Finding The Balance

by Kelly-Robyn Singh

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”- John F Kennedy. I would like to share this quote with you and ask you to ponder it with me for a moment, relate it to your own personal experiences and reflections. Change is an inevitable part of life and without it we would never truly appreciate the memories that we have made or the lessons we have learnt as a result of it, think about it-those memories you had made in your old house or with your old friends surely would not be as special as it is if you were still in that situation? You need to be on the outside looking in to truly appreciate a thing sometimes.

This quote also highlights a solemn truth that if we get too stuck in the past or the present, that we are not able to identify and plan for changes which may arise in the future, much less enjoy it. Okay so what is the solution? – the unspoken words of the quote may point to planning for the future and placing less importance on the past and present but in my opinion, this is just as bad. If we’re constantly living for the future we forget about the present, in fact the future becomes our present and we never truly appreciate all the opportunities which stem from the foundation we have built based on the sacrifices made in the past and present.

Personally, I find myself neglecting my present in sacrifice for my future. I find myself anxious that I am not doing enough for my future when I have even a little sliver of free time, as a result I fill my days (and nights) up with endeavours which I think are going to contribute to a better future – but at the cost of my present wellbeing. I now recognize that such habits, while they may seem like a good idea at the time, are an unsustainable way of life. For example, I have only recently grasped the fact that I have an amazing opportunity in front of me; to be an honours student in a competitive course in one of our countries most beautiful cities, at a leading university. I have been trying to use every moment I have doing things that will supposedly help me accomplish my future goals, only to arrive at the future and not have the time to really sit back and appreciate the rewards of such hard work and even recognize that I have achieved such a significant goal of mine. This year has been challenging, as a student trying to find my feet as a new post-graduate – it has been difficult to manage the deadlines and new style of studying, a daughter 14 hours away from my home and in a new city and a small business owner trying to navigate the waters of an unprecedented pandemic. Change is difficult but it is necessary, and we must be able to remind ourselves of that.

In conclusion, I guess what I am trying to say is, we must be able to slow down and take the time to celebrate our victories, really welcome and embrace the changes that come with it and the subsequent experiences they bring to us. We must learn to register when we are taking our hard work and opportunities for granted, differentiate toxic habits from productive ones and essentially find a sustainable balance between how we manage our time, energy, and our thoughts. It may not be easy for some of us (I sure am struggling with it) but it is a necessary challenge which many of us do not take the time to stop and consider. We must find a balance which enables us to appreciate the past, experience the present and effectively pave the way for a successful future.  

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