In astronomy, there’s a term which refers to a region in relation to a star in which liquid water can be sustained on the surface of a rocky planet: Goldilocks Zone. Astronomers look for Goldilocks planets because life as we know it could possibly be found in such conditions. It’s the state of our own beautiful Earth.
We all know the story of Goldilocks, where the little girl goes to the bears’ house and samples their possessions, to find that there are three of each; one for each member of the family. She finds that one is always exceeding in the quality she desires, one is always lacking, and the Baby Bear’s is “just right”. This “not too much, not too little, just right” idea is the basis of the Goldilocks Principle.
These days, it feels like the most common non-answer we give/receive for the questions of “What’s new?” or “How are things?” is some variation of busy: “Oh, you know. Keeping busy.” “Just busy, man.” Busy with work. Busy with kids. Busy with school. There are things that certainly do take a lot of time, with great long-term rewards, but then we start to over-schedule ourselves. We don’t take time for ourselves, to nourish the soul, and to relax the mind.
Then goes the saying, “An idle mind is a dangerous mind.” We can’t be so passive that we allow our mind to make comparisons, create drama, fall prey to the vices or generally busy itself with rumination. In other cases, we allow it to figuratively become sludge as we mindlessly sit in front of a screen and watch shows/videos that don’t require much thought.
I can’t say that I’ve found the Goldilocks Zone for myself but I’ve taken steps and, by grace, am on the path. I was in a position of having too much on my plate and have learned to turn down projects that will spread me too thin again. I’ve had to upset some dear friends when I told them each that I couldn’t continue with ongoing commitments. As a family, we’re removing a lot of things from our home that are taking up our time but don’t give us much benefit. The individual and collective cutting out and toning of things that make us too busy or stagnant has been for all our betterment. As the process continues, I know it will only serve us better.
Image Credit: NASA