Stressed. Stressed out. Every day we hear how people are stressed out, exhausted, scattered, distracted, besieged, anxious, under pressure, just generally overwhelmed. Times haven’t changed, just magnified, still going in circles; instead of Keeping Up With The Joneses, we’re trying to Keep Up With The Kardashians.
Our Amygdala’s primary job is the processing of memory, emotional reactions, and decision-making, that’s a lot to handle, so she can get a little overstimulated. Her nanny, the Prefrontal Cortex is all like, whoa, slow down, Amy, you need a time out. But what if chronic stress has hacked PreCor, making it too weak to calm Amy down, stop her from some unrestrained Brains Gone Wild moments? As my fav song by The Tragically Hip says, we Blow At High Dough, that’s us, going too fast, burning up, burning out.
My growing, life-changing magic of apathy toward crap, a sort of crapathy, has me bored, yes, but also ashamed, ashamed of our frivolity, and at myself for being any part of it. I can’t change my hyper-awareness of all the crap, but I can change my perception, actions, and reactions.
Many experts, including renowned time researcher and sociologist, Professor John P. Robinson, known as Father Time, agree that not having enough time is actually an illusion, self-imposed, many people have more leisure time than ever before. https://socy.umd.edu/facultyprofile/Robinson/John%20P. Then why do we feel so overwhelmed? Maybe it’s all the things we’ve been sold to improve and simplify our lives. Really, why, when complicated means more money.
Growing up I wanted to be Nancy Drew…instead I was Donna Parker. Both outrageously ignored repeated and dire warnings while being fiercely loyal, generous, and independent. Both wore, gasp, dungarees.
My dungarees and detective cap on, I find my courage and follow the clues, to investigate what’s working in my life and what isn’t; I join the ranks of those who couldn’t resist the siren call of a mystery:
Nancy Drew, Miss Marple, Monk, The Scooby Gang https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/31/the-mysterious-world-of-scooby-doo/ The Hardy Boys https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/10/01/american-gothic/ Sherlock and Watson https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/03/13/sherlock/ Sookie Stackhouse, Donna Parker, McCloud, Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/01/10/having-the-last-laugh/
Mulder and Scully https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/08/20/the-truth-is-still-out-there-2/ Sam Spade, Veronica Mars, Honey West, Hannah Swensen https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/09/05/ive-had-the-time-of-my-life/ The Bobbsey Twins, Father Brown, Phryne Fisher https://yadadarcyyada.com/2014/09/06/miss-fishers-murder-mysteries/ Temperance Brennan (Bones), Alex Cross, Ellery Queen, Mannix, Elvis Cole, Murdoch, Quincy https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/08/quincy-m-e/ Patrick Jane, Mike Hammer, Cadfael, Cherry Ames, Cagney and Lacey, MacMillan and Wife (she had a name, Sally), Stephanie Plum, Kay Scarpetta, Columbo https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/11/09/just-one-more-thing-columbo/
Jane Tennison, Lord Peter Wimsey, Audrey Parker https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/08/02/never-tear-us-apart/ Clarice Starling, Daisy Dalrymple, Phillip Marlowe, Peter Gunn, Nick & Nora Charles, Frost, Dexter https://yadadarcyyada.com/2013/09/24/goodbye-dexter/ Magnum, The Harts, Nero Wolfe, Jessica Fletcher https://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/30/glory-days/ Foyle, Poirot, Jim Rockford, Perry Mason, Jessica Jones, Houdini and Doyle?
Inspector Clouseau, Castle https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/05/06/nothings-gonna-stop-us-now/ Trixie Beldon, Rizzoli & Isles, Dupin, Sally Lockhart, The Girl Who…well, you know what she did.
My Cases So Far:
1. The Clue in the Diary (decoded, started a blog).
2. The Secret of the Old Biological Clock (unraveled, acceptance).
3. The Haunted What Ifs (the voices of my past fade into the void, including but not limited to: family, friends, Prince, Bowie, The Tragically Hip aka The Hip, Spirit of the West, The Ramones, etc. Yet I have to smile, because they happened).
4. The Sign of the Twisted Scandals (solved, don’t care).
5. The Mystery of the Dating Dilemma (more probing needed).
6. The Secret in the Old Attic (aka my head, ongoing).
7. The Password Puzzle (deciphered, but it’s a secret).
8. The Aging Writer Mystery (further review).
9. The Ghost of Broken Dreams (phantom case).
10. The Clue of the Missing Keys (found, Marie Kondo organized my life https://yadadarcyyada.com/2016/02/14/who-loves-ya-baby/).
Broke, obscure, and chronically ill, I have probable cause to get discouraged and depressed.
It’s easy to believe the voices that bludgeon me, sticking a knife into my self-confidence, slamming an axe into my feelings of worth, poisoning my pride, shooting holes in my dignity. The suspects are many, with means, motive, and opportunity, so I have to solve the mystery, before it’s too late!
