Sunday, June 6, 2010

Have to Haves

The world has to keep turning. Our planet has to have a sun for life to exist. The human brain has to have oxygen. People have to have access to clean drinking water. Babies have to be fed. We all need to love and be loved.

A film shoot for a TV ad does not have to lock off a busy double carriageway during rush hour traffic in order to put a camera crew in the middle of the road.

It is so easy in our hectic, over-stimulated modern lives to get our priorities mixed up. And it is exceptionally difficult to maintain balance and stay focussed when you work in an industry as surreal and self-obsessed as advertising.

For a while now I've been attempting to de-clutter my life, and I'm discovering that it has more to do with a state of mind than material possessions. To gain true happiness in life we need to return to basics. We need to get our priorities straight.

Yes, earning an income is important for survival in the urban jungle. But for our sanity, and the health of our souls, we need to put that income and how we earn it in it's rightful place. If you work as a nurse or a paramedic, a fireman or a police officer, or even a teacher, then what you do to earn that income might possibly take precedence over common sense, consideration of others, and over your loved ones. Might.

For me, I'm slowly learning to put my priorities back where they belong. Front and centre on my family and friends, and on my own soul's health. And so I'm compiling a list of the true 'have to haves' in life. Those things that we need to stay focussed on and put ahead of every other consideration.

What do you consider a 'have to have'? Do you feel your priorities are well balanced, or influenced by the demands others place on you? I'd love to know what you think - please share your thoughts in the comments section below.


  1. We have to have the ability to laugh .... At ourselves especially... Or
    we'll cry ourselves into insanity.

    Great post , Romy!

  2. Hi Romy, wonder about this all the time - usually when I don't have enough hours in the day!
    However, will talk to you at the conference in a month's time. So excited - just filled out my choices for the workshops and have a meeting with one of the M & B editors. How excited am I? When do you arrive? I think I won't get there until around 2pm.

  3. Romy, I'll jump in, I'm feeling a little nostalgic tonight and this kind of reflection suites my mood to a T.

    What does one truly need beside the basics of food, water and a roof over our heads?

    Love, certainly. Nothing has much meaning without love, be that your child, your family, your husband, your dog, a close friend... everyone needs someone.

    An interest to motivate and inspire. For me, this would be books, reading and writing. It might be gardening, it might be people watching, walks in nature... anything that brings joy into the day.

    For me, myself and I, that is all I need. I'd be happy earning little to no money and living in a tiny cottage with the bare neccesities. What drives me to wanting more are my kids. I want to give them opportunities, the best schools, activities, a vibrant community to live in. I want them to travel, experience the world and have the best of it... this is why I keep my day job :)

  4. Aaah the old hierarchy of needs! Yes remember these discussions well from my study days. The older you get, the more you realise that fulfilling the soul is the ultimate need that we all have. And for every one of us it's something different that will do that.

    All I can recommend is to try to find a balance in your life which leaves all areas covered as well as the time you need to devote to feeding your soul! :-) Easier said than done I know.

    For now, all I really need is chocolate!

  5. A very wise and thought provoking post, Romy.