There’s a scene in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery featuring the comedic spy (played by Mike Meyers) trying to escape the bad guys by driving away on a steamroller. A security guard yells for him to stop, but Powers keeps coming, motioning frantically for the guard to move, even as he keeps his foot on the gas pedal. Powers ends up flattening the guard completely.
I can’t tell you how many times I have replayed that scene in my head over the past several years. Except in my version, I’m both characters. I’m driving the steamroller, and I’m also standing frozen, screaming for everything to stop. But I don’t stop. I keep barreling through, until I just run myself right over.
It’s a surprisingly apt metaphor for life. Tension and stress often build over time – a few hours of lost sleep one night, a stressful work meeting the next day, a new phase of parenting that totally defeats us. These daily challenges mount, the fatigue grows, and yet we stay the course, pushing through each day even as some part of our body or mind is telling us to stop and change direction.
Sometimes we know we need to slow down, but we choose not to. We’re too busy, or we don’t want to fall behind at work. We don’t want to let down our family and friends, or maybe we just don’t know how to slow down (or are scared of what we might face if we do).
But most times, we just don’t see what’s happening until we find ourselves flattened. Sometimes I end up in bed with a terrible cold, or my back goes out and I spend days lying on the floor with my legs up on the couch. Other times we just lose our composure and end up fighting with our spouse, yelling at our children, bailing on deadlines, and drinking, eating, or spending in ways that just aren’t healthy.
So how do we stop the steamroller? Find out over at Seleni.org.