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The Race & A Link-Up

The Race & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

Life is no longer just a game,

It’s a frenzied race to the finish line.

 

A neverending paper chase, if you will.  Humans on a perpetual hamster wheel.  In search of greener pastures.  Better horizons.  Light at the end of that tunnel.  Take your pick.  How much is enough?  When does the cup start to look half full?  Where do we draw the line between ambition and greed?

Do you know?

The Race & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesThe Race & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

I CERTAINLY DON'T

We hustle and we strive, and we put our noses close to the grindstone.  So close we forget to look up and around ever so often.  And I often wonder to what end.  Life has become such a rat race, a form of profound competition wherein we’re prone to (over)compensating our emotional losses with material achievements.

We’ve become the modern definition of slaves.  A slave to our deadlines.  A slave to our goals.  To societal expectations.  Money.  To a certain lifestyle.

And now, let me put it to you that the harsh reality of things means it requires far more strength to resist the world than to join in the rat race.

The Race & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesThe Race & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

MOST PEOPLE DON'T LIVE, THEY MERELY RACE

Striving to reach some goal far away on the horizon.  And in the heat of all that racing, they lose sight of the beauty and tranquility around them.  By the time they realise this, they’re spent, worn out, exhausted, and it no longer makes any difference whether that goal has been attained or not.  The joy and exhilaration of the race is gone.  In its place, a void no object can fill.

Heartbreaking.

The Race & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesThe Race & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesThe Race & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

I’ll be the first to step up and admit I’ve often been guilty of being just another rat in the race.  An unquestioning member of that blind-follower group.  Not accepting that if there’s to be any hope for me, indeed if I really want to find satisfaction and happiness, I must regard the returns as a secondary consideration, if a consideration at all.

Think about it.  We don’t need all that stuff.  We just want them. We certainly don’t need to consume like crazy, just because we can. It’s hurting us.  Literally.  See the correlation between this and the hamster wheel?  Going round and round and round.  Eventually, we’ll fall off because we’re too exhausted to keep going.  Let’s stop before that happens.

Stress, emotional exhaustion, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment often result in burnout and depression.  Doesn’t that sound eerily familiar?

WE CAN AVOID BEING UNHAPPY, DESPERATE.  WE CAN.

The Race & A Link-Up | Sheela WritesThe Race & A Link-Up | Sheela Writes

So here’s the million dollar question.  Why do we only get 2 days out of 7 each week to live our lives on our own terms?  Why are we only free on the weekend?  Like you, I love my weekends and guard them jealously.  It’s the only time I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to.  I can live my life the way it’s supposed to be lived.

The most important thing to remember is that whether or not, we run, the rat race will always be there.  Competition will always exist.  And demands will always be made of us.  It’s vital that we take ownership of our lives, and lead it in the most holistic fashion possible.

We need to live each day as though it’s the weekend.

 WE MUSTN'T LIVE TO WORK.  WE WORK TO LIVE.

So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to enjoy every second of my life, and I’m going to make sure I know I’m enjoying it while I’m enjoying it.  What about you?

Love, Sheela

p/s photos by Sofia Touassa

I link up here.

97 Comments

  1. I do find that being conscious in the moment, even if it is a moment we don’t really care about, helps us understand our journey and hopefully enjoy it a bit more. The reality is we are all running towards death. Not super uplifting. Having the ability to recognize and enjoy the smallest of details makes one appreciate better what they already have without constantly reaching for the next thing.

    Great writing and post.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    Like

    • That’s a sombre thought indeed but rings with truth. We “are” all racing towards one ultimate outcome and being too focused on the destination usually means we’re merely going through the motions. How sad is that. I hope I’m able to stop every now and again. To enjoy the journey 🙂

      Like

  2. darlingdearestblog says

    Love the words you’ve used in this post! It is so true, so little time is taken to actually enjoy life. I love this quote: “Most people don’t live, they merely race.”

