Recently I read a blog post by Hands Free Mama called Vow to Breathe. It is a lovely story of the realization of what she was doing to herself and her children with all her busyness.
For some years, I have been guilty of the whole “I am so busy” comment and yet felt decidedly uneasy about uttering it. When other people said it to me, it grated on my nerves.
Now I have resigned from my job, I am working harder than ever trying to make a living without having to return to an office environment, but it never occurs to me to use the “busy” word anymore. This is my choice and the work I am doing is towards a better future, so it doesn’t feel like the “busy” work of before.
“Busy” is synonymous with “spinning on the spot”
I have decided that “busy” is synonymous with “spinning on the spot” and never getting anywhere. How sad! And now I have the time to reflect, I know that was exactly what I was doing – spinning on the spot. And I did that for years.
Generations of kids are growing up with parents who say to them, “Not now, I’m too busy”, parents who are constantly looking at their phones or talking on them, parents who organise their and their kids’ lives to within a minute of each day. Always a little behind, always in a semi-state of panic. Aware they are not coping but not having the time to change it.
Life passes without any quiet times
And so life passes without the quiet times which are so essential to good mental health and for reflection on where you are and where you want to be.
I have a friend who is perpetually busy and always late. I have stopped ringing her because she seems to actually pant on the phone from mental fatigue and I have the disconcerting feeling that I annoy her by ringing. She starts off the conversation by telling me how busy she is, and I know she wears it as a badge of honour. After a small exchange, she tells me how she is late for an appointment, and so I feel guilty I have held her up. I am tired of feeling guilty, so I don’t ring her anymore.
On a Facebook group of bloggers I belong to, one member asked us to describe ourselves in one word. Do you know what the answers were? Overwhelmed, fried, exhausted, drained. How incredible is that?! They didn’t realize the question was to describe their personalities, not to say how they felt in that moment. But that moment for many of them is how they feel all the time so that has become synonymous with who they are. Do you see something wrong here?
Do you wear your busyness as a badge of honour?
If you are one of these “busy” people, does it:
• make you feel important to be busy?
• make you feel needed, productive?
• give you a sense of self-worth?
• give you an excuse for missing the important moments in your children /spouse/ friends’ lives?
That’s all poppycock and surely you know it. Your identity isn’t tied up in your level of busyness.
A challenge for you
I just read this quote, “The trouble with being in the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” | Lily Tomlin”. I found it on a blog I have recently started reading called Tylerwardis.com. See his post on busyness HERE.
He goes so far as to say that busyness isn’t respectable anymore and challenges us at the end of his post to stop saying the word “busy” for one month. That would be super hard for many people. But I dare you to give it a go. Not just the word, “busy”, but the words, “overwhelmed”, “drained”, “exhausted”. Banish them from your vocabulary and maybe, just maybe, you will stop feeling that way. You are your thoughts. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Take time to stare at the sunset and wonder at the glory of it all.
Will you take the challenge?