Learning How To Stop The Glorification Of Busy


Over the last month I’ve had to remember what it means to have an abundance of time to do the things you want, instead of the things you need to do, or feel you must do. And to be honest, it has been difficult. Scratch that, it has been pretty darn hard.

I hadn’t realized how  much I let my value depend on how much I was doing in my life,  and how much  I made myself feel bad if I spent too much time doing the things I wanted to be doing.

Mid June, I graduated from college, quit both of my jobs, and went back to my hometown to hang out for a month before heading back to Seattle for grad school. And let me tell you, the first week, I felt so very lost. I was used to having people depend on me to show up at work at 9am, and suddenly I was waking up in the morning with nowhere I had to be. It was strange and I felt useless. But I gradually realized that feeling bad wasn’t productive, or a good use of free time at all.

I think that a lot of people struggle with the same thing. We live in a society that perpetuates the idea that being busy is better, and that if you aren’t busy, then you’re doing something really wrong.

But you know what?

Life really is supposed to be about doing the things you enjoy, and if you’re always too busy for those things, then what kind of life is that?

So In the last month I’ve gone hiking, read for pleasure, kept up with my favorite blogs, and spent hours at the pool working on my tan. And you know what? It has been really really great. I think that when I’m back in school in a week, I’m going to be really thankful that I had this month to breathe, before everything starts back up again.

So I’m begging you, if it’s an hour you have free, or a day, don’t let yourself feel guilty for indulging in your favorite things. Instead, acknowledge that you’re fortunate to even have  that time, and then go enjoy yourself!

It’s not all about being busy; sometimes it’s about being free.

5 thoughts on “Learning How To Stop The Glorification Of Busy

  1. Very good thought here. I actually woke today, went to my aunt’s deck with my coffee for a cigarette and, again, realized and reminded myself that if i’m doing this, my body and psyche are rebooting/defragmenting. Every week or so i make a point to remind myself of this. It’s very important for me to be in control of myself and to understand my environment, it’s impact, not only on my own being, but on everything and everyone at large, and to re-calibrate my bearing in relation to my course and goals.

    In today’s technological world it is difficult, especially for people who were not born into the seemingly chaotic realm of technology, industry, and sweeping social paradigm changes that have become the norm in the last 20 years, to remember to take a break and realize the beauty of yourself and the world around you.

    When i was having my cup of coffee this morning i initially found myself wondering if i should feel a sense of guilt that at 9 a.m. i had not yet begun to accomplish a task. Then i realized that i was, in fact, accomplishing the task of acknowledging my need for introspection through relaxation. With this i gave myself another hour to simply enjoy the beauty of the morning and have since accomplished many tasks that were on the path to fulfilling my short term goals. I don’t believe i would have accomplished so much had i not taken that moment and reminded myself that i need not feel a sense of guilt for doing it.

    Good post, and thank you for sharing the knowledge of the need for this.

  2. I hear you! For some people it is really hard to stop being busy, especially if you love to help people. We’ve talked a lot in our group about the power of saying no in order to make room for yes. Being busy is habitual for some people, so changing it up can take some practice at new habits!

  3. oh, Lutcko, I so hear you on this. I was struggling with the same feeling for weeks after graduating – especially because I don’t have a job lined up for the autumn yet, and thus, no immediate end in sight to my free time. And yet, somehow, this made me feel anxious and guilty about enjoying my time, so much so that I wouldn’t do anything (not even things I wanted to do) because I was too busy fussing about, waiting for someone to email me with a deadline or a crisis that I needed to solve. I’m still getting there, but each day it gets a little easier to commit to doing all those things I didn’t have time for over the last seven years – and even when I am doing “nothing,” I’m enjoying it more. Here’s to summer break! We’ve totally earned it!

  4. Love this, Tahani!

    There is grace and ease in a life focused upon feeling good. :)

    Fave line: It’s not all about being busy; sometimes it’s about being free.

    Thank you for your beautiful reminder!

    Peace, Love & Happiness,

    Denise :)

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