It's fine, it's all fine, living how you want to live your life. Raising a family is fine. Working a 9 to 5 is fine. Paying rent or mortgage, driving a nice car, eating sushi when you want... it's all fine. Nothing wrong with any of them. Unless these things block your view of reality.
My experience has been this: the more of "this world" I experience, the easier it is to get "caught up" in all the great, delicious things it can provide. I mean, are you kidding me? Are there not a million cool things that technology has given us? I don't know about you, but I am a curious soul. I would like to experience not only depth, but breadth. Give it all to me, if only for five minutes, before moving on to the next cool thing.
But that's the rub.
Again, I have to go by my experience and assume that you might have experienced the same. When I do get caught up, I forget the things that are the the most important. I have years and years of my life that I can't remember well because I was too distracted in each moment that made up those years to make note of them in the instance they occurred. In the end, if we're not careful of each moment, we come to the end of the unique opportunity that is Our Life and breadth is all we have, and no depth. We are a shallow lake; beautiful to look at to be certain, but unable to sustain life like a deep lake, more susceptible to the winds and sun - the exterior forces that can change our being, can affect our lives.
Take politics, for instance. We can see the rise of a politician that is alarming to us. Our emotions take over and fear in one of her many forms becomes our companion. And we may be right in our assumptions about what might happen if this person were elected. We can use up our time to read up on all the ways that make us "right", and we may spend time convincing others that we are right. We may do this enough to stop this person from being elected, or we may fail. Either way... this earth continues to spin, and your clock continues to tick. What has happened when you were "away"? In the end, was the activity and, more importantly the way you approached it, worth your life?
The screens we have at our fingertips: how many heartbeats are wasted in this width when with a few moments gazing, sauntering or simply paying attention to our breath might give us not only depth in the moment, but the ability to achieve depth as we move about our lives - raising our kids, working our 9 to 5, eating that sushi, or even working within the political system?
It's not the activity, it's the way we approach it that prevents us from fully experiencing life; our one and only in this time and space, life. We only have so much time to give to the concerns this world presents. My work here on myself is to practice being "inside" each moment, no matter what is going on "out there". It means I have to limit what I take in. And it means I have to practice being present in very controlled moments by practicing meditation and prayer so I can be more present during the day. And often it means I must physically take myself away from things and people that distract me from depth, that thrive on drama, that need to be validated in some way. It's not cruel, it's self care. I can engage those things and people on my own schedule. If I do so, I can be of assistance or can fully enjoy them. But I have to choose. I have to drive that boat, not them.
I've addressed a lot of things here; probably too much for one post. But it is what's on my mind and it is honest.
On to the day. What will I choose? A perspective of peace no matter what the winds and sun are doing, or will I be blown about, rising up in great waves at the beck and call of forces beyond my deepest interests?