"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
Sometimes I wonder why I complicate my life. My life could be so much simpler. But I think my self-imposed overbooking and overscheduling reflects a certain unrest, a desire for more -- a richer, more fulfilled experience; taking in all that life has to offer.
People do it all the time... whether it's pushing oneself to run 26.2 miles at a marathon, reaching the summit of a mountain, or diving to the depths of the sea. Or on a different level, going back to school.
The concept of "more", I think, is so much a part of being human... which does not necessarily mean a lack of contentment or a desire for more materially. It's about the need for self-actualization, a term coined by Abraham Maslow:
"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization...It refers to man's desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming."
Maslow says there are two processes necessary for self-actualization: self-exploration and action. The action is the harder part.
Which is probably why I love to-do lists. After thinking about what I want, I write everything down, and I love being able to check items on my list, one at a time. It's part of holding myself accountable, using pen and paper as my witnesses.
We're almost halfway into the year, and I'm s-l-o-w-l-y putting check marks on my list:
- display photography at an art show: check
- plant herbs and tomatoes: check
- write and submit a research proposal (in progress)
- travel to a new place this summer
- present at a research conference? (gulp.)
- worry less. (a constant work in progress)