Life in the Slow Lane

A lot is said and written about living Life in the Fast Lane. I have lost count of the number of articles I have seen in magazines (during my many waiting hours in medical surgeries) that warn us about the dangers of fast living or the excitement of of living a fast life. Let me tell you this - there doesn't feel like there is much danger and even less excitement for me at the moment. I am definitely Living Life in the Slow Lane.

Thinking about this, I could not resist putting my coaching hat on and asking myself a couple of questions:

  • What are the dangers of Living Life in the Slow Lane?
  • What excitement can be found in the Slow Lane?

The first may seem like a stupid, or at the very least like a redundant question, but there ARE dangers in living a slow life. They may be less obvious than their fast counterparts but they are there all the same.

Firstly, you feel half dead (if you are a glass half-empty person) or half-alive (if you are a glass half-full person). Whichever way, it all adds up to the same thing - a great sense of continuous frustration:

  • That starts when you first open your eyes in the morning and you realise you have morphed into a giant physical unwelcoming cramp,
  • and that ends when you close your eyes at night and you take stock of what you have achieved during the day just gone.

One giant cramp + a great big nothing = not much at all. Is it really worth getting out of bed? Would it not be a better use of my time to go to sleep for a few weeks/months during which time my body would do all the repair work it needs? That way, I could emerge like a rose (OK, like a dandelion), all ready and able to charm the world with my irresistible charisma. Hmmm.... apart from the satisfying ego trip, this is not a particularly useful line of questioning.

Frustration is cumulative and corrosive so I need to think of a way to neutralise it. 'Neutralise' - that's it, I need a neutraliser.

Secondly, you feel fear. It's not a panicky or anxiety sort of fear (thank God) but it's there all the time, turning you into a hesitant blob of jelly. You are afraid to be fearless, because you are afraid that your bold enthusiam might encourage you to go too far too soon with the inevitable backlash that entails.

Fear is invasive and also cummulative so I need to find a way to diffuse it. Diffuse and Neutralise, that sounds good - like those adverts for powerful household cleaners.

I am starting to feel like a toilet that needs descaling.... Anyway, thirdly you feel discouragement that is quick to turn into hoplessness if you let it. You see other people zooming past in the fast lane whilst you tell yourself you should feel grateful you are no longer stuck on the hard shoulder. The telling word is 'should' - 'should' is what I think ought to be but it is not what I feel. As we say in coaching: "stop shoulding all over yourself" - it's not helpful.  I need to come up with something that would dismantle my discouragement.

Neutralise, Diffuse & Dismantle. I think I am onto something here.

So, where/how can I find some excitement in all this? I guess in the same place and in the same way you find excitement in descaling your toilet. Please post your answers in the comments boxes below - all contributions /suggestions will be gratefully received.

In the meantime, I shall keep on doing my Tom Cruise impression in the 80s movie Top Gun, and I'll keep shouting from my slow inside lane: "I feel the need, the need for speed!".....

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