I've been wishing I had a pause button to hit lately. Not because times are bad or good, happy or sad, but it's just been busy. If I could just hit the pause button for one day, I could stop all distractions and just be. Because this is impossible, we won't harp on this wish,  but could you imagine? What if we got to take a break from the chaos and just have a day with no agenda, no deadlines and no tasks to complete? Ah, what a dream! We would all get the recharge we so desperately need.

The best word I can use to describe this “overstuffed” feeling is consumed. I feel consumed by the world. This is a struggle of mine because I really do strive to care about what is truly important and leave the rest behind. But come on, I'm human, so I am rarely successful at this. When I let worldly problems and/or successes determine my joy, I usually end up disappointed. Happiness and sadness are feelings that come and go but joy is the only thing that can be permanent. You can choose to feel that. I used to be really good at protecting that inner joy I'm talking about but times like this, when I am trying to be so many things, I lose it. It gets watered down. I think it's because I am so consumed with my own personal agenda and success. That's not a bad thing by the way. It's important to work towards your own personal goals and desires but trust me when I say, if it's always only about you, life becomes an unfortunate cycle of “never enough.” I know because I've been there. Strive for perfection knowing you will only get excellence. Perfection does not exist in this life!

Maybe this will help depict what I am trying to say. You know when your room or car is cluttered with pointless things, it makes you a little anxious? You feel out of sorts because there is more stuff than there is space. What do you keep? What do you give away? Do you need this? Can you use that? Same thing when we fill ourselves with petty problems and impossible expectations. Too much stuff and not enough space. If we replace the one thing we can control, our inner joy, with worldly/petty problems and desires, we have just replaced our most prized possession. And that is the one thing we should never give away.

Although I hate this reality, It seems like every day I hear of a close friend or family member going through a hard time. I sometimes wonder, although I try not to, how I would react to certain tragedies I frequently hear about. A sickness in the family, loss of a loved one, or termination of a job. Would the joy I so desperately try to protect be enough to get me through? Or have I replaced that with worldly worries: bills to be paid, goals to be hit, obligations to attend, and money to be made. It always sounds “fluffy” or “too goody good” but a real day to day goal of mine is to try and be the best version of myself. So when I fail, or put my head on the pillow at night not being able to recall one time during my day I helped someone, I get upset. With all the people I see and talk to throughout my day, how did I not do my part to make their day better? It's because I’m so consumed with what I need to do to get ahead that others begin to feel in my way. They become an obstacle as opposed to an advantage.  I hate that.

So I’m challenging myself to carve some space to relight the fire in me. I need more room to feel that joy so when the happiness is fleeting and sadness sinks it, I have a constant peace…a constant hope. I actually have somewhere to pull from. For me, It's time to de-clutter. Clean up the mess and make room for what can lift us up not weigh us down. Because at the end of our lives, what we did or didn't do won't be remembered. The way we make people feel is where our legacy lies.