    Also love your shoes paired with that burgundy!
    Emily
    Darling, Dearest

    Like

    • Thanks so much, Emily. Isn’t it true though? That people forget to live, they remember only the race, reaching the end destination. It’s sad but happens all too often. I’m guilty as well!! Although I’m trying very hard to rectify that 🙂

      Like

  3. robjodiefilogomo says

    Quite the introspective points—It is why I love being retired…having time to myself and not so many deadlines!!
    We just downsized–got rid of a ton of unneeded crap –so we can try to have more time together.I think once you realize that life is short—you get better at appreciating the meaningful things like people & experiences (not that I don’t love a great pair of shoes —but i’m good with the inexpensive ones!)
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    Love the hat—I’m wearing mine just like it today!

    Like

    • I got out of the corporate world for this very reason. Racing was fun, exhilarating, up to a point. Then it grew increasingly heavier and heavier, and that was when I knew I had to get out 🙂 and so I did, freelancing for many years before being where I am today. It’s so easy to just keep racing, and forgetting to live, and let’s just say I’ve had far too many scares to not fully appreciate every waking moment xoxoxo

      Like

    • It is indeed particularly as the life of a blogger can appear so deceptively glamorous when in reality, we’re juggling a million and one things 🙂 particularly those of us who also work full-time. In all candour, I often find myself chasing deadline extensions instead of developing quality content so that’s not a good thing 🙂

      Like

  4. Your right , we all need to take time out. I sometimes think about this regarding blogging! There we go adding a bit more work load into the mix.
    Laurie x

    Like

  5. fashionsnob says

    It’s about time someone speaks up about this. Beautifully said Sheela!

    Like

  6. I love this post; I’m very aware that every minute we’re aging and inching ever closer to the end of the road (not to be morbid, it’s just true!) and that’s why I’ve decided to get into the fashion industry and become a designer after I graduated college because that’s what makes me happy, and makes life worth living!

    xo, alice / T Y P E N U

    Like

    • Nothing morbid at all, Alice, the truth can’t be denied and, in this instance, held off 🙂 I’m so glad you went for it. Not many of us are in the position to do just that and often, our dreams have to be temporarily (or permanently) postponed. At the end of the day, what gives us joy, sets our hearts aflame is what makes life worth living xoxo

      Like

  7. Great points! It’s so easy to get caught in the rat race…

    I have always tried to “live in the moment” and be thankful for every day and the “small things”. But I have found that nothing has taught me how important that is like when life got really, really tough… It’s sad that I didn’t really appreciate my “normal” until it was gone… But I’ve also learned so much gratefulness, which I truly believe brings happiness…

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

    Like

    • I understand, Andrea, I really do. I’ve hit rock bottom several times. One would’ve thought I’d have learned my lesson the first time around but apparently not. I too only appreciated how things were when they no longer were. It’s with much humility that I am now learning to fully grasp just how blessed I really am. And thankful to still be here to feel grateful 🙂 xoxo

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  8. I do think a daily call for gratitude helps us stay out of the race, at least for a few moments. I try to write three things each day for which I am thankful. In those moments, I escape the race. Good post, though. Also, fabulous shoes!

    Like

  9. Pingback: The Zoe Report’s Box of Style – Spring 2016 | Kathrine Eldridge

  10. At my age I decided that I don’t want to cross the finish line! I love all the venues you shoot at. Thank you so much for linking at #ThursdayFavoriteThings! I look forward to seeing what you share very week. Please come back for #OverTheMoon on Sunday night. Don’t forget to comment your link #’s so I can be sure to visit.

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Marilyn. My thought process was if someone makes the effort to visit your regularly, the least you could do is to surprise her/him with different locations as many times as you possibly can 🙂 keeps the spark alive xoxo

      Like

  11. What a beautiful and thought-provoking post. As always you write so impressively. I do think you make some damn good points. We are all racing towards something or being slaves to something. We must find more time to live life in our own terms.

    Fashion-wise you look superb. I love that you sort of created a suit, here, yet kept it so you: fun, edgy and bold. I love the addition of the pops of rust and snakeskin prints. As usual you are one of the bloggers with the best bags and stilettos. =))

    Happy April my friend!

