Adrenaline and a Happy Meal

Suzette BrawnerGeneral

It’s gotten to the point we can leave home, run all our errands, and pull back into the garage without ever getting out of the car. Recently I drove through Starbucks, the bank, the cleaners, the pharmacy, dropped mail in the big blue box, picked up a salad at Wendy’s, and headed for home. I was at an oriental buffet last week and noticed they even had a drive-thru. I couldn’t quite figure out how that would work. Do you just keep circling or what?

Now there are even drive-thru liquor stores, wedding chapels, and confessionals. I suppose if a person drinks too much and gets married he could then ask for forgiveness from the convenience of his car. The one that bothers me most is the drive-thru funeral home with the large viewing window. That’s a little disturbing. Honestly, have we gotten that busy?

The real question is this … What are we so busy doing? What is so urgent and important? Who made up the rule we have to serve on 3 boards, volunteer to bring baked goods for every event at the school, coach 2 Little League teams and accept every invitation for all parties and fundraisers? And we wonder why we’re so stressed. Do you know the word stress was originally an engineering term used to describe how much pressure a structure could handle before it collapsed?

Our bodies are intricately programmed for fight or flight when facing a life-threatening situation. The problem is we see everything as a charging tiger. It’s as if we’re hooked up to an adrenaline drip.

Why is there such urgency for everything, even at a drive-thru? It seems every time I get in a fast food line I’m behind a car full of people who have no idea what they want. It’s like they have never been there before. The driver usually ends up yelling at his passengers, flailing his arms, and talking with his hands to the little box as if the person taking the order will better understand. And all of this chaos for what? A Happy Meal?

Maybe we all need to evaluate what we fill our days with. Like cleaning out the closet, we should sort through and toss some stuff out. We may not have control of a lot of things, but our calendar and schedule we do. Change is made with decision and intention. If we take a deep breath, slow down and look real hard we might be able to see where we can give ourselves a break and cut some margin in our lives. Besides, all the good stuff usually happens in the margin.