No one can deny that we’ve turned into an all or nothing society. We are addicted to having more fun, eating healthier (or not), getting more or newer technology, finding more time … well, you get the picture. I’m not immune to this phenomenon. I’m the first to admit that I might have a problem. When I get involved in something I have a tendency to take it to the extreme. I’ve been known to begin a workout routine and fad diet and obsess over it to the point where I drive myself and others a bit crazy. Then I end up having to let it go and to the extreme I let. It. Go. Disaster. I have also been known to find something I really like at a restaurant and suddenly I’m on a first-name basis with the servers. One of the most interesting addicting or bingeing behaviors I’ve come to have a love/hate relationship with is the new tendency to watch an entire series of television shows back to back. Seriously … have you tried this? I can’t help it. A lot of folks have been doing this for a while, and I’m a little late to the party, but now that I’m here I frankly am having a hard time stopping. And, I love it. Okay, I have to admit that watching these television shows are probably the biggest time wasters ever. But, like so many other things in my life, I’m hooked. Because I’m so busy, I’ll admit that I’m giving up a little more of my precious time for sleep than I probably should. Something has to give, right? I think they call these types of behaviors compulsions. Yep. I’m self-diagnosing. Experts think that in some cases, compulsive behaviors trigger the same neurological pathways and pleasure centers in the brain as drugs do, hence the feeling of satisfaction when you perform them. I do feel pretty good when I’m watching season after season after season… Unfortunately, the more you activate those pathways, the stronger they become, making it extremely difficult to quit. They say your environment makes a difference, too. If you saw your mother relieving tension by repeating a behavior (like cleaning, shopping, eating or bingeing on a “Breaking Bad” series), you might do the same. I’m not exactly following our executive coach Susan Combs’ set of tips. She says we’ll always have time for the important things unless you fill your day with unimportant things first. Uh oh. And, she also says that sleeping should be a family value. I might need some legitimate counsel in this area. I would bet that we have some Lansing area people who may have a compulsion to get Sugar Berry frozen yogurt even though we’ve been dealing with negative digit temperatures this winter. Ann Nguyen has taken her love of business and turned it into a sweet way to support her family. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing about and tasting the new products she’s launching this summer. And, if you have a compulsion for big hair (you know I do), neon colors, jelly bracelets and amazing music, you won’t want to miss the 80s Flashback Fundraiser on Saturday, March 22 presented by AT&T and supporting the Lansing Promise educational program. It is an amazing night that will definitely leave you nostalgic for a decade that was all about excess and fun. Remember the shoulder pads? If you want your ticket to ride back to the future, go to www.cawlm.com. Whatever you have a compulsion to do, just try to keep it in check. And, don’t worry. I plan to practice that philosophy. If you see me around town and I have a twitch, it must mean I gave up Netflix cold turkey. See you on the dance floor later this month, Tiffany Dowling
Tiffany Dowling is the Founder and President of M3 Group, a full-service branding agency located in downtown Lansing, Mich. She is also owner and publisher of Capital Area Women’s LifeStyle Magazine and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly. Dowling has helped businesses and organizations with branding needs for more than a decade. Learn more at www.m3group.biz.