Wednesday Bubble: Are you an addict?

Posted by on Jul 28, 2010 in emotions, Inspiration | 6 comments

The other night, I came to an important realization, one that pretty much bursts the bubble that I’ve built around myself and who I think I am.

I have an addiction. I am an addict.

There! I said it.

I’m not addicted to illegal drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, prescription pills or sex.  I’m not addicted to clothes shopping, sweets, food or possessing the latest, greatest, newest, awesomest shiny object. I’m not addicted to drama (although some folks in my life may care to differ with that statement!). Rather, I have become addicted to the one thing I never thought I’d be addicted to:

Convenience.

I’m addicted to convenience to the point that when something becomes a bit inconvenient, I don’t function properly. I lose perspective and the ground becomes rather shaky under my feet. My head swirls and my emotional self takes over my intellectual self and it’s a race to the finish. Inevitably, the emotional self wins.

Like many folks in my neighborhood and surrounding county, the power source to my home failed this past weekend. It was hot and sweltering, the food in my freezer and refrigerator spoiled and ready access to the internet and entertainment was all but taken away from me, except via my cell and the kindness of friends and family. It became difficult to work and juggle my daily responsibilities. And for several days running, I found myself frustrated, aggravated and hot, heated to just under boiling point. Even more importantly however, for several nights I found myself in the dark…both literally and figuratively…until the wee hours of the night wake-up call when my lights were suddenly all ablaze and the fans a-whirring and my head, no long spinning.

Should I look at the restoration of power as a simple act of none other than Pepco?  Or, should I take it as a sign that it’s  time to wake up and acknowledge that I have gotten to the point of allowing my addiction to run my life, that little inconveniences, even when they pile up, are not necessarily worse than spilt milk. After all, folks in NOLA lost power, their homes and their dignity during Katrina. In Haiti, most still live in makeshift tents. Who am I to complain about a few inconveniences?

Midlife is full of challenges: aging, physical changes and financial issues. For women, these challenges can be exacerbated by yo-yo-ing hormones, so much so that small piles can easily look ginormous. But part of navigating the change is learning how to navigate the bumps and demons and small piles and emotional turmoil.

I’m learning, truly I am. But lifelong addictions can be difficult habits to break.

For now, simply admitting that I am an addict feels like a big step forward.

6 Comments

  1. 7-28-2010

    Thanks, Liz, for reminding me how dependent I am on everyday conveniences. We take so much for granted. Still, I’m glad you have your power back. Now let’s find positive ways to wean ourselves from constant and instant gratification.

    • 7-28-2010

      Candace. That’s a good way of framing it: constant and instant gratification. As we well know, neither of us grew up with instantaneous gratification but I for one, have truly become accustomed to it. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. 7-28-2010

    Good post. I never thought of convenience that way. Interesting perspective. Makes me wonder about my threshold… Hmmm.

    And yes, navigating the bumps is a process for me too! Oh & I am truly excited to see you used ‘ginormous’ – one of my favorites. 🙂

    • 7-28-2010

      Thanks Wendy. Clearly, my threshold is pretty darn low. And becoming lower as I grow older.

      Happy to use the term btw. It’s a good one!

  3. 7-28-2010

    Liz, your part in the story is one of Convenience.

    In truth, we’re all a part of the larger story of Productivity and Gratitude.

    Candace mentioned how we take things for granted — but how does that manifest?

    It’s because we have an expectation that Task-A will take a certain amount of time, and Task-B will fit neatly within this slot in our calendar. (Except now you can’t access the calendar, because it’s on the cloud, and not the cloud that brought the storm that knocked out your power.)

    We’re able to cram more and more into every moment, thanks to the technology and processes that allow us to compress more energy into a finite amount of time. And in many ways, we’ve lost touch with the ways things used to be done — and that is your disconnect.

    You are right, though, that the escape is through periodic self-examination. In those moments, you don’t cram energy into time. You release it. You exist in the moment.

    I know… too much Zen for a Wednesday. But some people might read this on something other than a Wednesday… if they find the time.

    • 7-28-2010

      Ike, I agree that the disconnect lies in what was and what is. However, the two are really incongruous. As we try to cram more and more into our lives, and our expectations rise in relation to how much we are cramming, it’s hard to get back to reality. I truly think that our energy needs to be redefined separately from allocated time because at the end of the day, that’s what we are and all we really have. For me, I’ve wasted a lifetime of energy. That’s my current perspective. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

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