I noticed you today, you were the one cleaning the streets in the early morning, you were the parent rushing in after the bell had rung with the forgotten lunchbox, you were the one walking the elderly man around slowly, you were the three teachers with the young children all in high-vis jackets going into the park, you were the hospital staff hurrying across the street as I drove, you were the volunteer collector outside the supermarkets after my shop. You are the ones who work tirelessly and yet so often are taken for granted, but I saw your value.
So many of us live in a cycle of goals, milestones and success measured by what is earned financially and ascended: the corporate ladder, a thriving business, a big home, the latest gadgets, a branded outfit… the pursuit of “living the dream” for me became the pursuit of discontentment. Enter the concept know as the ‘Hedonic Adaptation’ which is the tendency for humans to quickly adapt to major positive or negative life events or changes and return to their base level of happiness. I can relate to this, with so many changes and challenging experiences to navigate this year, in the end everything is temporary regardless if it was an experience bringing me despair or delight. You too could find yourself guilty of achieving success, then quite quickly those expectations and desires rising again in tandem for the next goal that you’re convinced with be enough for you.
Deciding to be intentional with your time and designing your life based on value is a better place to review how you’re actually doing. What does the sum of your days add up to, what small steps or habits lead you to who you are likely to become, what are the values you hold dear and if you were to think about it – how would you like to be remembered when you pass on from this life? How is that side hustle, a legacy project, a contribution to your community, loving guardian to your child or a fun partner progressing day-to-day? Or is it something you will “get to soon”? When I think about my year and the value I added, I was a carer, a counsellor, a community volunteer, a mother, a wife, a project manager, an online community builder, a writer, a photographer, a researcher, a cleaner, a gardener and a healthy body for a baby to grow in. None of this was paid work. So like many, I have felt challenged in the self-worth department due to how society grades how you are doing and what value you are contributing, yet know so many life experiences could not have happened or even been facilitated well without me showing up with simply my time, skills and love to give.
So as I sign off, this weekend really take stock of all that YOU ARE; that you ARE enough, that you have SO MANY great values and attributes to be proud of regardless if they had a dollar sign attached to them. Your time is so precious and yes we all need money to survive even thrive, yet really reflect on how rich your life is already and how so many people in your world are winning their race because you exist.