This term seems to get thrown around a lot these days.
We're in Survival Mode.
It's usually used to justify doing something that the person would not otherwise do.....eat out 5 times a week, let their kids watch unlimited TV, not clean their house, eat boatloads of chocolate, etc, etc, etc.
Jennifer Fulwiler wrote an entire post on it...21 Tips for Survival Mode.
Actually, some of her tips are pretty great....but I take issue with the words "survival mode".
Blame it on my mom. She told me something the other day, that I hate to admit, but I think she may actually be right. Maybe.
When I was younger, I used to think that life was mostly good times, with occasional periods of stress and hardship. Now that I'm older I've come to realize that life is mostly trial and hardship with occasional periods where God gives us a break and things are easy and good.
I think she's right. And you know what that means? It means that we are basically ALWAYS in survival mode. There will ALWAYS be something ...or at least almost always. Something difficult, something stressful, something hard, something we need to survive.
Which is why I think we need to do away with the term survival mode. It implies that life's hardships are temporary and short...and we just need to survive until things get easier. And most hardships are temporary and short...until the next hardship comes along..and then the next one and the next one.
We need to learn how to THRIVE in whatever our life's situation is.
Yes, of course we make allowances and change our "standards" when life is especially rough, like letting our kids watch more TV when we have the flu, however, I think we each need to really examine ourselves and make sure those relaxed standards are really and truly ONLY when we need them.
Because life will ALWAYS be rough.
I'm one of those people who doesn't mollycoddle my kids when sick. Yes, occasionally they spend the day on the couch, but those days are rare. I once read a study that showed how people who lie in bed when sick (with a cold) FEEL sicker than people who get up and get dressed and still do stuff around the house. Likewise I try not to mollycoddle myself when things are hard.
Because acting as though life is hard and difficult and rough tends to make life harder and more difficult and rougher.
However, working hard to THRIVE in times of stress or difficulty makes things less difficult. At least it does for me.
You know what term I do love! My new normal.
My normal now doesn't look like the same as my normal 5 years ago....and I'm sure it looks different than my normal 5 years from now will look. But, the important thing is, that it's all normal. That I'm finding my normal for my life situation as it is NOW. That I'm trying in my own way, to have a normal life, to thrive, to have fun, to enjoy things and to not dwell on the difficulty or the negative or the scary. Yes, I do fail at this
The WORST thing we can do is get stuck in the mindset that we will start thriving/living when x happens...when the baby starts sleeping through the night or we have more money or our kids are older or our husband doesn't work so much or we aren't dealing with a sick family member or sickness ourselves or whatever is troubling us.
No, no, no, I say. We can THRIVE NOW, in whatever our situation is. We have to....because that is what people do.
I think that in times past, people understood in a way we don't now, that life IS hard. It just IS. We don't really understand that anymore...because for the most part, we are no longer worried about merely surviving. We have abundant food and medical carem and don't have to worry about freezing to death.
But life is STILL hard and we can't just sit around and wait for it to get easy.
So, let's stop talking about survival mode. We always have to survivie someething. Let's instead think about how we can THRIVE in whatever situation life throws us.