Sunday, March 15, 2009

Blinding-speed lifestyles everywhere

In this crazy rocket-speed world, does anyone have any time to process anything, or to slow down and really listen to each other, let alone our creator? No-- we either have spread ourselves too thin, or compartmentalize everything into skinny little time slots and then we wonder why we are miserable and cranky?
I'm finding that I have been a speed and adrenaline junkie in so many ways... and have thought it's normal, but my health suffered for it.
Most of the time I have completely disregarded my health and needs... Is this what God has called me to-- a crazy life, where I've acted like I have no limitations? A lot of that was put on me by my family upbringing and re-enforced by the system of "the way things are"... But isn't it just everywhere?!
Isn't most everyone spread in a gazillion directions, trying to make a buck or trying to please and fit in? I see it everywhere; I was part of the latter.
How do we not spread ourselves too thin? How do we really devote time and attention to what's really important, like our children for one? That has become my prime priority in a more serious way as of late. Though it always was a priority, I still tried to do too much other stuff, and ended up just getting too cranky...
I think freedom from this begins by unplugging from the mindset that this high-speed, spread in a million directions, running around like crazy life-style is the way it has to be. Sometimes it must be, I suppose, but NOT most of the time! It makes us all nuts and caffeine junkies. Don't get me wrong, I have no qualms with coffee. I love it. But my body doesn't tolerate it so great and I literally will get caffeine hangovers! They stink. I definitely can't drink it everyday. It's something with my chemistry... So I can only have it in small portions, here and there...
My problem has always been with seldom feeling like I fit in anywhere and striving for that, sometimes blindly and relentlessly. Lately I've become more okay with that. Aren't we strangers and pilgrims here, anyway?
When we live knowing we are loved, and religious fear and obligations fade, we begin to more confidently live as strangers to this world, with no apologies for it.
We are calmer and less cranky (binding hormonal issues...) and we can really process and connect in meaningful ways.


lionwoman said...

Manuela, this is a great post. I know what you mean. I've read some good books on dealing with the high-speed-overload syndrome. I'm currently reading "Introvert Power" by Laurie Helgoe (sp?). You might enjoy it too. Society including organized church feeds our fears that we'll miss out on something vital if we don't keep up the pace. It's a process to get out of this mindset.

Manuela said...

hi and thanks lw! and for sharing the book ref :) Yeah, it is indeed a mindset-change process.

Sue said...

Well, strangers and pilgrims to the world in the terms of the way it operates. Not so much to the earth, which will be made new.

Sorry, that's just an aside, LOL. I keep coming across these references to being sojourners and strangers and stuff. I must go back and reread their context in the bible so I don't get hot under the collar about it all :) Don't mind me - I'll get onto what your topic was now ;)

I'll add another good book to lionwoman's sugestion and that's In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore.

I often wonder what my life would have looked like if I hadn't had CFS for so long. I feel so forever changed, and almost continually out of the loop when it comes to frenetic lifestyles. That whole "I'm really busy so I must be really important" is creepy ... and yet it affects and infects me too. Even though I don't want a part of it, in a way I envy people who do, because it's true, it's like a junkie's fix living that way, getting off on bouncing from one thing to another. I just can't do it anymore, that's all.

Manuela said...

I'm totally with you about the strangers and pilgrims to the way the world operates part and, like you said, not to the earth. good clarification by the way!

Anyway...I can't do the blinding speed thing anymore either... I haven't been able to for a while. When I do, I crash. I don't know if it's CFS or burnout symptoms but it's just as well cause, yeah, it is a bit creepy how people can get.

Kel said...

gives a whole new meaning to "addicted to speed"!

we've made some major changes in our life and lifestyle over the past five years in the hope of living life in the slow[er] lane

it's hard
so much identity is derived from all the things we do, not the things we be :)

Manuela said...

Hello Kel, don't think I've met ya before, but I believe you are a friend of Sue's...
anyway, nice to have you and glad you have made significant strides into a slower life :)

Erin said...

I've been meaning to comment on this...

I love what Kel said about identity being derived from the things we do, not the things we be. Amen.

I was a churchaholic. I was there every day of the week for a service, a meeting, a bible study, a class or a group. (Yes, all those things are different!) I was there almost every day for years. My kids suffered...the church was big and offered free childcare to people involved in ministry, so it was easy to be involved. I thought, well they are at church so it's good for them. And that doesn't count the evening activities when they stayed home with Dad. It wasn't until all the church stuff fell apart that I looked back and realized how busy I was. It was absolutely insane and ridiculous when I looked back through healthier eyes.

I'm not saying everyone who is busy with church is insane. I know many people who are not. But for me, with my boys being ages 1-5 and 4-9 during that time, I know they suffered for my needing to be important, accepted and therefore BUSY.

I love life now. There is so much less stress and much more relaxation, and it was all due to church.

SEM said...

Hey Manuela!
I like this post. I feel like that all the time...there are times when I just feel like I don't fit in and everyone appreciates people who are always working...and deep inside I feel like, "but shouldn't I be spending more time just being with God? Or worshiping him or just not being so uptight?" I can't do the coffee thing anymore either...even without it I have insomnia(hence the post at 3AM)
Oh my B-day is May 22. I am going to be 29...eeek!!

Manuela said...

Hey Sarah :) You are gonna be 29?! You are still such a spring chicken, try 35 over here!
I feel for you cause I KNOW the workaholic mentality of the east. It's much worse than even here in the midwest.
I also really struggle with insomnia- not fun at all. It catches up to you after a while. Sleep deprivation is awful. I'm trying to get some resources and help for it. Sometimes i wonder if it's the depression that I struggle with that causes the insomnia, or the other way around. Bottom line is that I have very poor sleep habits, what they call "dirty" sleep habits. I need to practice better "sleep hygiene" (... I'm currently reading about it :). "Sleep hygiene" sounds so sterile and boring though). It is gonna take an act of God for me to change my ways. But he's powerful enough... isn't he?!

Valorosa said...

Amen :-)