Sunday, April 19, 2009
Too Busy to Live
Some friends of mine and I were talking the other day about the huge teams we used to raise for fundraisers like March of Dimes, the Jimmy Stewart Marathon, etc. Back in the "old days" about 10 years ago or so. We all concluded that life has become so busy that many more people than in the past just don't have time to think about doing a fundraiser walk, turning out for a Special Olympics event, going through their closets to find coats for the "coats for the poor" gathering, etc. And that is really sad.
I still do those things, because I have always valued our nonprofits and the terrific work they do, but it is definitely more difficult these days to work it in. I have reduced the number of boards I'm on simply because if I am on a board, I want to contribute, not just show up for the meetings. But I have to pick and choose more carefully.
I was sitting on my front porch watching the doves eat all my birdseed yesterday and doing nothing else. I wasn't talking on my phone, I wasn't reading or weeding. I was just swinging and watching the birds. I caught myself thinking that I had some time and I could go do this or that. But, no, doing absolutely nothing but enjoying the birds was perfectly OK and I wasn't wasting time.
To say that our culture is driven to achieve is a massive understatment. Most of my colleagues agree that we are out of balance, overtired and overworked - like a washing machine that is trying to spin a big load that is heavy on one side and light on the other. Only WE don't hear a sound. No warning lights or buzzers go off for us unless we pay attention to our own personal stats. In my last post I talked about getting our health screenings. Keeping an eye on trends in our health is how we know we are getting out of balance. High blood pressure and weight gain are just two obvious results of getting out of balance. Insomnia or lack of good quality asleep can actually increase your stress levels and also artificially increase hunger. Risk for high blood pressure goes up as we age. Couple that with a pressure cooker job and lots of responsibilities at home and you really increase your risk.
To stop the washer and redistribute the load means get things back in balance. Many of us need to actively redistribute. We need down time to enjoy our friends, our family, our pets, the beautiful world around us. Leave "busy" to the bees. That's their job, not ours. Breathe............................