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Hurry, Hurry, Hurry

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Photo Credit:  gmonster25

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry

Last Memorial Day weekend my husband picked me up at the airport after a great visit with extended family. Once we cleared the airport we decided to settle in and talk about the trip. We were both tired beyond measure and catching up on all the family news when there in our rear view mirror was the ever dreaded traffic cop light going off to tell us pull over. As the officer approached the truck he said, “you realize what weekend it is?” and of course my husband made our excuses and ponied up his license and registration for a 11 mile over the speed limit ticket.

Since then we have been trying to go the speed limit. And you know it is not that easy! No one goes the speed limit anymore. And we can be going down the road and there on your tail as if out of nowhere is one lone car right about a foot from our back bumper. No other cars in sight just this one lone car hugging the back bumper. And, why didn’t the person pass? And in the history of tailgating did it ever make someone speed up? And where the heck is everyone going like there is no tomorrow? And is this in fact an alien that just dropped down from space to hover closely behind you? As I was relating this to a friend of mine a young woman entered the room only to hear us discussing traffic and right away she says, “Man, people drive so slow!” We both looked at each other as I said “oops, that’s me!” as this young woman was coming to work and still trying to orient it was important to get slow drivers out of the way.

So I was musing about how each person sees driving from their point of view. We sit inside this window covered module thinking we are alone in the universe with our thoughts and cares of the day as we cruise down the road either kids in the back, troubles on our mind or radio blasting away. Many people are not leaving themselves time to get from point A to point B, thereby in a major preoccupied rush. Since I have been going the speed limit I have been passed (with various hand gestures that are not of a friendly nature, need I say more? ), I have been tailgated so many times I have lost count. Not once since May has the driver behind me slowed down to stay with the flow of traffic. This is a very interesting observation Which, I might add has led me to another thought about the rush we are in.

When did everything become in a hurry, hurry, hurry mode. I do it, you do it, heck we all do it! No use trying to point fingers about that right? Leading me to my last thought about it. How does the law protect me from those who push me to speed? The officer pulled us over and yes, it is true we were speeding according to the sign posted. However, why doesn’t the law protect people who try to be law abiding drivers from the peer pressure drivers? Well it has certainly been food for thought for me about driving. Bottom line is I can’t drive the speed limit. The other drivers around me will not allow it! Okay enough, enough of that high horse today I say! Driving is serious business. It is such a huge part in our daily lives. But this was an interesting concept. Paradigm shift on an old concern and so it will be here till we are all riding bicycles. Hey! Move over Lance Armstrong this“tour de urban” biker has arrived! Where’s my yellow jersey when I need it!

Time Bandits

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Time Bandits, we all have them lurking around. They are those bandits who try to take up what little free time we have and rob it from us. This month I am on the warpath against time bandits. I want to find out what mine are and how to guard my minutes of each and every day so that I can buy back some of that time for me. And today was my first day of having some time to me. I actually got to read, garden and do some puttering on a puzzle. But as a person who goes to school, works part time, also does volunteer work part time, deals with chronic pain and runs a house I am asking myself, what is the most effective way to get those time bandits at bay.

First I sat down and looked at my week. I have exactly 168 hours in my week. Everyone does, I spend a good deal of that sleeping because as a person with chronic pain I need my rest! Then there are the “unexpected” time bandits. Those chaotic moments when something or someone pulls on my energy and I found that how I react to chaotic moments tells a lot about owning my minutes. Reaction to use of time is crucial to how we use our time. Negative energy can have an effect on my health issues so I have to be careful with negativism around me.

Here is a tidbit to think about. What if, just what if, the culture we are living in is creating the hype that busy and having no time is our reality? Well, let me explain. If I need to get my energy up I turn on my favorite news channel in the morning, CNN to get me pumping. I was really listening to how my body was getting agitated when listening to verbs like “breaking” news or “pandemic” as a possibility from people who self professedly are loaded up on energy drinks. I tried an energy drink and let me tell ya it was no time at all my daughter ripped that sucker out of my hand because I started talking a mile a minute. No way could I finish one! I would have been so high there would be urgently happening things all over the place in that state of being. But! You may say I am so tired and busy and there is so much going on my in my life I need a pick me up.

Well that is where I decided to take a good hard look at all the stuff “going on in my life” and you know what! Oh my gawd! Most of it is self imposed. No one says I have to volunteer, no one says I have to say “yes” to everyone else. But we learn from our culture that we should, that altruism is the quality of a good person. It wasn’t until I started having chronic pain that I realized how valuable my minutes are. I don’t get a lot time in a day where my energy is high enough to relax.

But you may say I need a break! A real break from it all, an island with a large pitcher of Mojitos and some sun. No kids, no job, no nothing!! I agree we all need down time but what I am seeing is most of us just need to change the kind of activity that puts us in a flow. That is our creative place where work is not an ugly four letter word and when we finish a job well done to be satisfied with. THAT, my friends is what I am talking about! Only in America can we run so fast and do nothing.

About six years ago I was living in Belgium. When I first got there I went into major culture shock because I had “time”. Time to relax and I crashed. I simply freaked out because the quiet was too much I was so used to over stimulation my mind went into overtime. Most of the stores closed on Sundays so there was no running like a mad man on my Sunday. I saw people take walks. Strolls with families or friends to be exact on Sunday, no kidding and I lived in Brussels. That is a huge busy city! I found I had a hard time just sitting, reading or taking my time simply grocery shopping. I was missing the urgency of America’s busy, busy, go, go with the cell perpetually on your ear and the computer going all the time with CNN (or your favorite show) continually streaming out the world’s problems. No wonder my body is responding so drastically. And so here I am, six years later spinning back out of control. And I want my time back!!!

So I am starting with my hours in a day. Deciding when to say no and dear readers this is a tricky one because usually when a person asks, “will you do this or that” there is an implied expected yes from you. How shocking when I started saying no, that doesn’t work for me. Oh sure you will have to put up with the temporary judgment and confusion but just because we can do something for others doesn’t mean we have to! So the next time you feel overwhelmed think about what you have to do and what you are doing and how the environment is pushing in on you and just ask yourself, how will I want to spend my 168 hours this week. I am and it is refreshing!