    Like

    • Very nicely phrased, Ada, we must indeed set aside time to really live the life we want. Not the life that’s left to us at the end of the day, when we’re weary and fatigued 🙂

      Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate them loads and loads xoxo

      Like

  12. You’re right, I often feel like that hamster going on non stop. It’s tough, you feel guilty when you stop and like you are missing out as if the world would stop if you didn’t do this particular thing or even worse the world would move on and forget about you.

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    • Thank you so much, Gemma, it’s the track at my daughter’s old middle school 🙂 a mere stone’s throw away from our home. You have a lovely week ahead too xoxo

      Like

  13. Very well said, Sheela! In a way we are all racing but it’s important to stop and smell the roses every day. Yes, we are all driven and we always want things but I’ve learned that what’s really important is your family and close friends. They cannot be replaced. Yes, I want nice things but at the end the day Im happiest when I’m home with my family and dogs. 🙂
    Anyhow, YOU look gorgeous! Love those heels! You are such fab person, inside and out!
    Happy Monday, love!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    http://www.WhatWouldVWear.com

    Like

    • Yes!! I’m happiest when I’m in my comfy, ratty old clothes. At home. With my husband and my daughter. Just being with them. It’s such a blessing 🙂 you too, Vanessa, I have yet to meet you in person but I feel as though you’re such a warm, genuine person, and I’m so glad to have found oyu on Instagram. Social media does have some good points apparently GRIN xoxo

      Like

  14. Lovely thoughts and pictures. 🙂 We get lost in the comparison game a lot more now that everyone is so inter-connected and tuned in. It’s always healthy to take a step back and really evaluate your own position in the world. Do what you want to do, not what the world dictates as the current “norm” in the race.
    xo
    N
    Style Tomes ||ST on IG

    Like

  15. Thoughtful writing again Sheela. I agree that we’re all under such immense pressure to have, be, eat, wear, buy it all at such a speed that it has little, if any, meaning at all. I’m a big fan of mindfullness to help ground you in the moment. I also practise meditation, yoga and sea swimming all of which give me mental space and clarity. We can step off the wheel, but only once we see we’re on it and decide we’ve had enough. Not easy, I know, but we’re lucky enough to have choices, we just need to make and implement them.
    Anna
    http://www.annasislandstyle.com

    Like

    • We are indeed. Pressure to be as perfect as only perfectly flawed mortals can be. My gym time is my solace. As too boxing. I honestly believe I’d go absolutely mad without those two outlets. I did attempt meditation for a while, and it was quite interesting. I enjoyed it but did not keep up with it after about a fortnight. Ridiculous, I know. I hope to be able to resume soon though. I found some measure of comfort in that as well 🙂 xoxo

      Like

    • Want to know a secret, Erica? The idea for this content came after I took the photos hahaha that’s how posts often work for me. How the photos turn out, that’s the catalyst behind the theme of their corresponding content 🙂 xo

      Like

  16. Mili says

    Thanks for making me take a moment to think about all that. It’s definitely important to enjoy the simple things in life, after all we’ve only got one 🙂

    Mili

    Like

    • And, sadly, many of us only remember that when we’re no longer in a sufficiently healthy physical condition to enjoy life to its very fullest 🙂

      Like

  17. sequinist says

    Super post, Sheela. I’m sure it resonates with anyone in midlife who takes a step back and starts living a more ‘examined’ life and re-prioritises. It is either that, or have a midlife crisis! On a superficial note, you look lovely, accessorised glamorously as ever. xx

    Like

    • Hahaha I personally happen to believe (rather firmly) that a midlife crisis can (and does) occur at any point of one’s life. Truth: I’ve experienced that soul-searching feeling several times already. Once when I turned 30, then again when I turned 40. I’m guessing this could be a once-every-decade sort of situation GRIN xoxo

      Like

    • Thanks so much, Surbhi. I think we all need to take time, intermittently, to review our lives and figure out what’s next 🙂

      Like

  18. The struggle and pressure is real, but yeah like you asked, is this really how its supposed to be? Well like you I don’t think so.We just have to learn to enjoy the moment and appreciate it. With all the bad and misfortune things going on in the world, sometimes I ask myself what we fighting for actually. Oh well, may God guide us.
    On the outfit, you look amazing! I love the fit of the pants and the accessories. 🙂

