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Well-Worn Paths


I noticed something during my recent stint as a workaholic, and that is that when life is rushed and we hurry through it, we reach for coping mechanisms familiar to us. "Coping mechanism" is probably a euphemism for toxic or semi-toxic habits. In my case, I overate. Not a great deal, and I didn't step backward into my previously sugary ways, but I did find the temptation arise. As it did, it struck me as silly. Sugar wouldn't have done anything but make me more sleepy. Why did that urge strike me?

I don't think a person can successfully stop bad habits while acting out the Type-A persona. Instead, we slip into the well-worn paths of whatever got us through in the past. Busy busy busy can be its own toxic behavior, but while we are busy busy busy, we're much more susceptible to allow ourselves to do stupid things to help get us by.

And while we are busy busy busy, we might enjoy some success that comes with the extra effort we're putting into our lives. If successful, the lifetsyle of rushed mania and our assorted coping mechanisms become the "formula" for our success. It's another rationale that we provide ourselves for not quitting these toxic habits.

"I can't quit smoking now," we say, as we look at the stress of other things in our lives. "I have too much going on." In the back of our minds, we believe that [insert addiction/toxic habit here] helped to get us where we are.

Indeed... which then becomes all the more reason to stop the cycle of busy busy busy. It's like bad credit card debt. We overcommit ourselves in our expenditure of time for a slew of good-intentioned reasons, but then it's payback time and we're obligated and we tax ourselves in sleep-deprivation and bathe ourselves in bad habits to get by.

Sometimes it's good to step off the well-worn path and just lay in the grass for a while.


Tags: health
by Brett Rogers, 7/19/2005 8:50:00 AM


Hear, hear.



Posted by Anonymous, 7/19/2005 2:25:03 PM

Grass? There's grass to lay in? Where? Maybe I need to look up more often...



Posted by Laura, 7/20/2005 7:00:44 PM

Come to Iowa, Laura... lots of grass. Even corn!



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 7/20/2005 7:13:34 PM

Thanks Kris!



Posted by Brett Rogers (, 7/20/2005 7:13:58 PM

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