The epilogue to Eat, Pray, Love, if I recall (maybe it was an interview) included author Elizabeth Gilbert admitting that in coming back to her regular daily life, she did loosen her adherence to her hours’ long daily meditation. The demands of everyday life, I believe she wrote, necessitated that she create a new balance that allowed for her present needs and reality.
I take comfort in this idea—not as justification for my own procrastination or avoidance of eaten frogs, but that even “great spiritual masters” (though I’m sure she would never consider herself such!) have to consistently reapportion in and out, effort and rest, play and focus. I take comfort because it means that I can, too.
As you read in Saturday’s blog, the concept of “Time” is foremost in my mind and plans and creation of my days lately. In that blog, I shared Dr. Dan Siegel’s 7 types of time one should account for in one’s day, and that did include play time.
I remember when I was healing from cancer treatment, I questioned (rather unceasingly) whether I was still allowed to watch Ben Stiller movies. (You know, like Zoolander.) Meaning, with everything that had changed and happened, was it “wasting my life” to take 2 hours to watch something that was funny but shallow? What was the value of humor? Of frivolity?
Indeed, that question of allotting time for mental candy plagued me and can still rear its snarky head. But, I’ve come to the other side of it.
My own answer, at least, is YES. Yes, frivolity. Yes, silliness. Yes, “stupidity.” Because it’s FUN.
And truly, what is the purpose, ultimately, of life if we’re not having any fun?
Now. I can go too far, as you’ve seen me lament here, too, spending copious hours clicking next episode or reading the next chapter. And therefore, balance is required among the rest of those 7 time allotments so that I can feel at ease engaging in play because I’ve engaged in work or connection or physicality.
The more I grow, the more I realize that balance in all things (though not necessarily equality) is the essence of contentment, self-esteem, and joy.