WHEN we were in Boracay, Chona and I did something we had never done before. She had her hair braided and I bought a cowboy hat. Why? No reason. Just.
Sometimes we take ourselves seriously. Sometimes we overthink, sometimes we are uptight and we need to loosen up. And a break from the daily toil is needed. Funny that ever since we both semi-retired our lives have become busier which we never expected.
Instead we are busier than ever. We travel every month for work and it is fun. But it is also work. And it sometimes it takes a toll as work does. And that is why I try to balance things. Our work is not our life. What we do are roles in life and they are not meant to define our worth as persons. They are just that. Roles. Who we are is a totally different thing and knowing the difference or drawing the line may determine the quality of our lives. Some people think they are their work but that could be dangerous because what if the work is taken away, what then? What are you without your work? Good question.
We are not our work and we need balance. Put it in another way. Say you plunge yourself in work and literally dive into it and dedicate your whole life to your work. And in the process you get sick. The sobering truth is you can be replaced in a week. But to your family, you cannot be. Ultimately the question is, what is more important, your work or your family. The answer may sound obvious, but is it? Ask yourself, how much time do you spend in both? Or even for yourself?
Work hard of course but do not die because of it. Work hard of course but do not lose focus on what is truly essential. Slow down. Balance yourself.
When we were in Boracay we walked for five kilometers along the white sand beach. It was actually a liberating thing. There were a lot of people but somehow it was a solitary experience. I remember it vividly. It was almost sunset and the beach beckoned. I was drawn to it and I walked and walked. And felt the sunset.
After Boracay I got to reflect about a lot of things. I actually felt good there and I wondered why. And then I realized why, it was because of the cowboy hat. And the braids. It was a stepping out from everything. It was a wonderful breakfast buffet. It was a relaxing walk. It was the winds that blew. It was looking back to move on.
Wear a cowboy hat. Or get your braids. And sing. And watch the sunset.