Friday, October 28, 2011

Hurry Less, Worry Less by Judy Pace Christie

We live in a culture of hurry.  Our “to do” lists are unending and our days go by in a blur. No wonder this title caught my eye.  Frankly, I didn’t need another book on how to get more organized. I’ve read tons of them and I still manage to be overcommitted and stressed out.

The two most important questions in Hurry Less, Worry Less are, What would you like your life to look like? and What is keeping you from getting there?  

One of Christie’s strategies for bringing balance to overload is to plan an activity sabbatical.  “Consider this a time emergency, and you are simply trying to stop the bleeding by putting a tourniquet on your calendar. This may seem extreme, but it works well for those who are so tired that they feel sick (or wish they were sick so they could stay in bed) or for those who truly have no idea where to start.” (p. 42) She suggests that you stop doing everything that is not absolutely necessary (you’d be surprised at how much is not essential) and to prayerfully re-evaluate your priorities.  “The journey to living abundantly has to be done deliberately.  It is a time for realizing that you cannot, in fact, do everything, but you can do plenty and do it well and happily.” (p. 78)

Dieting fads say “Eat this,” and “Avoid that”, yet many of the newer dieting books teach that temporary food deprivation is not the answer; consistent, healthy life choices are the only way to get slim (and stay slim).  Christie’s book is similar in that she doesn’t provide a tidy list of “dos” and “don’ts.” “As with most important things in life, hurrying less and worrying less requires a commitment to an ongoing way of living.  Again, this is not a time-management course or a guide to becoming more efficient.  It is about transforming your life, tweaking here and there, taking inventory of the good and bad, and moving ahead.”  It’s about deciding how you really want to live and taking the necessary steps to make it happen. She adds, “Over the past few years, I have occasionally felt that my life was once more slipping out of control – usually because I said yes when I should have said no and when I momentarily disregarded how I truly wanted to live.” (p. 115)

Christie’s book has made a huge difference in my crazy life.  When I actually made a list of the things that were sabotaging my peace, I was able to see activities that had to be relinquished.  Several stressful activities could not be eliminated because they are part of the life phase I am in.  But seeing them as part of God’s plan for me at present, stripped them of their anxiety-producing hold.  I highly recommend this book to those who are experiencing a disconnect between how they want to live from how they are actually living. Hurry Less, Worry Less enables them to take steps toward bringing the two lives together.


GretchenJoanna said...

Hope, did you leave out a word in the third paragraph? "She suggests that you stop doing everything that is absolutely necessary..."
Thanks for giving some specific examples from the book, which lead me to believe that it's worth reading, or at least recommending to those who haven't figured out how to do things like an activity sabbatical.

hopeinbrazil said...

Thanks, Gretchen. I added the missing word. =)