You thrive on Love but what does Love thrive on?

You need love. You deserve love. You thrive on love.

But what does love need, deserve and thrive on?

I think one of the key ingredients is respite.

But in Hong Kong, the lifestyle is such that you rarely get anything resembling respite.

First, Hong Kong has the longest workdays. HKers on average spend 50.11 hours at their workplace per week (which means all that time you spend traveling, on late-night conference calls and replying to emails at breakfast, lunch, and dinner haven’t been taken into account). That’s almost 40% longer than the global average, 50% longer than London, and 62% longer than Paris.

Then there is the intensity. An hour in Hong Kong is not equal to an hour in Brussels or Dubai. In Hong Kong, people are working to capacity and dealing with high levels of stress all the time. (Note: I don’t actually have proof of that but came to this conclusion from my own experiences and observations; let me know if you do not agree.)

Lastly, there’s no frickin downtime in Hong Kong. People’s schedules are packed to the max – gym, running, hiking, traveling, organizing & hosting events, boozy brunches, happy hours, etc. Every moment of your day has a purpose and even at your hungover worst, you still get out — it’s really an amazing phenomenon.

In early childhood education, there’s this concept of free play. Kids need to have free, unstructured time to play without purpose, goals or curriculum for them to do their best at school and to make sense of the world.

So, I’m wondering….is free play missing for HKers? Obviously, you know how to socialize and the world makes perfect sense to you but perhaps some unstructured time to do nothing – by yourself or with a friend – with no goal or purpose in mind (and no alcohol) could be helpful.

Put the phone down, shut off the TV, close your book and just hang with no intentions. I’m not even talking about meditating. Just chill, get a little bit bored, empty your head to give it some respite and slow life down a tad.

At first you’ll think it’s stupid and then you’ll think about something mundane, such as dinner plans or a work deadline, but soon will come reflection and daydreaming. Let your mind wander where it will. It can help you better understand what you want & don’t want in life — and love — and assess what’s negotiable and non-negotiable. Maybe the dealbreakers are’t dealbreakers or maybe you never though concretely (or critically) of what you want in your life partner. This is a good time to sketch it out in your mind.

What do you think? Can emptying your head for a moment help fill your heart? It can’t hurt to try.

xo Ariadna

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