The Daily Grind

I’ve been BUSY….

Where have you been….I’ve been BUSY.

I’ve been offline for a little while.  And do you know what, I can’t actually pin point why?  I suspect I have fallen for the time worn troupe of being “too busy”.   For goodness sakes, of course I am too busy, isn’t everyone?  Frankly, it is very fashionable to be too busy.  And I really want to be fashionable.

Think about it.  When was the last time you heard someone say “I’m doing great, I have just the right amount of time to get everything done”.  Or even: “I have a lot on, but it brings me great amounts of joy to be this highly engaged in my life”.  How about: “you know, I didn’t have enough to do this week!”.  Could we even say that without being stared at with horror?

I am crazy busy, more than you.

We are just so busy.  Busy-ness consumes us like never before.  It becomes competitive.  “How are you….crazy busy….oh yeah, me too, I spent 27 hours at work yesterday and then had 17 children’s parties to attend, while advocating for world peace and keeping my insta up to date…”. I often hear it coming from my own mouth.  Soooo busy.

Going to the coin machine.

Busy has become a get out of jail free card. It’s a great excuse for failing to show up for our loved ones, not meeting our commitments or even living our own values.  Being busy makes us feel important, needed and may even give us some satisfaction.  Do you know what though? Today I took my collected coins (you know, from the jar, the one where you dump your coins) to a 24hr ATM and put them all in.  $427.85 later, I was feeling incredibly satisfied, and frustrated that I hadn’t previously made the time to get it done. The ATM is literally 3 minutes from my workplace and I have walked past it 4 times in the last 2 weeks.

And it hit me as I smugly drove myself home, I am choosing not to do stuff, including this blog.  I am also choosing not to fold the washing that has been on the couch for a week, however, I digress.  I have indulged in my own narrative of being too busy to such an extent that I was failing to get important stuff done.  I have decided to be a bit of a passenger in my own life and just coast along, being busy, but not actually prioritising the things that make a difference to me, to my world and those in it.  And to be honest, it hasn’t really been worth it.

Too busy doing stuff that probably isn’t that important to me

So, enough of being too busy to get stuff done.  Enough of kidding myself.  I am not too busy when my iPhone tells me that I spent 58 minutes on Instagram yesterday, I am just choosing to spend my time on Instagram. It’s a trap, and it’s a false narrative for me. Lifehacker has written an excellent piece titled 21 reasons that you should not be proud of being Busy.  I found some of the ideas really interesting. You can read it here.

So where have you actually been?

Where have I been you ask? I have been indulging in other parts of my life.  Some have been fabulous experiences (I’ll tell you a bit about the SUE talks later), others have been just about mind numbing drudgery.  Today though, it’s time to admit that being busy just won’t cut it any longer.   I have to be real with myself and admit that I wasn’t too busy to blog, rather I chose not to make it a priority.

Being busy is all about choice (well at least a bit of it)

I hope that you can forgive me, I know that is terribly self-indulgent.  If you can take anything though, from my time away, it is that you can make a choice about being busy.  I don’t for a second pretend that our workplaces aren’t demanding (jobs are designed to be full, we aren’t paid to sit around). Nor am I suggesting that other external pressures aren’t equally as exacting. Rather I am suggesting that making an active choice about how we spend our time is an empowering act in itself.

Being busy is not a race, nor is it a statement of identity. If I have learnt anything from this period of hiatus it is to be careful not to let your own narrative about being busy define you to the people in your world.

Finally, if you want to spend 58 minutes on Instagram, go for it, but be active in your choice.  Me, I’d rather take coins to the coin ATM any day.

If you want to read more of my pieces, why not try:

The Comparison Trap; or

5 Tips for Surviving Probation

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

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