Monday, January 31, 2011
Have you got busy-ness disease?
I am not convinced that in all cases the stress is real and that many of us create our own busy-ness so that we can compete in the ‘Stress Stakes’. If you are foolish enough to be caught up in the competition to see who lives the most hectic life - beware - the prize is an early heart attack, stroke, premature death or worse still, an old age full of regrets awaits. Quite a sobering thought - if you give yourself time to think - that is!
Sadly we seem to be forming a society that values its members not for their personal values such as honesty, kindness and loyalty, but one which values others for the speed at which we dash from activity to activity wearing a stressed and harried look like a medal of honour. If you risk telling others that you are well and happy then they assume that you have no work and you become an object of pity!
Last year I decided that I would manage my energy, say no when I was asked to do something with an impossible deadline or something that involved over committing myself, and that I would live my life more deliberately.
I confess that I have spent a morning or two in my pyjamas and that I have turned down social engagements that were more about duty than they were about adding value to me or my life. I haven’t lost any friends or business income and I am feeling energetic and optimistic. Taking responsibility for your health and well being is a powerful feeling and managing your activities and your commitments is at the centre of it.
The same applies to our children – if we are going to encourage activity from the moment they open their eyes to the moment they go to bed. If they are over scheduled with extra curriculum interests and if you – their role models – are seeking approval through your stress levels – what are the chances that they will?
SLOW ME DOWN, LORD
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace.
Give me, amidst the day's confusion, the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing music of singing streams
that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking "minute vacations"...slowing down to look at a flower,
to chat with a friend, to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me of the fable of the hare and the tortoise; that the race is not always to the swift;
that there is more to life than measuring its speed.
Let me look up at the branches of the towering oak and know that it grew slowly and well.
Inspire me to send my own roots down deep into the soil of life's endearing values
..that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
Slow me down, Lord. ~~Wilferd Arlan Peterson~~