A new disease is rampant among us. Contagious as the flu, persistent as a bad cough, the “hurry hurry” disease is a malady of the mind. The symptoms are a frequent feeling that we must rush through our lives because we don’t have enough time to do all we have to do, that we are somehow running out of the precious commodity of our days and hours and minutes. The disease can become chronic, so our entire lives feel rushed and frantic, leaving us continuously grumpy, exhausted, and overwhelmed.
Despite what one might think, no one is immune to “hurry hurry” disease. Even those of us who live seemingly quiet uneventful lives can be regularly wakeful in the middle of the night, as our minds churn over and over the things we tell ourselves must be done the next day.
How does “hurry hurry” play itself out in any given day?
v We start the day with a drill sergeant inner voice pushing us out of bed, reciting an extensive list of what needs to get done, and chanting “gotta get going, gotta get going.”
v We are continuously aware of the “to do” list. As we rush through the day, instead of feeling satisfied by what we check off, we focus on the things we haven’t done.
v We sometimes think yearningly of something relaxing we would like to do; pick up a book, go for a walk, or take a nap. We immediately reject the thoughts and return our focus to what we have to do right now. We tell ourselves that we’ll do it later, but at some level we know there’ll never be the time.
Our minds are like harried children that need a time-out, and that is something we can provide them in brief moments throughout the day. We don’t have to be controlled by a compulsion to be constantly busy and productive. We can do small things that pull us back into ourselves, that refresh and re-energize us.
These things are easy because all you have to do is disengage your mind from the clock and your list, and connect within yourself. It may be a relaxing stretch, a deep breath with an exhale that releases the tension you have been carrying, or a smile that connects you to a stranger in the grocery store.
As you do these things, you will gradually free yourself from the “hurry hurry” loop. You build a fresh attitude toward time that supplants the stressful thought, “I don’t have enough of it,” with an encouraging and reassuring, “All in good time.”
You will find that the less you live by the clock, the more you inhabit your life. “Hurry hurry” disease will fade, and the moment and your life will brighten and you will become more at ease.