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Yesterday I was working at a local coffee shop. When I looked up from my computer I was watching the people walking by. Have you ever stopped and looked at people as they go about their day to day activity? I was amazed that 75% looked totally unengaged with life, whether they be hurrying to the next event, ambling along, talking on their cell phone or even walking next to someone…they appeared disengaged and uninterested in life. They looked, in fact, like zombies. Walking zombies. Now the other 25% were laughing, smiling, looking intently or listening with vigor. They seemed engaged in whatever was going on around them even if it was just walking down the street. It got me thinking about how often we check out of our lives, our work, our relationships. How often are we nothing more than zombies going through our life.
Maybe that is why there is such an influx of zombie shows these days because on some small level we can relate, or we want to relate. Perhaps we are all so tired of being pulled in a thousand directions. Overwhelmed from engaging in activities we don’t really want to be a part of. Just down right unhappy. So it becomes easier to walk through life like a zombie. Or maybe we have stopped questing for more. Perhaps a part of us has given up, we have gotten the excitement and passion beaten out of us and so being a zombie has just become our default mode. We become stuck in old patterns, home, work, lunch, work, dinner, TV, bed, home, work, lunch, work, dinner, TV, bed and over and over and over we repeat the cycle. Only to be shifted up with the occasional Saturday of laundry, chores and errands.
It’s time to re-engage!! It’s time to ask yourself what do I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want out of my life! What little or even big changes can I make in my life that will give me the energy to be more engaged? What do I need to snap out of it and join the walking (even dancing a little) living and not be one more walking dead. Even if life has beaten you down, even if you are exhausted, tired and depleted, just ask yourself what would make me feel good today, what would add to my life right now? What can I do in this moment that will bring me connection with myself or others–make a phone call to a friend, write an email to a loved one, ditch the to-do list, order takeout from your favorite restaurant, schedule a date night, look up grad schools, research a new job!! The first step is to recognize the danger (and comfort) of joining the ranks of the zombies. It might appear easier, it might appear joyfully mindless. But over here on the other side in the 25% of the world that is laughing, crying, joyful and enraged–life is bright and vibrant. Life is engaging and exciting. Life is full of unexpected joys and challenges–here life is anything but monotonous.
So I am curious–are you feeling like a zombie? Are you tired of walking through life controlled by your to do list and/or other people’s expectations?
Thanks to Scott McLeod for the photo!