Buzz, buzz, buzz…the busy bee flies from place to place. The bee is seen as a productive creature we all must save for the good of the environment. Without the bee, we would all die.
Are we not unlike the bee? We go from place to place, duty to duty, never stopping until we tire. A select few of us are actually lazy AF but most people would say they fill their time with busy calendars and schedules and drop in bed at night tired as ever. The days and weeks fly by. Months turn into years. And we look back and see a long list of things we may or may not have accomplished. If only we could produce more, be more, give more. We are a society that loves to hide behind our busyness.
When this busy life gets overwhelming, we start bitching about it. “Oh, I’m soooo busy”. We drop kick anything, even good things, that aren’t apart of our goal to look busy. “Oh I can’t go to that. I have to drive junior to soccer, misses to ballet, and then I have to go to a PTA meeting and help out.” Yeah, we get it. You ARE special. You have things to do. There is no one more important than you, Busy Person of the Year. Without you, the world would surely die.
Everyone is Busy, Not Just You
But here’s the thing, everyone is busy. EVERY. ONE. We all have things to do. And the only person in danger of dying is YOU. Yes, YOU.
You pack your calendar full of things to do and hide behind your kids stuff and your spouse and wrap your entire world up in your job or duties. Then you wonder why your friendships suffer. You wonder why you feel so alone. I know, because that is exactly what I did for the last several years and all I got was health problems, burned out, and anger issues.
I decided to quit that and do something else. Now I’m seen as a lazy bum with nothing to do. Of course I have things to do. Even retired people have things to do! Sick people have things to do. Just because you fill your calendar up with stuff to do doesn’t mean you are special, important, or even productive. All you are is busy for the sake of being busy. That’s a recipe for cardiac arrest.
The Unfocused Life
There’s something to be said for an unfocused life. I recently read this article called, “Why Being Lazy is Good For You“. It states,
In any given moment, our attention is either focused or unfocused. Focus gets all the attention — it’s what lets us get work done, have meaningful conversations and move our lives forward. But as it turns out, research shows that unfocusing is just as powerful, albeit in different ways. While focusing makes us more productive, unfocusing makes us more creative.
Creativity? Don’t say YUCK. Everyone should try to be more creative. Even if you are a technical person, you need some great ideas now and again. Don’t just sit there looking busy and uninspired. Sit your butt crack on the nearest couch and take a nap. Seriously. It will actually help you. No one ever came up with a bright idea while being busy. Maybe they came up with one while “getting busy” but that’s a different topic for another day.
Busy People are Fearful People
You know why you’re so busy? It’s because you are a wuss. There I said it. I’m one too. I’m a scared punk who doesn’t want to deal with myself, with my emotions, or with anything that really scares me. To have to slow down and do things for myself brings about anxiety. I’m allergic to it. I’d rather fill up my life with other people than actually discover how I tick or what to do about myself.
I’d prefer people see me as the important person that I am instead of the mentally screwed person that I feel I am. See, that scares most people. That’s why they are busy. No one wants to embrace themselves or learn what they are passionate about. Instead, they put the focus on everyone else and their problems and become co-dependent. We end up talking up our kids, our marriage, our vacations, our successes…but we never take a hard look at why we need those things to feel important in the first place.
Newsflash: WE DON’T. You are important just because you exist. If everything we have accomplished and all our relationships disappeared, what would we be? We like to think we are the greatest person ever because we have good kids, our marriage is great (or we like to portray it is!) and our status at work. We put up a wall of busy and hide all our emotional crap behind it so everyone just sees our decorated selves.
Then we gripe about all the things we have to do. Listen. You did that to yourself. Now undo it and we’ll see what happens.
… we use busyness to hide from our laziness and fear of failure. We burn valuable time doing things that aren’t necessary or important because this busyness makes us feel productive… It’s tough, but you need to recognize when you’re using trivial activities to shield yourself from sloth or fear.
This quote from “How to Escape the Cult of Busy” resonated with me the most.
I keep relentlessly busy because I suffer from FOMO, or fear of missing out. I’m scared that I don’t matter, that I’m not important, that I’m not needed, so I’m going to spend my time on distracting stuff that doesn’t really matter, that’s not all that important, where I’m not actually needed.
Guess what? You aren’t really happy are you? No. I’m not. I haven’t been for awhile. It’s because I’m letting fear dictate my entire life. Well, who wouldn’t feel shitty? That’s pretty normal when you fill your entire life up with other people and forget about yourself, like some sort of Savior complex. Get over yourself. Truly.
Instead, find some ways to unscrew yourself. Yeah, that’s not really an appropriate use of that word, but I’m embracing my weird side, ok? Find something you actually like to do and do that. I don’t care if it consists of staring at the wall for 30 minutes. That’s your time and trust me, if you make that a habit, I bet you will start to learn some things about yourself.
FOMO (fear of missing out) or JOMO (joy of missing out)?
Listen to your thoughts, be driven by your own passions, and stop trying to make everyone else happy. Say no once in awhile. Don’t do the dishes, bag the trash, or wash clothes, unless of course you are truly passionate about tasks. Then go ahead. Otherwise, sit your butt on the couch and watch Dr. Phil. I don’t care. Do what makes you happy. Make a list of things that you might want to do and instead of being faced with fear that you are missing out, you’ll start to feel joy that you missed out.
I want to miss out on so many things:
- obligations I don’t want to do
- the feelings of dread
- energy vampires
- how I feel after the energy has been sucked from me
- too much work
- being tired
- feeling unhappy
- caring so much about others and not myself
- the feelings of lacking purpose and meaning
It’s good to be productive, but it’s also a wonderful thing to be unfocused, restful, and mindful of how we spend our time and who we spend it with. Let go of some things and see what happens. Fair warning: The first few weeks will suck, but once you let go of some things as a habit, you’ll notice things you didn’t before and that’s a wonderful thing.
This month, I thought I’d participate in #blogtober18 which is a challenge to blog everyday in October.
Although there are no real rules except to write every day on your blog, I came up with some prompts to help me. I’ll post these prompts with my post everyday in October. I thought this would be a good change from what I’ve been writing otherwise.
These posts can be creative, poetry, satirical, or real. Doesn’t matter. I might do a mix of all of those. Feel free to join in too!
Prompt: The Busy Life – Define what “busy” means for your life.