Yes, this is a rant. I'm not sure what came over me aside from feeling sick and tired of being overwhelmed. This post is actually a reprint of a comment I left on Marjorie’s blog at http://www.myinnerfrenchgirl.com/. To Marjorie I apologize for getting carried away. I'm not quite sure what happened, but I suspect it an act of decompression.
First, let me thank you for raising this issue, as it is very timely for me and is something I am struggling with. I'm in the process of implementing some changes in my life, one such change is utilizing Mareille Guiliano's advice from her books to change my eating habits. I'm a working single parent who rarely takes a lunch break, scarfs down breakfast, scarfs down lunch in the office sometimes while standing up and by evening is frequently too tired to do much more than snack....all. evening. long. I'm working towards cooking more (which I used to love) and taking time to just eat. My daughter even commented to me that she'd like us to have dinner at the table more.
I can't speak to other cultures or countries, but in my small Midwestern city, we are so busy to the point it interferes with community. We frequently don't know our neighbors, much less dine with them, because they too are so terribly busy going here, there and everywhere. My boss and I were lamenting the other week that both of our workloads are beyond reasonable, everyone wanting something done impossibly fast, so tasks get done quickly but frequently only to find out that they significantly lack quality because we are not allowed the luxury of time to do it right.
How did we lose our common sense? Why is it that we are so willing to throw away our personal desires, commitment to a job well-done in order to be viewed as a Team Player (the proverbial Yes Man or Woman)? It is all linked together...all links in a chain that may eventually be our undoing. It certainly has been my undoing in that it has stressed my body, my mental health and most certainly my emotional health. I think the difference with the US is that this sort of lifestyle is frequently glamorized and respected in a very odd and seductive way. Friends passing each other on the street saying, "Hi, how are you? Keeping busy?" as if being busy makes us worthwhile. Honestly, I am much more worthwhile when I'm not busy. I've experienced both and I say with the strongest conviction when I'm not busy, or at least in charge enough over my schedule to say no appropriately, I am physically healthier, far less stressed, happier, and much more pleasant to be around. Just ask my daughter, she'll tell ya!
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