WARNING: This applies to everyone, not just millennials!
On our most recent weekend getaway, my daughter — the one you hear about repeatedly — was cold (even though it’s the middle of summer) and convinced me to buy her a sweatshirt. Did I mention it’s the middle of summer? The sweatshirt proclaimed, in large gold letters across the front: ”I’M VERY BUSY”
So I bought it. Sometimes I can’t help myself.
She thought it was the most awesome thing and proceeded to go on about just how busy she actually is, with camp, soccer, karate, summer reading and a bunch of other things 11-year-old girls do.
I realized that like so many of my friends, she’s addicted to being busy. Maybe some of that is my fault. I mean, I AM her mother and I DO allow her to sign up for all the sports and extracurricular activities. I asked myself, when do we start to say no?
Conclusion? I had some explaining to do… for her, and for myself!
Saying you’re always busy can hurt people’s feelings
I tried to explain to her how simply “being busy” may not always be a good thing. It can hurt people’s feelings when you spend time explaining your schedule instead of engaging with them. It makes people feel second rate and last choice when you’re emotionally unavailable.
Some of you are going to think I’m talking about you — so don’t get your panties in a bunch just yet. This is our entire society I’m talking about… everyone. It’s become a status symbol. Why are we bragging about this and glorifying it, all the time? Why are people so impressed by it?
Constantly busy = reaching average life and career potential
Frankly, it’s not a badge of honor – busy-ness just keeps us average. We aren’t present, we miss opportunities, and we confuse our “running around” for real accomplishments. They’re not.
I’ve also found that most of the people I know who claim this just aren’t prioritizing. Multi-tasking allows for errors and sacrifices consistency. You can’t complete any one task to its full potential.
Being busy can affect your health
We also sacrifice our health – both emotional and physical — by not investing in ourselves. We forget the WHY of what we are doing. So, WHY do I do what I do? Well, so I can buy that little 11-year-old blonde with huge blue eyes an awful sweatshirt. So I can afford to give her opportunities to become busy. Which in itself is a vicious cycle: I work and become more busy so she can do things to become more busy. Sigh…
“Too busy?” Make time to do nothing
To really sum it up, I saw a cartoon recently in which some cavemen were pulling a cart with square tires. Another caveman offers them round tires (duh) but they reply, “No thanks, we are too busy!”
So before we waste our time lugging around a cart with square tires, we all need to set boundaries and allow ourselves to breathe. In fact, make time to do nothing. Make time for a picnic or a movie. Make time to watch the sunset. Don’t forget your WHY and miss the life you have.