for the sake of experience or an expanded life or because you think you should, is not sufficient reason to take you out of your comfort zone.  If you are happy "being", then be.  If you want to do, then do.
For him, the idea is to be happy.  I get the impression that, for him,
being happy means living an uneventful, predictable life.  I can buy that.  It is an easy life.  I can see where that life would be cozy, sleepy, and content.  But rich?  I am not so sure.


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