Life is meant to be lived, not to be convenient

Mai Hoang

Life is not convenient.

But somehow I try to make it that way. I have kitchen appliances that promise to make cooking preparation easier. I write e-mail that makes it easier to correspond (too easily, sometimes) with my bosses, co-workers, family and friends. I microwave dinners so I can eat at my desk at work.

Convenience comes at a high price too. It seems everyone, including myself, spends more time on mindless things than on the things that really matter. Sure e-mail is convenient and easy to use, but then I always want to know if I have e-mail and am constantly checking to see if I have any. It’s time taken away from the things I value, such as spending time with my family or friends or investing in my hobbies and interests.

Convenience does not make it easier to live life. If anything, it makes it more difficult. Convenience only exists to make it easier to busy ourselves with our packed schedules.

Many other countries have it figured out. You’ll find that they’re not rushing around trying to be convenient. They spend their precious time cooking meals. Families eat and socialize with each other for hours. Businesses close for several hours in the afternoon so people can take naps.

Perhaps that seems like a dream to us. It does to me. When in the world am I going to have time to take a nap? I barely can fit in time to eat.

We live in a society that prides itself on being overworked and busy. We “complain” that we don’t like working around the clock, but when you get right down to it, we will work all night. We complain that we have too much to do, but then we don’t stop ourselves from saying yes to leading that social committee, to join a club or to work on extra projects at work.

Think about it. Yes, there are some things you have to do. But do you have to do seven different clubs? Do you have to hold an office in an organization that you’re part of? Believe it or not, there are things you can probably drop from your life.

I often say to myself, I’ll do something when life makes it convenient for me to do it. But we should not live life on convenience. It’s not easy to do those things, but if you desire to do them, make the time. Don’t wait until it’s going to be easy, because really with the lives we live, when is it ever going to be convenient?

Probably for some of you, never.

Last year, I started running. Before, I never felt I had the time to exercise. But after a while, I just stopped looking at my calendar and just made the decision to run everyday. It was hard some days to fit it in, but I just ran and stopped worrying about life’s pressures. It was worth it; I felt a lot more energized after I was finished.

Let’s face it, you’re never going to get everything done. So just let your heart and not your Franklin Covey day planner control your life and do what you want.

Walk slower. Take that mid-afternoon nap. Spend an hour cooking the best meal. Write a novel. Do the things you’ve been wanting to do.

It may not be convenient, but trust me, you’ll be living life the way it’s supposed to be lived.

Mai Hoang is a senior news/editorial and religious studies major from Louisville.

This commentary does not reflect the views of the Herald, Western or its administration.