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Overstimulated. Not crazy or insane.

My life has gone from downright leisurely to scattered, scheduled, hectic, grueling, tiring, etc. Or, as today’s culture would say — “crazy” or “just insane”.

Does anyone else have a problem with those words? Liz Monroe-Cook, my favorite psychologist, concurs with me that there are many better words to use when referring to a frantic schedule. We can be frenetic, unsettled, chaotic, even turbulent. But to use terms that refer to mental problems for our daily hassles, simply doesn’t pay respect to people with real problems.

Besides there are so many BETTER, more colorful words. Like busy, full, fervent and strenuous. And when we’re overwhelmed with GOOD things, we can be passionate, purposeful, driven, excited and even wacky.

Personally I am referring to my current state as “overstimulated”. Please steal this term. I chose it to represent so many great things that are making me think every day. My new life includes heading up Marketing for the Chicagoland Girl Scouts so every day brings huge waves of stimulation. Plus I continue to do some new product work, requiring deep, conceptual thought. And there are my deep-dive discussions with friends — all delicious stimulation.

And not all stimulation these days is the good kind. Our nation and world seems to be enveloped in an unrest cloud that causes anxieties that clog our creativity and clear thinking. Some of our deepest values of democracy and freedom are being questioned when we’re saddled by looming budget deficits and pigheaded, partisan politicians.

My wish for us all today is to stay inspired in this overstimulated world and to bring peace and justice to what we CAN control.

And while I’m on my soap box about words, can we substitute “no problem” with “my pleasure”. Think about this the next time you thank someone and you get a mumbled “no problem” back.

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