A dear friend of mine shared a story with me the other day. It was a particularly busy day for her and she had many places to be. She proceeded to drag her 3 year old son along with her and strap him repeatedly in and out of his car seat. Becoming more and more distraught by this intensity of activity that was not to his liking, the 3 year old child blurted out from the back seat, "Get me out of here; this is crazy!"
After enjoying a robust laugh at the story, I later paused to consider the wisdom of this little child and what he was mirroring back to me about my own life. The truth is, there are days when my "to do" list feels like an endless taskmaster, days when I take to heart society's overwhelming expectations of me, and days when the pressure of the American pace feels almost cruel. On these days, somewhere around mid-afternoon, I utter some similar words to myself, "Get me out of here; this is crazy!"
The rewards of our life style are immense. We have instant access to global knowledge and communication. We live longer, play harder, escape easier, and have the luxury of personal space. (Those of you who have experienced 3rd world living, know that poverty, among other things, is a crowded experience.) The rewards of our life style are titillating and seductive and frankly quite wonderful. It is easy to be captivated by such abundance. But, our life style has a cost. And I wonder if we get so captivated that we forget to count the cost before we jump into our lives in hot pursuit of more.
What is the real cost of the pace we keep? What is the real cost of the luxury we love? What is the real cost of the pressure we put ourselves under? Would our lives take on a different flavor if we paused to ask the cost effectiveness of each of our choices? Are there places you are sacrificing too much for what you are gaining? What does each of your days really look like?
The joy of life is in the moment to moment living of it, not in the rewards. We need to be more serious about asking ourselves what is worth sacrificing for, daily. What is worth your days? What is worth your time? What is worth your emotional investment? What is worth your energy? Life is too precious to find ourselves uttering the words, "Get me out of here; this is crazy!"
Deborah Adele is an engaging, lively, and thought-provoking speaker who is not afraid to share stories from her own years of living and learning. She facilitates thoughtful and tangible ways of showing up to life in new ways, leaving participants with a dynamic combination of hope, inspiration, and practical knowledge. She is the author of The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice, 2 CD's: The Art of Relaxation and The Practice of Meditation and authored a regular wellness column for the Duluth News Tribune.