I woke up last January first with the word “fulfilled” in mind, but couldn’t remember the message, if there was one. So it sat there, on the back burner.

Now, with summer holidays over and we return to work and school, and I listen to accounts of summer weeks filled to the brim with activities and outings and trips, the meaning of fulfilled comes to mind again.

I think a lot of us confuse fulfilled with plain old filled. Filling your schedule, filling your days, filling your time is not fulfillment. Busy is not fulfilled. Busy is keeping yourself occupied.

If quantity trumps quality, if your motto is something like “As long as I keep moving I’ll be OK”, if sitting still makes you twitch, perhaps this is you. And then there’s the need to share it; telling everyone everything you’re doing. There’s a validation component here that’s important. Where does the need to validate comes from? Doubt. The suspicion that running flat out all the time isn’t how it was meant to be.

Perpetual movement belies questing. And a quest is a search. No sooner is one thing done the next must be started. The search continues. Satisfaction is short-lived. Eventually it disappears.

Life shouldn’t be a constant uphill climb. It should have plateaus. You reach one, stand there, look at how far you’ve come, feel proud, maybe have a nap and then clamber onto the next one.