Living on borrowed time

by Christie Browning

 Time is a sensitive issue for some of us. We’re either complaining we don’t have enough or mad that it’s going by quickly. We can never get satisfied with time.

We buy into the lie that we have all the time in the world. Although we know that’s really not true, our calendars reflect differently. We try to cram 30 hours worth of things to do in a 24-hour period. That’s living on borrowed time, and it’s the best way to create frustration and stress in your life.

When we choose to live as if there are 30 hours in our day, some real symptoms manifest in our lives.

#1: No mental down time

We push our time to the limits and there’s no time left for us to rest. We are constantly engaged, motivated to move and act with every ding, beep and ring of our cellphones. We don’t know how to stop, be still and silence our hearts and minds. We feel as if we must constantly be on the go, be connected and be accessible.

#2: No forgiveness for our efforts

We can’t get it all done. When we’re trying to tackle a lengthy to-do list, we fall short and begin doubting our abilities, our motives, and ourselves. We measure ourselves against the mom, wife, or business woman who we think can do no wrong. When we feel like we don’t measure up, often times we try to do more. However, when we can’t keep all the balls in the air, things start to drop and fall apart. That leaves us feeling even worse than when we started, and begins a viscous cycle that can easily spin out of control. What we’ve built up in our heads is a zero-tolerance mindset that forces us into excellence, perfection and a “please-all-people-all-of-the-time” mandate.

#3: We’re robbed

Nasty self-talk, negative emotions and unrealistic expectations rob us of our peace and joy in life. We are left feeling empty, drained and exhausted. In this sickness, there is no fulfillment. We lose our identity, our goals and our dreams. We try to be all things to all people, and in the middle of it all, we’ve lost the ability to know what we want.

Check your motivation

Often times we agree to add another task to our to-do list on emotion. We feel obligated to say “yes” because a friend asked us to do something. Maybe it’s because we want to feel needed or we want to belong.

We can also stretch our time because we want to be appreciated, to feel important and valuable. Many times our disease to please everyone in our path leads us to bob our heads in compliance without even thinking.

These feelings aren’t necessarily bad or harmful. It’s natural to want to feel needed or useful. However, when we use them to fill a void in our hearts, we might get a temporary fix, but not a permanent solution. This is like expecting a Band-Aid to do the job of a tourniquet.

When it comes to your hurried, scurried lifestyle, motivations need to be evaluated. If acceptance and worth is only found in your to-do list, you will find yourself hurting, empty, and frustrated with the outcomes.

Motives are important and checking in on them regularly is a smart way to make sure you are staying in control of your time and the heart connected to it.