I Want to Be Like Alice

Some time ago, Thad and I purchased a Roomba.  You know, those little machines that can run around your home vacuuming up dog hair, crumbs, bits  and pieces of your life that litter the floors of your home?

We named her Alice after the housekeeper on the old TV show, The Brady Bunch.  I watch Alice methodically go along room to room, back and forth until suddenly she lets out a little beep and finds her way back to the charging station to recharge.  Once, that is done, she resumes her responsibilities with zest and vigor.

I find her inspiring! Over the course of time, she has learned the best way to cover the entire house – expeditiously and efficiently.  But the best is that she seems to know when she can no longer handle any more “stuff”.  And it is at that point that she simply and unapologetically strolls back to rest and recharge.

I wish I were more like Alice.  Once I have washed my face and body, brushed my teeth and gotten dressed for the day, I zoom around like Mario Andretti until – well frankly, until, I am plum out of gas.  Whether it’s caring for my medical needs, or my husbands, or helping out with the grandkids schedule I always seem to be running at full throttle.  I find myself rushing to get through dinner preparations, walk the dog, so that I can simply turn this body and brain off.  Then, I literally plop myself on the couch, physically sore, and oftentimes a bit skewed in temperament – if you know what I mean.  Oh, I’ll say it – grouchy and mean spirited.

Do you do this as well?  Let’s face it – our lives are multifaceted and while all that we do is interesting and certainly not boring – is it healthy?

There is actually a term for this.  It’s called Hurry Sickness.  Patients with Hurry Sickness exhibit a mixture of anxiety and restlessness often accompanied by a continued feeling of urgency.  Its symptoms include high stress levels, declining quality of work, tiredness and eventually serious health issues.

Many of us are conscientious about everything we do but find it hard to set limits for ourselves to rest, regroup and RECHARGE.  Also, because we have media 24/7, and are literally connected instantly via smart phones and other electronic devices there is the fear of missing out (FOMO). We might miss something, we might not know the latest information, we might not close that deal, get that sale, all of which will somehow make us feel less than what is expected of us.

The more we do, the more we feel we must do and we are on that never ending race track that ends up destroying us mentally, physically and emotionally.

So how do we slow down?

Here are ten ways to help with Hurry Sickness.  Taken from https://www.mindtools.com/anfjhno/hurry-sickness

  1. Question why you are being asked to do something.
  2. Learn to say “No” pleasantly but unapologetically so you can say yes to what is truly important.
  3. Stop Multitasking.
  4. Prioritize your workload.
  5. Work on your time-management skills.
  6. Slow down.
  7. Stop and take a break.
  8. Seek support.
  9. Stay positive
  10. Improve your self-regulation

Alice, our Roomba has this down cold.  She only starts up when she is absolutely needed.  She doesn’t do anything other than the one purpose she was created to do.  She prioritizes and figures out the most efficient way to accomplish her objective and she does this at a slow and steady pace.  When she needs to, she stops and takes a break.  And when she needs help, her little light comes on telling me she needs her chamber or crumbs, dog hair, and bits of my life emptied.

I think I am going to be more like Alice and less like the patient with Hurry Sickness.


Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.


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