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Living the Overloaded Life

Updated on August 3, 2011

Going Through the Motions

Is it possible to become so busy in our lives that we can’t really live? Can we really become too busy to truly live life and enjoy it to the fullest? Perhaps the problem is that too many of us are simply going through the motions. We have allowed life to take over and we are no longer truly living. We no longer take control of our days, our schedules, or our choices.

Life easily can take over living. Making conscious decisions in regards to setting margin and boundaries in our personal and professional lives, however, takes effort and intentionality. Developing a clear and healthy understanding of our priorities will give us a healthy perspective of life. In doing so, it’s easier to make decisions based on those priorities instead of guilt, peer pressure, or status. Do you have the freedom to take a deep fresh breath and simply breathe? Are you really living life to the fullest?

Take a good look at your day, your week, your year. Have you been simply going through the motions and allowing life’s pressures to consume you? Have you been moving mindlessly from one activity, one project, one meeting, one carpool turn, one task to the next? If you find that you’re more existing than living then it’s time to take back control of your time. Take your life back into your own hands. Life isn’t something that just happens to you; it’s something that you should be able to have an active part in every day. It isn’t about rushing from appointment to appointment or jumping through hoops to try to get ahead or please outsiders. It’s about having time to enjoy life, to connect with God, to love your spouse, to parent your children, to be a friend, and to take an active role in society.

One of the reason’s we’ve allowed our lives to take over our time is that we’ve developed a lifestyle of accumulation. This lifestyle of accumulation has become so attractive that most of us have never learned the secret of contentment. As a society we have become dissatisfied with ourselves and our possessions. We are unhappy and restless. Everyone wants something more and more and more. No one is satisfied with what they have.

We have been conditioned to look out for number one at all costs. We are surrounded by others who will work harder, longer, less ethically to get ahead, and to compete in this never ending game of one-upmanship. We have been taught to strive for success by our parents, by our educators, and by our employers.

This attitude of discontent has created a lifestyle of accumulation and busyness. “If I just had this, then I would be satisfied.” “If I just had this, then others would see how important I am.” The problem isn’t in the getting the “just one more thing”, it is in wanting the next “just one more thing” and the next and the next. Our lack of contentment has caused us to pursue this game of accumulation far beyond our means and common sense. We have become addicted to our own materialism. As Randy Frazee says in his book, Making Room For Life , “The ones who have more actually have more with which to destroy themselves.” (Frazee, 17)

The American dream of owning a house with a two car garage has increased to include a pool, a boat, a vacation home, and all the fun toys and electronics we can imagine. Without contentment, we will never be satisfied and we will forever be slaves to our own desires. Until we learn to be content, we will continue in this downward spiral of greediness and want, busyness and dissatisfaction, and going through the motions. We must learn to be satisfied with who we are and what we have.

Taking control of your life is vital to your well being, your health, and your happiness. But how do you do it? Where do you start? How do you get out from under this burden of busyness, materialism, and stress and set clear, reasonable life boundaries?

Some Steps in the Right Direction

The first step would be to accurately assess the situation. Ask yourself what areas of your life you are struggling in the most. Are you overcommitted at work, at home, or both? Have you over booked your children in activities and that’s causing your to run yourself ragged? Just putting the problem in perspective is the best place to start.

Once you identify the areas that need improvement, look for ways ease the overload. Are there tasks that someone else can do? If so, start delegating. Are there projects that really don’t matter? If so, eliminate them all together. If you’re kids are over committed, then start paring down their activities. Limit them to only one activity or sport at a time. Take some time off from all the extras for a while; enjoy spending time together as a family.

Take a look at your possessions. Are you working so hard to keep them that they are now possessing you? Start purging. Keep the things that you really need or give you pleasure and sell the rest. Give things away; release the burden, and resist the urge to start accumulating again.

Reexamine your priorities. Are you spending the bulk of your time and energy in the things that are the most important to you? If not, why not? Make a list of your priorities and give them precedence in your schedule. Then as new things come up and compete for your time, balance them against that list. If they have nothing to do with your priorities, turn them down.

Remember that life is a gift. Take a deep breath and search for the passion in your heart that you once had. I’m sure it’s still there somewhere. Live your life; live it to the fullest.


Submit a Comment

  • Diana Mendes profile image

    Diana Mendes 

    6 years ago

    Interesting & inspiring hub. Enjoyed reading it. I voted it up.

  • lisabeaman profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks JamaGenee! It's been a while since I've visited this hub! You make some very important points in your comments. You're so right in the fact that it is the parents that need to set the tone for the kids and learn the word no!

  • JamaGenee profile image

    Joanna McKenna 

    7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

    Saying "No" **and meaning it** is THE most important but hardest to learn lesson for those who are overwhelmed and stressed to the breaking point from trying to maintain a lifestyle that doesn't suit THEM.

