I recently realised that we have many things that simplify our work, from calculators to computers, information straight from the internet, advanced communication systems, etc. I work in the finance department, yet I don’t need to wreck my brain adding up all the numbers. I can always use my calculator or computer system to help me work faster.
I remember reading an article that was published a long time ago. The paper looked old and the content sounded like the article was from the 1960s. I guess it was the blog of those days. The article was talking about the computer. The development of computers was starting to gain momentum at that time, and the theme of the story was how time will be saved because of them. The writer seemed to be confident that in the future, people will have much more free time and will be less busy because computers could simplify work dramatically.
Let’s fast forward from then to now, 2018. Do we have plenty of free time? Are we saving so much time that we can have all the relaxation we want? Far from it! We are actually very busy. I don’t really know how busy because there is nothing I can compare it to, but if you ask me if I have plenty of free time, I would reply, ‘Only if I choose to’.
I used to work in a bank. I liked the job and enjoyed it. I enjoyed being busy at work, because I didn’t have any family commitment. I could leave really late, and I didn’t mind not getting overtime pay at all. So, yeah, I chose busyness.
I’m sure there are many situations where people cannot choose to be less busy. But just as modern things/gadgets simplify our work and save time, our lifestyle can be simplified too, in order to achieve the same thing.
I heard about a minimalist community where they live in small houses and don’t own many things. The most common things they say about being minimalist is that they save more money and more time. Money because they spend less when buying, and time because they don’t need to maintain many things or pursue more money.
Do we want to have more free time? Maybe all we have to do is simplify – whether it’s our lifestyle, material needs, activities, choices, etc. And imagine how much saved time we could use on our families and friends instead. They are the ones who make our life more valuable and meaningful, and we are the same to them too.
I was watching a movie on Netflix the other day called Nappily Ever After, based on the book written by Trisha R. Thomas. The movie is based around a woman called Violet and her perfect hair. Ever since she was a child, her hair was everything. It had to be fixed - only then was she perfect - and from there, everything else in her life had to be perfect. Having a successful job in advertising, the perfect boyfriend of two years who is also a doctor and the long straight hair which she has to maintain every minute of every day - Violet was in control of everything in her life. Until one day she isn’t.
Violet first has an accident at the salon when she is given a relaxer instead of conditioner, causing her hair to fall out. Her boyfriend dumps her, telling her that he doesn’t know her because she is always trying to be perfect. She then cuts her hair and tries going blonde. Violet finally loses it one night when she sees her ex-boyfriend having dinner with a nurse, and she goes home to shave all her hair off.
Could you imagine it, though? Waking up one morning, not remembering what you did the night before, only to find out you have shaved your entire head? I would definitely hide out for a bit, which is exactly what Violet did. She tried to hide it as much as she could. She felt like she was no longer perfect. She may not have realised it at the time, but shaving off her hair could have been because of something that had been building up inside of her for a while, until it finally exploded out of her.
Violet then chooses to embrace her lack of hair and actually start living life. She had never realised how much time she actually spent on her hair until she didn’t have to anymore. It was literally like a second job to her, and now she gets a chance to focus on herself and begin to grow.
Watching this movie got me thinking a lot about myself and others around me. How many of us are always trying to be perfect? Whether it’s perfection in our everyday jobs, in our school work or even in how we look. I am the type of person who is always trying to make myself look perfect, and I do focus a lot on my hair.
We don’t need to be perfect though - God has already made us perfect in every way. It even says it in the Bible, in Psalm 139:13-14, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I was given this Bible verse at a youth service one night, and it made me realise how negative I had been towards myself. I know that I am not perfect, but to God I am perfect.