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

    Like

    • It’s hard to sit back and, for want of a better expression, watch the world zoom by. Or, rather, imagine that the world is just speeding past and we’re left behind. I do think, though, that the irony lies in the fact that no matter how much we try to race and keep up, at the end of the day, we wonder where the hours have gone, we question what we’ve done because it feels as though nothing has been accomplished 🙂 as you rightly say, may God (and our conscience) guide us xoxo

      Like

  19. I admit I only work for money, and as I’m a freelancer money is always scarce, and always on my mind… And work, there’s either way too much of it or not nearly enough, nothing in between. I do enjoy the slow periods, but I also resent the fact that they mean tightening the belt. And when there’s more work available, I really cannot turn it down because that allows me to get through the slow periods, too. It’s a vicious circle, for sure, and another form of the rat race. But it’s my own choosing, and it allows me to be the master of my time better than if I was working 5 days a week all year round. Life is always a compromise, even when it’s not just working to get more of this and that but about simply making the ends meet. I have no doubt I would be happier if I had financial stability (and I could think of so many things I would enjoy doing if I didn’t have to worry about money). Yet, I also do so enjoy not having to go to work on a Monday morning, even if it means that I can only have hobbies that cost nothing.

    Like

    • This is so true about the compromise. I am currently juggling the idea of either working for someone of doing something that allows me to have more time. Still in school and working on laying the ground for being my own boss. The biggest scare is the slow periods you talked about.

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  20. As a freelancer I have the luxury (?) of spending several days a week doing whatever I want. But the downside is, my present is filled with worry about the future. As in, will I be able to pay my bills, will there be enough work next month etc. So, in my experience, you don’t really care what the roses smell like unless you have financial security first…

    Like

    • I completely understand what you’re saying, Tiina, I freelanced for quite a while myself. 13, 14 years, and those were simultaneously the best and the worse years of my life 🙂 the immense freedom to choose when to work, whom to work with, dictating my own hours. The immense fear of feeding my daughter who was 1 at the time as a single parent, maid salary, mortgage, bills, arrghhh. I doubt there was any job which I turned down during that period, to be honest. I couldn’t risk it. I didn’t care about sleeping, I would work like a maniac, and whenever I could rest, I used that time to be with Eve. So my point is, yes it’s vital to stop and smell the roses BUT we all stop and smell the roses at our own pace, at a time when it feels right for us 🙂 xoxo

      Like

  21. I love this analogy and yes it is all very true. Sometimes blogging gets the best of me when I should be resting or taking some me time. That is why some nights a month I take and just go out with a friend or shop/take a walk and not worry about “doing” things or trying to “achieve” things. I think I am going to take tonight to enjoy myself as I have a hair cut appointment but should make it about relaxing and enjoying the moment.
    Rachel xo
    http://www.garaytreasures.com/2-easy-braids-for-girls-socozy/

    Like

    • I too try to take some time for me, but it’s usually Mummy & Eve time, and because she’ll be headed to university next fall, I’m not giving up on that anytime soon 🙂 oooh does your park have those pebbled paths for reflexology, Rachel? Most relaxing thing ever.

      Like

  22. Such an introspective post! I loved it and how it challenged me to change the way I am living my life now. Not to say that I am not happy or consumed by greed, but sometimes it is important to step back and enjoy what you’ve accomplished thus far rather than keep aiming the reach the next level.

    xo,
    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

    Like

    • I’m glad, Abby!! We all need a little nudge ever so often.

      p/s how serendipitous is your blog name in this instance 🙂 xoxo

      Like

  23. happinessatmidlife says

    I always love the idea of 3 day weekend so I have 2 days to play and one day to organize for the week. Somehow it’s not caught on yet 🙂 Hope you are having a great vacation!

    Thank you for being a part of TBT Fashion link up and hope to see you soon!

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

    Like

    • Thanks SO much, Shellie 🙂 I always enjoy reading your posts, there’s such an interesting story behind every outfit and, personally, that’s what makes a blog xoxo

      Like

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