You probably didn’t think you had time to read this whole post, so like me, maybe you need to Go Nancy Drew Yourself!
Last night, as I checked on my beautiful boy, now so grown up, I noted again that time has raced by yet he still looks like my baby when he’s asleep.
Having a child with Autism, those sleep times give you some much-needed downtime and perhaps, a curious understanding of time and dimension, hmm, or maybe that’s too many years of Doctor Who.
In this frenzied world, we need more compassion, appreciation, and hope; less rushing, lies, and bullying. Maybe we don’t have time to stop and smell the roses, but I hope we can at least notice the roses are there.
The best time to take a deep breath is when there’s no time. At the end of your life, I doubt you’ll look back and think, thank goodness I spent my life like a hamster on a wheel, that was sooo fulfilling.
Stop flogging yourself for mistakes. They happen. Learn from them. So you write or say the wrong thing. Fall in love with the wrong person. Press the wrong button and start a nuclear war, ok, that example is pretty much the worst mistake ever, try not to do that one. Time moves forward for a reason, so should you.
Don’t reject someone because you’ve had a bad experience either. That experience taught you something, it had a purpose.
Fall apart once in a while. You’re not always “fine”. Sometimes it’s fine not to be fine.
Trying to be someone you’re not is like trying to hide a dinosaur in your bedroom, it’s too big, smelly, messy, and extinct. Why be someone else, they’re already doing it.
If we have time to shop, play games, check the internet, go on vacation, go out to dinner, we can spare 5 minutes to vote. An hour to volunteer or help someone. We can’t make a difference if we don’t at least try.
Instead of thinking about what you don’t want to happen, think about what you do want to happen.
The worst part
about growing old,
Wrinkles – although watching your face
become a road map to your final destination isn’t pleasant;
Creaking joints/aches and pains –
maybe shouldn’t have done that.
Learning more than you ever wanted
to learn about some people – sigh.
Losing your nouns, keys, and even memories –
The worst part is loss.
Some experience loss early and often through life,
others face the inevitable and unenviable state of loss
After losing someone you start thinking about your life
and like most people, I have some regrets.
I regret not seeing a friend was really an enemy
And an enemy was really a friend
I regret harsh words spoken
Cuts that will never mend
I regret not doing what I wanted to do
And doing what I did not want
I regret not being stronger
For being frail when I should have fought
I regret worrying about little things
That only mattered in my head
I regret thinking I knew it all
Using sarcasm to cover pain
I regret turning away from love found
Not recognizing love given
Doing too much
Doing too little
But these are backwards
And do not overwhelm
The smiles I was given
The smiles I received
The love that I treasure
Hope lost and recovered
His breath danced in the cold crisp morning air, heart still imitating the rhythm of youth. The shoppers rushed by, cardboard cups of fleeting minutes steaming in their cold hands, urging them to shop more, do more, fit it all in. He fondly remembered that compulsion to experience every part of the Christmas magic that kept the monsters of work and corruption, grinding their hideous jaws, at bay. Candy cane peace on earth, gumdrop goodwill.
He grimaced at the pain, knowing he would do better to escape to the warmth, reluctance tugging at his reason. Just awhile longer, he told himself, scolding the menace that would confiscate his hard-fought joy. His daughter would chirp at him for being out in the cold; her concern a pinprick, well-intended, pointing out how tenuous his survival.
Hearing the jingle before he saw them, little dog straining at his harness, a tiny reindeer in its festive jacket. Pushing a smile past a grimace, he waved at the boy and small dog running through the snow toward him.
Boundless energy restrained, the two pups halted before him in the snow, fresh-faced Christmas enthusiasm stamped on rosy cheeks.
“Hey, I got you something.” The boy thrust a wrapped gift toward the old man.
“You shouldn’t have, Jake, but I thank you all the same.” The old man took the gift and handed the bag sitting next to him to the boy.
“For me? Cool! Thanks! ” The boy ripped open the bag and pulled out a watch, it’s long gold tail dragging in the snow before he whipped it up, mopping off the snow with his scarf.
“The watch itself isn’t worth much.” The old man smiled, his face ashen snow. “It symbolizes the greatest gift, one I never appreciated, time.”
The boy squinted one eye, shrugged and nodded toward the gift shaking in the shrunken hand, “Open yours.”
The old man tore the paper, choking down a sob, coughing to hide his distress.
“It’s a calendar, I made it myself, see, I drew pictures for all the months, so I guess we both gave each other the gift of time!” The boy laughed at his joke, oblivious to the agony slashing the old man’s heart.
After a long moment the man composed himself, “This is the best gift I’ve ever received, Jake. I will treasure it.”
