I’m having a good heart-to-heart with myself on this my day off. I share this generally in the hopes that something similar may be happening for you.
From time to time, I have to dismount the carousel and take stock and this is one of those times. Life is speeding up at such a pace that I find myself needing to make a choice. One road leads to the left; the other to the right.
The road to the left (not the political left, by the way) is the road of speeding up to get everything done. The sheer volume of things to do is such that I can only do it if I pour on the coal and keep cycling through email, reading posts, researching, phoning, posting articles, writing, on and on, in an accelerating blur of activity.
But what I notice about that is, when I constantly increase speed, I’m also making ever more mistakes. I sacrifice relationships. And I court getting sick, which would really put a stick in the spokes.
I’m keeping up with obligations, that’s true, getting back to correspondents in a reasonable time frame, and so on. But at what cost?
The road to the right is the road of stopping each time I speed up and refusing to take that route. That road sees me determine to order my life, never mind what obligations say. It has me do as much as I can and no more. It requires me to develop a thicker skin because it may cause consternation all over the place. I court getting frustrated letters asking me if I received the first email, which only multiplies the work. It has me risk people saying that I’m not paying attention, not doing a good job, arrogantly ignoring things. It has all kinds of disadvantages and potential problems.
But it has the advantage of leaving me in my life, instead of whistling through it on the noon train – present, healthy, calm.
It’s a terribly risky experiment but one I think I’ll run. It strikes me as a really radical approach to things, but the only sane choice, given how much time is presently appearing to speed up.
I’m going to admit to myself that there is no way to keep up with the speed of events and stay healthy.
It’s as if I needed to reach this point to step off the carousel. And the decision had to come from me.
So starting tomorrow I’m beginning a whole new experiment. I’m setting limits on myself. And I’m making my own observation of those limits be as important as keeping abreast of things previously was. I have one phone call to make tomorrow but apart from that I’m taking the day off. I may get a tremendous amount of flack for this new way but somehow I’ll survive.
I can live in these times or I can succumb to them and the choice to me seems obvious.
I wonder if I’m alone in this or whether the same situation has presented itself to others?
I now begin Day One of starting a new and different way of life, completely in the midst of things.
I’m actually quite excited.