Life choices

Candle in the wind

My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night; but ah, my foes, and oh, my friends – it gives a lovely light!  Edna St Vincent Mill

It has been a busy week.  I had a lot of appointments, both coaching and massage clients.  I love my work, having interesting conversations and listening to different views is extremely energizing for me.  Next to work, I had to sort out the kids.  The cub scouts started again and so did the soccer season.  Of course, there is also the pick-ups, play dates, food shopping and getting homework done.  At one point, when I sat down at school to wait for the kids to come out, I had a great difficulty in keeping my eyes open.  All of a sudden my body was telling me to STOP!  Slow down!

I could feel my shoulder feeling quite stiff, a little sore throat creeping up and a great desire for a nap.  At that moment, I could hear my mother’s voice saying to me: ‘your candle is burning on both ends.’  It is true; we all need to have a break in the midst of these things.  We as over-worked parents, definitely do.  Wearing these entirely different hats during the day along with completing all the necessary commitments, take a lot of energy out of us.  Especially, when we are in our organizing mood.  We begin to organize every one and everything around us, so that it all goes according our own plans and schedules.  It is intimidating to get caught in the middle of this.

So I took my organizer out and looked at all the things on my to-do list.  Then gave a serious thought to all the appointments I had made for the coming week.  It was only then I realized that I am in serious need of some tracking time for my candle. This is easily done, I only need about 5 to 10 minutes, together with a cup of coffee and some light music. The CBC (Candle Burning Check) takes only a moment each day and I can have some precious time with myself.  Time, to make sure that it is only burning on one end, so that it can keep burning for long.

So when are you planning your CBC today?


© Renee Vos de Wael 2011


  • Tom Evans

    What a lovely metaphor … on reflection, I think I like my candle burning all the time but from the middle. It sits around my heart and it has an unlimited supply of fuel of Universal Love so it never runs out … or burns me out.

    The key as in all these things is the breath … and once your heart ray shines, it radiates throughout the Universe to all points. If this sounds a bit like the mysterious force we call gravity, it is no coincidence as they are one and the same thing.

    Try this out to see what I mean – http://www.tomevans.co/downloads/free-stuff/heart-ray-activation/

  • Janne Henn

    Really good advice, Renee. Am very careful not to overcommit these days, but do remember a time when…well, being a working mum is not easy. We all need to check that candle every now and then.

  • Udo Stadtsbuchler

    This happened to me quite a few years ago. I was studying toward my PhD, running my practice, and got myself involved in organizing a high powered conference on Work Life Balance – ironically, as it turned out. I gave an enormous amount of my time to this project. Together with my study program and my practice, my organizer was full every day. Not only was it full with my notes, but I had to put stickers in. A few months later the regional council who initiated the whole thing fell out with the main sponsor and the conference was canceled. I had lost a considerable amount of money, because I paid a large amount of the initial cost out of my pocket. The stress that was caused from burning my candle not only from both ends, but also from the middle resulted in kidney cancer. During my illness my business suffered, and to achieve my PhD was no longer near the top of my list of priorities.
    Since then I have become wiser, much wiser. You said it right, Renee; it is actually very easy. It takes good time management as well as the insight that I want to stay healthy and I want to carry on living, because I am the most important person on earth. No, no, I am not bigheaded. Think about it; my wife needs me as a person as well as an income earner. The rest of my family and my friends would be sad and miss me – that’s what I think anyway. My clients would have a hard time changing from my method to someone else’s. Last but not least, I love my life.
    No longer are there stickers in my organizer, and I am very happy to say no when I feel like it. I exercise my body one hour every day, and take a walk for 30 minutes. I go into trance and deep relaxation twice a day. I have given up on the PhD, and have no regrets about it.
    I have fun and I am happy, and I enjoy my life with my wife more than ever before.

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