The boy smiled, his feet tapping on the ground as he looked over to where some children were skating on the rink. “I gotta go, I promised Sydney and Dave I’d meet them, we’re going skating.” He waggled the skates flung over his shoulder to illustrate his excitement. “Don’t know why we exchanged gifts before Christmas, but it was fun. See ya later!” The energy burst its gates, boy and dog flying to their next adventure.
The old man smiled as watched the boy go, looking down at the calendar he’d never use.
“We both had the gift of time, my dearest boy, I just hope you use it better than I did.”
The old man wobbled off the bench, one last look at the shoppers then his grandson before retreating to the consolation of his waiting bed.
Time heals all wounds.
Time wounds all heels.
Give it time.
The sands of time.
Time on our hands.
A race against time.
Wasting my time.
All in good time.
Find the time.
Going down to South Park gonna have myself a time.
We sure are obsessed with time. Clocks, calendars, apps, books, movies, poems, idioms…Is it because there never seems to be enough of it? Or because we feel its loss so acutely?
I love my son, but his Asperger’s is a time-stealer, not only from me, but himself which is why when I saw the title of this book, The Time Bandit by Edward G. Brown (Greenleaf Book Group) I was intrigued. I’m sure you know people who steal your time and even if it’s unintentional, we can be time bandits as well.
The book itself wasn’t all that new or unique, but the ideas were well-presented, articulate and detailed; perfect for organizing your time at work or home. The biggest time stealer of all? Distractions and there are more everyday. It doesn’t matter how organized we think we are, we can all do with ways to use time more effectively.
As for time wounding all heels, that’s what The Marx Brothers said and we all know how wise they were.
Next time you say, “Do you have a minute?” or someone says the same to you, remember, there are only 1440 minutes per day, don’t steal too many, or have them stolen. I don’t know if time is a friend or enemy or frenemy, all I really know is, you only have the time you have.
“Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” ~Groucho Marx
I don’t have time.
There just isn’t enough time in the day.
Sorry, I ran out of time.
Time got away from me.
If you frequently hear or say these and other phrases, this book may be for you.
1. Every day we hear about how people are exhausted, scattered, distracted, besieged, stressed, under pressure, anxious, just generally overwhelmed. Even school-aged children are overwhelmed.
2. Yet according to most experts including renowned time researcher and sociologist, John Robinson (known as Father Time) not having enough time is an illusion or self-imposed. Most people have more leisure time than ever before. “Time is a smokescreen. A convenient excuse” ~John Robinson. Saying you don’t have time is really saying you don’t want to do something, you just don’t want to say that.
3. Not that many aren’t working very hard for too little. This book is quite critical of the government and business and their backward, regressive approaches to methods of work that work.
4. Your stress can affect others. They believe stress, even from parents is actually changing children neurologically and hormonally, perhaps even their DNA.
5. The part of your brain called the Amygdala has a primary role in the processing of memory, decision-making, and emotional reactions. Your Prefrontal Cortex is the Big Cheese for your brain and essentially your Amygdala’s nanny. It regulates your Amygdala, tells it to slow down and take a time-out if needed. Yet your Prefrontal Cortex can shrink if chronically stressed then it’s too weak and shrunken to calm your Amygdala. So your Amygdala goes wild, it starts making poor choices.
6. Our time expectations are out of whack. We like being pretend busy. It makes us feel important. Take time to live authentically, it takes some courage, but you might like it.
7. You hear things like, an average high school student now has the same level of stress of a psychiatric patient in the 1950s. Is it real and if so, what’s causing it? Then you start thinking, wait, then what level of stress does a psychiatric patient have now?
8. The author, award-winning staff reporter from the Washington Post, Brigid Schulte, an admitted head-on-fire time loser, interviews sociologists and scientists world-wide for this book to demonstrate how grim and prevalent this alleged time-crunch really is. Her findings are dramatic and alarming. It’s not a shock to researchers that chronic stress is raising the risk and incidence of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer’s, cancer, dementia, mental health issues as well as other health issues.
9. We have time, we just don’t always use it properly. After all, according to Albert Einstein, “time is an illusion”, then again, what did he know?
10. Find uninterrupted time. Every tweet, text, email, conversation, phone call, etc. steals away uninterrupted time, not only leisure time, but work time as well. It takes us a lot more time to return to focus than we realize. Be wary when you’re sold many items that are going to improve your life. Companies don’t want to improve your life, they want to complicate it because complicated means money to them.
11. Other countries including Denmark have more progressive workplaces, social structures and make far better use of their time than North Americans.
12. If there were affordable, safe, secure, and adequate housing people would have less stress, there would be less crime and therefore fewer victims of crime, more motivation, productivity, and more happy time.
13. Safe, regulated, and affordable childcare would ease our stress levels and help with time constraints.
14. We need to face facts. We like to think we’re good at multitasking, but we’re not. It’s a myth sold to us. Something suffers when people multitask and it’s stressful for your brain.
15. You probably didn’t have time to read this whole post and you won’t have time to read the book.