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Is that all there is?

Is that all there is?

Do you ever get tired of walking in the treadmill? Running around like mad, getting stuff done, gathering up all of your strength just to be able to sweep yet another action off your to do list? Moving from day to day going through the motions, your shoulders tense, your stomach cringed, chasing after a sense of peace and satisfaction that somehow always seems to elude you, wearily falling down on the couch at night, exhausted yet nowhere closer to achieving what you really wish for?

The moment we sit down, the question hits us: is this really what life is all about? Underneath the mental and physical exhaustion an emotion pops up its head: a nagging feeling of discomfort that causes us to feel slight sickness in our stomach. As long as we keep running we may be tired, but at least we don’t need to feel that particular queasiness. What’s worse is that guilt is soon added to it as we tell ourselves we shouldn’t be feeling so dissatisfied with our lives; after all we’re lucky to have a job and a roof over our heads, or a loving partner, healthy children and enough money in the bank to pay our daily expenses. As most of us put up with these feelings of unease, our bodies finally give way as just when we have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our labour – during that holiday, weekend or day off – we fall ill.

There’s a beautiful song by Peggy Lee about this eery phenomenon of being unfulfilled: “Is that all there is? If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing. Let’s break out the booze and have a ball.”

And that’s exactly what we find ourselves doing. Every once in a while, we are witness to the clouds opening up and we sit bathing in that miraculous sunlight – manna from heaven -, we distract ourselves by planning an adventurous holiday trip, or carnival comes and we drive the feeling of loneliness and lack of purpose deep down into our underbellies by filling ourselves with merriment. Yet it always comes lurking back in from the shadows at unguarded moments.

What would you need to put in place in your life to increase your sense of satisfaction? If you could do anything and you were financially provided for fully for the next five years, what would you choose to do with your time, energy and money?


Written by Mieke Beurskens


Charles Ruiters