Sunday, March 10, 2024



There is only one thing worse than being inundated with invitations to an endless array of ‘happening’ events I feel compelled to attend even though I would rather be chilling in bed with a show and cheese popcorn on the side and that is not being inundated with invitations to the aforementioned shindigs. That is when I find myself staring morosely at the Pringles, I am going to hate myself for scarfing down while watching Mike Flanagan’s latest attempt at elevated horror on Netflix, liking him a lot and hating him a little for having such a happening career, forcing me to contemplate the many boxes left unticked on the achievement front. Between episodes, I scroll aimlessly through social media feeds where everyone seems to be doing something that could pass for exciting, aggravating the ever-present FOMO. For the uninformed, that is the ‘fear of missing out.’

Some of us are preoccupied with ageing and the terrifying inevitability of it prompts us to counter this by packing every single moment with momentous activity, because nobody wants to confront death, filled to the brim with regret. As some tiresome wiseacre unwisely said, once upon a time, you only ever regret the things you didn’t do. Which is why I am forever trying to push myself out of comfort zones with the intention to broaden the horizon a bit just so I can feel that I am doing something worthwhile with life’s finite supply of time. This commitment to future me who is on the brink of kicking the bucket and needs to be comforted by a barrage of memories celebrating glowing achievements and epic milestones is exhausting and endlessly frustrating. What is the point of berating myself for not doing enough when it ends up feeling like it is all too much?

Nowadays, I am teaching myself to do little things that generate fulfilment even if it does not qualify as useful or productive enough to be featured on my resume or Insta post. I might be missing out on doing something awesome by saying no to an invitation because my gut registered a protest but that no longer feels awful. Nor does it seem like a catastrophe of earth – shattering proportions because invitations aren’t forthcoming, except when it does. But that is nothing a soul – satisfying activity like an extra hour of yoga, playing with my pups, or a long conversation with a good friend can’t fix.

As a society we have become fixated with using time efficiently to rack up economic as well as experiential gains, that will allow us to fully flourish. We are expected to maximise not just work but leisure time, because our value is calculated by the things we do or at least seem to be doing. All the damn time. This ‘let us live life to the fullest’ and ‘make every moment the best one yet’ business is a crock of crap guaranteed to kill us quicker via hypertension. There is nothing wrong with ambition and aspiration, but it is also okay to simply survive without feeling the need to thrive all the time.

This article was published in TNIE Magazine

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