by Megan M. on April 20, 2009 · View Comments (Blog) |

A number of weeks before I turned twenty-eight I began to experience a kind of urgency.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that twenty-eight is only two years from thirty, or that twenty-seven is fairly close to twenty-five but twenty-eight is not. I began to feel that something wasn’t getting done quickly enough, that I had limited time (even a hundred years is such a small amount of time) and I had to move my ass to get where I was going. Something that couldn’t wait. Something important.

I began to feel that in my life I’d wasted far too many hours on deadening minutiae, and that I need to push hard to catch up. Twenty-two years until I’m fifty, I calculated. Forty-two until seventy. How healthy do I need to be to be pushing forward when I’m seventy and eighty and ninety? I need to be very healthy, I thought. And I simply haven’t come far enough to match the time I’ve used up. Time to move. Only two years until, what, the middle? The middle of what? Too far to go to be moving this slowly.

Who am I kidding? I felt this way long before I got anywhere near twenty-eight. But when I realized I was approaching twenty-eight, it got a lot worse.

When I tilt my head to one side, that all sounds like paranoid emotional workaholic crap. I hear that people have crises at thirty, so I should have one too. Here’s mine, and I’m an early bloomer! Isn’t it pretty?

When I tilt my head to the other side, I know that it’s absolutely true and I have to fucking get with it. There isn’t time for the kind of bullshit mainstream society engages as normal. There are things that need to happen now, and things that need to happen soon, and the clock is ticking on our ability to move them. If I sound like Keanu Reeves in some goddamn movie I guess you’ll just have to deal with it. This is how I feel.

It’s why when I see people sitting on their asses and languishing in the status quo it pisses me off.

It’s why I sometimes burn myself out because I forgot to (read: wasn’t willing to) take a real break. It’s why I get so frustrated when I seem to be slowed down, stalled out, becalmed or confused. Places to go. People to meet. Thoughts to hatch. Miracles to work. How can you just sit there? Aren’t you paying attention? We Americans, we’ve got it good. We can sit warm and cozy inside our fuzzy blanket of money and entitlement and instant gratification letting media and commerce jerk off our pleasure centers, and all the while we’re whining because we can’t quite get our way without expending some effort. Do I sound like a hippie or do I just sound mad?

How can we lay around distracting ourselves when there’s so much that we can do? Must do?

I just don’t understand.

No wonder I’m feeling urgency. I’m overcompensating for my culture.

But is it really overcompensation, or is it exactly what needs to be done?

  • James | Dancing Geek
    Megan, the more of your rants I read the more I like you.
  • Megan M.
    I think that's one of the best comments I've ever gotten. Thanks, man.
  • Tanya
    I'm on the side of it being exactly what needs to be done. Once I get this last class over and done with, I'd like to sit with you and talk about it some more. I think there are ways to get it done that don't involve us burning ourselves out.

    Here's the key: I think we need to stop trying to do it all ourselves. When we're burning out, it's because we're doing more than one person can/should do. There are so many people out there who can help us, but we have to ask them to.
  • Megan M.
  • CoCreatr
    Dear Megan, it may feel tempting to use your light and do the heavy lifting, and you are not alone. But we do not want you to burn out. So as every cyclist knows the first rule of winning the race: arrive.

    Even when racing yourself just to exercise and build the power: There is a comfy speed, a sweet spot, fast enough to cover the distance in reasonable time and slow enough so you arrive in one piece.
    Doubling your power is not easy to do and it would add only 26% to your speed.
    Halving your power may be too comfy, yet you lose only 21% of speed.

    Just as eating to 80% full feels about right, so does pedaling to 80% of your personal peak power.
    Keeps you cruising at 93% of your personal peak speed.
  • Megan M.
    Even in singing, they say to sing at 80% most of the time, and only push to 100% to make that BIG IMPACT -- then drop back to 80% and make that "normal". That way, 100% has far more impact than it would otherwise, and you don't exhaust yourself.

    Great comment, dude. Thank you. :}
  • CoCreatr
    Yup. They call it sprint. In racing, that is.
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