We Live in a Culture That Is Fast-Paced with High Expectations

I’ve been thinking about our culture; it tends to be very fast-paced and there’s a high bar on expectations for doing well and being successful. What that can look like for some of us is we can be confused, not understanding how to meet expectations because there’s an underlying perfectionism that seems unreachable.

Plus, there is just so much information to keep up with, there is always something new to learn, to implement, or to apply in our job or in our life. Then we being to feel stretched too thin, become hard on myself and critical of others and then the relationships suffer.

On top of all that, because it’s so fast-paced and there is so much to keep up with, and we’re getting cranky on top of that, now we don’t have time to nurture our relationships. Or to feel nurtured.

Let me tell you a story, it was a few years back and I was a medical office manager for a different physician. Of all of the jobs I’ve had working for others, this was my absolute favorite one, because the people there were very congruent and operated their business from their values.

When I first got that job there was a lot to learn, especially in management. I had a whole new computer system and a whole new set of employees and I did my best to become a sponge and absorb it all.

At the same time my husband had his own business and he wanted me to do his bookkeeping. So, I was actually holding down two jobs at the same time and doing my best to be a mom and a wife, and do them well.

Then, because I’m a faith-based person, I wanted to be part of a bible study because I was doing my best to figure out God, to form my own beliefs, to have my own grounding. So, I joined this bible study and became a children’s leader in that program. So again, here’s another thing I put on my plate because I’m wanting to do my life well. There is so much to do, so much information, and so many places to be and I didn’t want to miss out on anything! Yet through this whole experience it all became rather overwhelming.

The final straw came when my mom was diagnosed with cancer and I wanted to go care-take her while I’m juggling all these different pieces. I’m doing my best to do them all well and to be everywhere at once. What ended up happening was it was too much. I needed to slow down, and I got real with myself.

I slowed myself down into my heart and began to acknowledge what is most important to me, and I discovered what I could begin to do differently. I could begin to ask for what I need, if I don’t understand something, then speak up and name it, own it, in order to be able to receive the information that I needed. Or to have a shared and mutual understanding with others.

Another thing I discovered I could do was to unplug from all of my devices. From the phone, from the computer, the television, radio, and take a day off mid-week. That in itself is a little slice of heaven. To be out in nature, that’s my favorite go-to. To feel the sunshine, to feel the wind, feel the grass.

Another thing is to be really clear, I found I could schedule my life and I could make sure I was prioritizing time. I was delegating what I could delegate so that everything wasn’t up to me. What was really important to me was to prioritize relationships. I am so eternally grateful that I did.

I was able to juggle my schedule around and took my two young daughters down and I home-schooled them while I was care-taking my mom, and I got to have really quality time with her while she was still with us. My girls got to have that time with their grandma too.

So, wow, it’s actually possible to function at your own natural pace and have realistic expectations. You don’t have to do it all. Doing it all is just busy-ness and crazy making.

To take the time to slow down and really know yourself, what is most important to you, to follow your heart. To allow yourself the space you need to prioritize why you are here. It’s your purpose and it’s your journey.


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