Now I am either going to come across like an odd-ball or for a few of you I may just hit a chord, and i am going to make a huge assumption by suggesting the two camps can be split by virtue of your working status here in Thailand. In fact I reckon you can also split by family status too.
There may be some clever ones though that can relax irrespective of their life status
I am a working, family man expat in Thailand and in both my work and family time I never stop. Ever. Recently my wife and two kids flew to Russia for a holiday and left me home alone in Hua Hin, and in just a couple of days I made some startling learning’s. Well, they were certainly startling for me.
I never relax or have a time out. When I work I push it to the limit and as far as my ability will take me. If I am not working then more often or not I am thinking about work. How can I grow web traffic, lock in more subscribers, how do I best monetise all of my media and then there is the staffing side to ensure everyone is doing their bit. The list goes on. I am deeply competitive and know for my media to grow it needs momentum and it needs to continually evolve and be relevant. Any way park this, as this is not my motive for this blog. My motive was to share my recent experience in appreciating the value of relaxation. The word that works for me in parallel to relaxation is contentment – something I thought only existed by excelling in work and against other such aspirations one may have.
Is it possible to get the balance wrong?
I am so conditioned to working hard that perhaps I am forgetting what life is all about.
Man spends all his life climbing the ladder only to realise he has climbed the wrong ladderBuddhist Monk Quote
Now I don’t want to not achieve in work and against my ambition. I still think it provides stimulating goals that keep your zest for life. It is in many ways all just a big game, but I do think many of us can forget the basics and that is pure relaxation, free of any draining thoughts is a good thing. A very good thing in fact.
As I said earlier, my family are in Russia on vacation and that has given me time and space I have not had in a long time. I love my family, this is not in question, but what I forgot about was giving myself my own space. Over the last few days, I have found the peace and quiet quite enchanting. I could feel my body unwind and relax.
It is Sunday morning and I was in the gym at 7 am and then went to Coffee Club cafe at 9 am for breakfast. Somehow I managed to spend an hour and a half there just completely chilled out. I never do that, it is always in and out and on to my next job.
I rung my wife and told her of my personal revelation and suggested her and I make more time for ourselves away from the kids, but this need not be to go and party or fill our faces with beer – but just to do nothing somewhere peaceful.
If we strip life to its basics I am quite sure in the logarithm somewhere would be a time out / relaxation slot, yet for many of us we get caught up in the fast pace of life and let it consume us.
If this is therefore the case what do we, as individuals, strive for from working so hard? If it leads to more fortune how will that benefit our life if we are not taking the time to enjoy it? For example, you may buy a big pool villa but always be in too much of a rush to enjoy spending time here.
My thought process has always been to work hard to ensure financial security for myself and my family, but each time I get to a good level, I just keep raising the bar. I am already 43 years old, when do I think I will get to this point of financial freedom? What if I don’t, then I would have spent too much of my time putting stress and ambition in place of getting the very most from my day now, in this moment. The key is to find inner contentment on every level of your life.
I had already decided that next year I will start relaxing the purse strings and ensuring my life now can be that little bit better. Live exactly where I want, take more vacations and spend more time with loved ones. In a lot of ways I have already reached this, but I know the few things needed to make it perfect (but have always held off for financial concerns).
Thailand can provide the perfect sanctuary to relax
For a retiree, I think they get it. After years in the rat race they have learned to slow down and find peace from doing very little. As I sat in Coffee Club, two older guys nearby me were still there when I left. It would not surprise me if they stayed there all morning.
Some may say it is due to them having nothing to do and before my own revelation today I would have agreed with you. But not any more. I am now hypothesizing that we all need to find peace with life and whatever our age or stage in life we should find that window of time each week to have a time out on everything. Take a moment to enjoy silence, peace and your own company for a couple hours a week and I think it will have a significant boost on your well being.
I certainly don’t wish to be a preacher in this blog, as I know what I am saying has been discovered by others millions of times over. This is my blog column and I just wanted to share where I was with things and I hope it proved of interest. In many ways this blog has helped me sort my thoughts out by putting it all down into words. It is a blog as much for you as myself!
If you have any of your own views do add your comments below as I would love to hear them.
Irrespective of whether you are in full time employment and have a family to juggle, it would appear if you made some time for yourself each week you can lead to better level of contentment and fulfillment in life. I am always being told it is about balance and that includes doing nothing.
I think my next task is to discover meditation. I get it now.