    The second is believing they've "made it" when they buy a newly-built house with a two-car garage in the "right" neighborhood with "good" schools, when in fact an older, less-expensive house in an established neighborhood would become a HOME instead of a beast needing constant care and feeding.

    Also, it's been my experience that children who WANT to learn will thrive in ANY school in ANY neighborhood, but the desire to do so must be fostered by parents with the time and energy to encourage it. If home is only a pit stop between a demanding job and activities a parent agreed to because they didn't have the courage to utter that one teeny-tiny word - "NO" - then it's time to downsize and prioritize!

  • Timothy Donnelly profile image

    Timothy Donnelly 

    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I think a lot of what you have iterated stems from the human nature of self-centeredness. We all must realize that we each can be the center of our own lives (i.e.: our wills are paramount), or we can allow God to be the center of our lives (i.e.: [Thine] will be done). When we are self-centered, it follows that we are selfish; no matter how we rationalize our paradigm, a self-centered approach by its very nature still places us each at the center, hence selfishness. In contrast, when we allow our Higher Power to assume a central role in our lives, we are no longer by definition self-centered, or selfish. We thus begin to view our situation as blessed, and we adopt a grateful attitude. We then enjoy fulfilling our duties, labours, and responsibilities without an eye on proliferating our might (in whatever form). The race and downright competition (even if sub-conscious) of getting gain, possessions, and power is a recipe for corruption, and ultimately destruction, while the benefits accrued for giving and helping others blesses us more abundantly than can be imagined – physically, psychologically, and spiritually.

    I agree that we ought to adopt a different approach to living a fulfilled life, although I see it as a life that is abundant in the true satisfaction of knowing (through faith) that one’s life is meaningful in a Spiritual sense, rather than being caught up in the mad market of the world’s definition of accomplishment. Thank you for slowing us down a notch.

  • Neil Sperling profile image

    Neil Sperling 

    8 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

    Great job. Living full speed ahead while forgetting the moment is sure to bring frustration. Full Speed Ahead,One Inch At A Time as I have written.

    Nice work

  • Scribenet profile image


    8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    Beautiful Hub, wish everyone took your words to heart...there would be many more happy people around! Looking forward to reading more!

  • lisabeaman profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks everyone for the supportive commnts! I really appreciate it! I was really honored to have been nominated in the hubnugget contest. Thanks again!

  • FGual profile image


    8 years ago from USA

    Hello Lisa. This is a great hub that should be read by everyone, especially those mired in debt. Do we really need so many things? They lose their novelty long before we pay for them. When we get to our middle age, they don't matter anymore and we start shedding things that tie us down.

  • miss_jkim profile image


    8 years ago

    "Most of us have never learned the secret of contentment"

    I couldn't agree with you more!! This is an awesome hub that needs to be read by everyone!

  • Denise Handlon profile image

    Denise Handlon 

    8 years ago from North Carolina

    Hi Lisa, Welcome to Hubpages. Congratulations on your nomination for the hubnugget award this week. Good luck.

    I enjoyed your hub. Lots of useful info. I voted it up.

  • Deborah Demander profile image

    Deborah Demander 

    8 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

    You make several good points. The first step is to evaluate your life, and decide if you are happy where you are. Then, you can make changes.

    Congratulations on your nomination.


  • Money Glitch profile image

    Money Glitch 

    8 years ago from Texas

    Great examples of areas one should take a look at when assessing if you're living an overloaded life. Congrats on being selected as one of this week's nominees for the HubNugget's Wannabe Contest. Good luck to you!

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 

    8 years ago from Washington

    Very inspiring thoughts and many truisms about our life today in the 'fast lane'. Congrats on your nomination as well!

  • lisabeaman profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks! I can't believe I'm a HubNugget wannabe again! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • ripplemaker profile image

    Michelle Simtoco 

    8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

    Let's take a breather from an overloaded life as I send you a surprise on this bright sunny day! Baileybear got to it first...LOL congrats on your Hubnugget nomination indeed. Check it out right here:

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    great truths in there. People do live frantic lives wanting to accumulate more and more. Congrats on your hubnugget nomination

  • lisabeaman profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks! Coming from someone named logic,commonsense that means a lot!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    I agree with you 100%. Nice hub!

  • BennyTheWriter profile image


    8 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

    Yup, I'll be sure to bookmark and check out that book sometime!

  • lisabeaman profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

    Thanks! I really appreciate the encouragement! This is something that I feel strongly about, but even then I can find myself getting caught up in busyness again. I need to be reminded every now and then. The Frazee book is a good one if you ever have the chance to read it.

  • BennyTheWriter profile image


    8 years ago from Northeastern U.S.A.

    Wow, I'm truly impressed...I agree with so much of what you've said here. I think we're living too fast in this modern world, and we definitely need to slow down and smell the flowers every now and then. We're "overloaded" materially as well--we're in danger of damaging our character and forgetting what a miracle life is unless we take the time to reconnect with nature and each other. The Frazee quotation is especially poignant. Thanks for writing a great hub. : )


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