23 February 2015

Lifestyle: The bigger picture

Warning: this post contains some seriously heavy stuff. Like deep, deep, serious stuff.

Do you ever experience those moments that stop you dead in your tracks and make you think really hard about life?  Usually after major, emotional events; a death of a loved one, a birth in the family, your wedding day.  The big, shouty and unavoidable, 'look at me' moments that can cause the world around you to drastically change.  The ones that make you sit down and take a long hard look at your life, the universe and the bigger picture. 

What is it all really about?

I have been experiencing these moments more frequently recently.  This is probably due to the fact that I seem to have experienced a lifetime's amount of big moments in the space of just a couple of years. My engagement, the loss of my Dad, my wedding day, my Sister's wedding day, moving into our first house together and the arrival of my first nephew. However, it's not just the big events that make me think deeply about life.  Sometimes all it takes is a thought provoking movie or a restless night sleep that triggers these thoughts.
Anyway, the other night I was having a really hard time falling asleep. A serious case of jetlag from my recent mini trip to LA I think. I tried everything. I read a book, I listened to calming music, I had a warm bath. I even Googled ways to fall asleep and tried 11 stupid techniques like tensing different parts of my body and silly breathing techniques.  Anyway, nothing seemed to be working. My mind just wasn't ready for sleep. The more I worried that I wasn't going to get enough sleep before work  the more awake I felt.  I decided to give up fighting with myself and admitted defeat.  I let my mind wander and soon enough, my thoughts had drifted to some scary depths.
I started thinking about people. People living their lives in their own personal little bubbles.  Each only concerned with their own worries, problems and faults. Glued to their smartphones, reading about useless crap and barely looking up. Completely oblivious to the world around them, to the millions of people walking past them and to the real things that actually matter.

I imagined billions of these people all over the planet, all scurrying around like idiots. I was then reminded of something I saw on Facebook the other day.  An animation illustrating the size of our planet compared to other planets, the sun and then to the biggest known stars in the universe.  We spend too much time caught up in ourselves, fixated on whatever problems we have conjured up in our minds.  It made me realise that my worries were insignificant. In the grand scheme of things, what did it matter that I couldn't get to sleep? Okay, so it was a week night and I probably would have to take the following day off work, but who really cares?
Then I thought about life and subsequently, death. We've all lost someone close to us, it's really sad but unfortunately it's life. We are born, and we die.  It's what we do in between that counts. Life is short, everyone says so, and so why would you want to waste your short precious life worrying about insignificant things like that interview you have coming up, or an argument you had with your friend, or that you don't have enough money to pay the bills. When you stop and think about the bigger picture, about all those billions of people scurrying around, and how tiny our planet is, about how short our time is on this Earth, your worries and problems will literally fade away. 
Make the most of each and every moment, because at any one time, that is all you really have and all that matters.  Once you have grasped that concept, you will have the confidence to do, say and achieve anything. you will have the confidence to make your life worthwhile instead of spending the majority of it worrying about crap that in the bigger picture, doesn't matter.
Obviously, after I admitted defeat and contemplated all of this in bed, I had no trouble drifting off to the land of nod.
Funny that.

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