Pulling the emer­gency brake on life

Waitaki Herald - - CONVERSATIONS -

I took a wee break over Easter and headed to the West Coast. It was glo­ri­ous! I haven’t yet seen much of the West Coast and the ex­pe­ri­ence was a sheer de­light for me (ex­cept the sand­flies!).

I didn’t take my lap­top, I left my phone on silent. I took no work ma­te­rial, just food and a novel. This for me is a tri­umph. I am a head per­son, I learn, write and read end­lessly and to slam my brakes on and sim­ply stop, is some­thing of a chal­lenge.

The first 24 hours were painful….talk about with­drawals. I fid­geted, checked things, over un­packed and couldn’t read a few pages of my book with­out get­ting up. Frankly, I was lost and found the whole stop­ping thing un­set­tling. Did I not have stuff to do?

The fol­low­ing morn­ing I got up, sat out­side with a cof­fee and breathed in the sea air, watched the waves and noth­ing else. NOTH­ING ELSE. It was bliss­ful. I didn’t have to do any­thing for any­one, be some­thing for some­one, or­gan­ises things, plan things, learn things. NADA. Not a thing had to be done.

Have I re­ally been liv­ing my life at such a manic pace? I didn’t think so. Yet things hap­pen faster and faster as each year passes. Ev­ery­thing seems to have an ur­gency, needs to be done now.

We run a sched­ule of im­por­tant stuff all day long. I even see de­vices that tell folk when to eat, when to move and how well they are sleep­ing. It stuns me how we need some lat­est piece of tech­nol­ogy to tell us what to do and when! Bug­ger that! This stop­ping busi­ness is rather deca­dent. I’m lik­ing it. As I sit here, I’m won­der­ing what do I do to keep so busy and just how much of it is nec­es­sary?

Maybe I am over re­act­ing, or maybe not. It wor­ries me, that we are for­get­ting to be hu­man and we have set­tled to hav­ing these in­hu­mane ex­pec­ta­tions of our­selves. I meet so many peo­ple who have no time, are ex­hausted, tired, de­pressed and over-com­mit­ted (I’ve been one of them). Who wants to feel like this all the time. I don’t. So I’m go­ing to choose to stop even when my in­ter­nal dia­logue does this:

‘‘But I can’t stop, When will it get done?’’ ‘‘It won’t, so be it.’’ ‘‘But peo­ple rely on me.’’ ‘‘They can rely on them­selves this time. Give them the gift or be­com­ing re­source­ful.’’

We do so much be­cause we feel we have to, that we do not lis­ten to our bodies scream­ing at us to halt. It’s only when we get sick that we pay at­ten­tion.

We thrive on be­ing ef­fi­cient multi-taskers that we do not en­joy what we do and we be­come too stretched. We push aside the things we en­joy and the peo­ple we love to get it all done. Sounds a bit in­sane, does it not?

What if we took 15 min­utes a day to stop (or even sev­eral ‘15 min­utes’), press the pause but­ton and looked out at the world - not watch TV. I in­tend to add that to my day to stop my­self from go­ing nutty. I’m go­ing to choose to do a lit­tle less and ap­pre­ci­ate what I do. I’m go­ing to make it im­por­tant enough to hap­pen, be­cause no one will ar­range it for me, they’re too busy! www.sa­her­alaing.com

12072017. Sa­hera Laing, ther­a­pist.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.