Why we shouldn’t say ‘back to reality’

Posted on January 3, 2012


This week we return to the workplace after the holidays, but “back to reality” is something we shouldn’t say.

Because to say that is to submit to the worldview that work comprises our entire reality, when in fact work is but a part of it. Are vacations – the time we spend with our family and friends – any less real than the time we spend in the office? Yes, vacations are temporary – but who ever said that work isn’t? Everything in life wears away. (Watch related music video: Gary Granada’s “Hangganan.”)

How we wish vacations like this would last forever – mirroring our desire to live and be happy for eternity. This is a state that we cannot enjoy, unfortunately, as long as we remain in this world.

Life on earth is not our final destination. We are all pilgrims on a journey, and as long as we are, we are bound for a series of hellos and goodbyes. The key to a happy life, therefore, is not to fixate on anything. It is to pass by each moment, relish the experience, then take another look, say thanks, and move on to the next.

The right attitude this week is not “back to reality,” but “life goes on.”

(I originally wrote this piece on January 3, 2010, the Sunday before returning to work after the holidays that year.)