We live in a time where being busy is normal. It’s almost expected.
Being busy makes us feel important. There are people and activities that demand our time and we oblige, adding yet another event, favor, or chore to our to do list. And somewhere along the line, it gives us a sense of value. It feels good to be needed, so you say yes to nearly everything. You want to help others. So, of course you’ll volunteer for the community picnic and participate in the work potluck lunch and still fit in a 60 minute workout.
Being busy is something to brag about. Now, this might not be something you admit out loud, but it might still be true. It seems like the people who are the busiest still have time to talk incessantly about how busy they are. I’ve been there and I know I’ve said some of the same things… We have a jam-packed weekend. It’s like we’re always on the go. I had no time to even think today, let alone do anything else.
It’s as if there is a widely accepted imaginary trophy for busiest person or family. And you only win by listing all of the things you have to do to all of your friends, neighbors, and social media followers. If you don’t post about it, it didn’t happen. Amiright??
Being busy keeps life fun and full. You know what they say, live life to the fullest. Do it all. Life is short! Seize the godamn day. There are so many opportunities to be active and social and help others and entertain your family and enjoy the weekend to the fullest.
But what if when you’re busy, you don’t feel important and you don’t feel like life is fun and full or worth bragging about. This is how I feel when I am busy. I feel exhausted and anxious and irritable, I feel guilty when I want to say no to something so I say yes instead. I don’t do things 100%. Instead, I move mindlessly from one task to another and one place to the next.
What’s the point of filling my life with events and tasks that are meant to be fulfilling or helpful to others when I am doing it absentmindedly?
There is no point.
It took me well into my late 20s to realize that my natural inclination to do things I enjoy in my spare time was not something to ever feel guilty about. It also wasn’t something to feel ashamed of, as if I wasn’t productive enough.
I choose not to be busy anymore.
I’m still refining on a daily basis, as my priorities and values fluctuate. The most useful guidance for me is: more of what matters, less of what doesn’t. The whole premise behind this blog is the mantra I use to guide my life.
Give it a try. You’ll find you don’t even miss those other things that took up time and space.