Running on the Treadmill (of Life)

treadmill - USEI fell into a trap. 

I don’t have a name for it yet, but I know it’s easy to fall down this trap over and over again.

It sounds like this:

“I don’t remember the last time I slept well.”

“Work is crazy, so much going on, I am exhausted by the end of the day.”

“I am so stressed out–too many commitments, not enough hours in the day.”

I am in the trap of manufacturing stress. 

Society has made it a competition of who is the busiest, the most sleep-deprived, the most overwhelmed, the most overworked, the one with too many commitments to name. I’m sure this isn’t #breakingnews, after all, we have a crisis of epic proportions when it comes to obesity, sleep, and stress levels.

Taking care of one’s self comes not only second, but third, fourth, or nowhere to be found on the long list of things “we just have to get done.”

But somehow on this continued treadmill run we partake in day in and day out, we’ve stopped noticing that we’re off the treadmill. We’ve stopped noticing that we are actually still. Standing in that moment, gasping to catch our breath.

In an age of glorified “busyness” we have identified and attached our self-worth (and how people view us) with extending ourselves beyond the point of emotional, mental, and physical health.

If I am constantly tired, overworked, and stressed–I must be important, right?

When was the last time you asked someone “how are you?” and they answered, “great!”?

My answer is usually something along the lines of “I’m okay.”; “Fine, just busy.”; “I’m good, just tired.”

If you answer “great!” that would mean you are eating well, sleeping regularly, managing work-life balance, and coping with your stress–all things that isolate you from the greater whole of our human race of our favorite latest craze: “I’m so busy and so tired.”

It’s decidedly not trendy to feel great. It decidedly does not make your life seem important and time a precious commodity that is just constantly escaping you.

Quite frankly, I don’t want to be trendy in anything besides my clothes. And I want to start responding to “how are you’s” with “great!”

Perhaps if I am mindful of my overzealous need to be busy then the things that are truly inspiring and fulfilling will be what make me feel great.

Maybe the next time I step off the treadmill, I’ll notice that I’m standing still and I’ll catch my breath before I step on the next one. Won’t you join me?

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