The messages are everywhere…most of them maybe not as blatant as the insert photo, but they are constant and omnipresent nonetheless.
Our culture is one that loves progress, adores consumption, and abhors frugality.
To intentionally plan on spending less, or to suggest an un-planned moment is foreign to the modern mentality. Every moment is double-booked, most every transaction is married to multiple distractions, and many of our commitments are competing with expected failures to guarantee a profit. The buffet expects you to binge, but knows that you’ll fill up on the cheap carbs. The airlines know there are more butts in line at the security gate than seats on the plane, but they expect your connecting flights to fail and there’s also a good chance you won’t make it there on time, so they oversell all the time!
A fast food “meal” is a combination of often three menu items that has enough calories to supply over an entire days’ demand for energy. They up-sell you to a bigger bag of vittles, because they want to train you to buy more…because they sell fried pies too. They aren’t evil per-se…they just don’t care if you get fat and die, because there’s someone else in line behind you.
You feel pressed to stay connected all weekend long, and reply to your boss’s texts, emails, and calls when you’re nearly anywhere except the shower. Stress is no longer something that saves your life from a sudden threat…it’s that constant sound resonating, while you drive the vehicle of your life with the parking brake slightly pinching the calipers. All day and all night. Your colleagues and managers are all stressed out, maxed out, and worn out too. They are (secretly) just as sacred they’ll fail as you are, so they won’t dare suggest you take a break. They know you need a day off, but 99% of them won’t tell you.
Here’s a prediction: you probably need some silence…and solitude…and slow-ness…
Take a moment for yourself. Unplug occasionally. Take a walk.
I know. I know.
Your dragons will be there when you wake up, so I do not mean to imply they won’t. You’ll still weigh x pounds, and your mountain of overdue bills will still be there. Your cholesterol levels will still be high. Your inbox will be full. There’s really only one thing that will change, and it’s you.
You’ll be (slightly) better able to face those giants, and eventually if you continue to take a break occasionally — you’ll win. Eventually!
Here’s a great book to fully indoctrinate you in this mentality, if a short blog post hasn’t convinced you: When Work and Family Collide: Keeping Your Job from Cheating Your Family