The Busy Habit

Almost everyone I know is busy. It’s the default answer when you ask people how they are doing. It’s like bragging and complaining at the same time. Jam packing every minute of the day makes you feel needed and important. It’s a self-imposed stress driven by what they might have to face if they had nothing to do. They feel guilty or anxious if they aren’t doing something to promote their work or taken on another voluntary commitment. These frantic days are just a protective wall against emptiness. Fear of being idle, irrelevant or being forced to reflect on one’s self.

To do nothing is being lazy. You’re not ambitious in your career unless you clock overtime. You’re failing as a parent if your kids are not members of clubs or afterschool programs. But how many of those hours are spent in a mindless blur? Hours spent multi-tasking and distracted by your next item on the mile long to-do list. Anxiously watching the clock because it’s 7 am and you’re already running behind. When consumed with busy, you are never fully present or appreciating life. By taking on more, we experience less. When there’s no time to slow down, you have a convenient excuse to avoid genuinely feeling and connecting with the people and the environment around us. We don’t taste the food we shovel into our mouths. 30-minute workouts have replaced the playful joy that comes from movement. Vacations filled with work emails and conference calls.

Busy means you are out of control. You are resigning to being a victim of your self-induced madness. You’ve chosen to put your life last.