The Illusion of “Busy”

“These teachers don’t understand how busy we are–they don’t get here at 6 am for practice, and then have practice after school, and then have homework to do or a job to go to,” grumbled one of my basketball players a couple weeks ago.

“Well…”I argued, “there are a lot of teachers who have kids, and they truly are busy.  They have work to do after school, they have games to go to, practices to take their kids to, houses to take care of, dinner to make. You know how it is. So, I know y’all are busy, but some of them are too.” And then I paused to think about how NOT busy I am.

These days, being busy is part of our constant state of competition with everyone around us.  You know how it is, you pass a colleague or neighbor, “can’t talk, so much to do!”  They nod their heads in understanding of your frazzled state–they are in the same situation, or maybe one that is worse (gasp!).  So you continue on, crossing things off your giant to do list.

Ah, the to do list.  The messy, crossed out, added-to measure of our perpetual stress.  But, I don’t know about you, I am always adding things to my list that I just did, simply so I can feel accomplished.  Because, if it isn’t written down, did I even do it?!

But you know what? I’m NOT that busy.  I’m pretty confident that I waste a lot of time, especially at home.  Could I have tackled that project this weekend?  Or was I too busy?  Yes I could have, and no I was not.

I think, because it’s “cool” to be busy, that I tell myself I am when in fact I am not.  But when I think over what I did on any given day, there were definitely periods of time when I was doing nothing at all.

I think I’m okay with that though.  Why? Because I’m pretty happy, despite not accomplishing everything on my to do list.  I seriously believe in “me” or “us” time.  I like taking an hour to cuddle with my dogs and watch “This is Us” (and cry my eyes out–am I right?!). I like to take time to cook with my husband and discuss our day over dinner.  I like to take time to read a good book.  Could I have been more productive?  Oh, yes.  Would it have made me happier?  Doubt it.

Here’s my point.  Being busy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I can get stuff done without having to give up my happiness.  My bathroom will get cleaned, if not today, then tomorrow (or the next day). And we’ll all be fine either way.

Things are about to get crazy for the next month with the holidays coming up quickly.  So friends, keep that to do list (because, if you’re anything like me,  you’ll forget everything you actually do need to do), but don’t be a slave to it.  Be productive, but don’t be “busy”.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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