disease of utility

I tend to need a reason to do things. Re-reading that statement, that sounds completely logical to me. Maybe it doesn't for everybody; I don't know.

On the one hand, it is a positive characteristic. I am purposeful. Intentional. Strategic. I aim for efficiency and efficacy. I multi-task. I put my hand to the plow, and I don't look back. I do all that I do with all that I am.

On the other hand, it is a negative characteristic. I find it challenging to relax. To rest. To do nothing. I find it difficult to even do just one thing at a time, because I am so accustomed to trying to maximize every moment by doing as much as possible.

A book I recently read gave me a word to describe this trait: utilitarian.

Utilitarian: Believing value lies in usefulness; exhibiting or stressing utility over other values; practical

Utility: Serving primarily for practical use rather than beauty

Everything I do, I seek to justify on the grounds of its usefulness.

When I found myself flushing the toilet (which demands that I hold the handle for 5 seconds rather than the typical 1) while opening the bathroom door (which is quite a reach from the toilet handle) and trying to shut off the light at the same time, I figured it was worth a closer look...

It's like there's a strong desire/need to not miss a single thing. Even if nothing significant is happening, a wasted moment is a wasted moment. I run everywhere (even when I can take my time and use the entire day for errands; even when the commercial break is long enough to not require a sprint to the kitchen).

It's like my brain thinks I'm not productive (and therefore not successful?) if I'm not cramming as much as possible into my waking hours.

Disease. The disease of utility.

Has the disease spread from my brain to my heart? Do I see myself as a person whose value is determined solely on the basis of my usefulness? Do I envision God creating me "primarily for practical use rather than beauty"? Not really... Intrinsically, I know the truth. I have value simply because I am. Not because I do. I just need to remind myself of that. Often.

I'm learning to take a deep breath. To slow down. To not feel guilty for taking a two-hour lunch break. (GASP!)

To discover, again, that I was created to be, not to do.