Rejecting The Cult of Busy

I’m not apologizing, but the fact is I haven’t updated here too much in the past couple of weeks. (I have been updating the ol’ Facebook page a few times a day though, so I’m not totally MIA. Come over! Hear my daily drivel!  Wow, I’m really selling it, aren’t I?) You see, the weather has been getting cooler, the days are getting shorter and as such, I’ve just felt compelled to do a little bit less. And what do you know? I’m actually listening instead of pressuring myself.

A year ago I was struggling with the idea of doing less. It was hard for me to determine when it felt right to scale back and when it felt lazy. Being a Busy Person Who Accomplished A Lot defined me. I was scared of what would happen if I tried to do less. But I was more scared of what would happen if I didn’t stop trying to keep up that pace.  For my health.  For my relationship.


Today, I’m in an entirely different place with how I feel about doing ALL! THE! THINGS! and just being busy in general. And I’m kind of shocked to say that it feels really good. From the outside my life doesn’t appear to involve a lot of chandelier swinging or hip eatery visiting or fantastic weekend trips. And I’m sure to some this is a real travesty.  But what it does have a whole lot more of  is balance, and for me that is a GIANT victory.  I have taken my priorities (improving my health, preparing to plan a wedding/have a baby, prioritizing stress management) and crafted a life that actually reflects those goals. LIGHT BULB!!!! It’s funny how sometimes the simplest concepts take years to actually make sense in practice.

I’ve always thought one of these days I would sit down and write about my experience with this Busyness As My Identity Disease, because I think many people suffer from it.  In fact, our country actually lauds it — especially for women…don’t even get me started on this cult of She Can Do It All.  She can’t.  And if she knows what is good for her, she doesn’t want to.  But this morning as I was clicking through my Google Reader (do I need to be panicking about my reader? Somebody tell me.  I am slow.) I read something that I could have written.  And so instead of writing my own manifesto, I’m just going to point you in the direction of the one I read this morning.  Uh…WINNING!

The Silliness of Busyness. (A super worthwhile read, IMO.)

Some of the finer (and more relatable to me) points:

You may be lost in the silliness of busyness if…

* Your usual response to “how are you?” is “so busy”, “crazy busy” or “busy but good”
* Your busy life keeps you up at night thinking about everything you didn’t get done
* You spend time complaining about how busy you are
* You make list after list to make sure you don’t forget anything during your busy day
* You use a phone in the car because “it’s the only time you have to talk”

Honestly, you all. I would have answered yes to all of this a year and a half a ago. I still find it sort of shocking that there is another way to live. I mean yes, we are all going to have periods of time where there is too much on our plate, many things to juggle, or a super busy day here and there. But for me, the key has been acknowledging that there is a difference between those things I just mentioned and being all consumed with the cult of busy and letting that hamster wheel be your identity.  That has been a process.  Well, truth be told it still is a process.

When you decide that it is ok to live life your way, you can stop being busy and start doing things that matter. You can talk about your meaningful day instead of ranting about your busy schedule.

It’s just that:

A decision.
A commitment.
A re-prioritization.

And it can be done.

What’s important to you?
What do you wish your life looked like?
Is what you are doing getting you to that goal? 

If not, make a change.  There are some interesting links and food for thought over there to evaluate where you are and what you can do to get yourself off the busy train.

So anyway, that was my long way of saying,  hello!  Don’t you look nice!  I’ll be back here shortly posting on the regular: talking about what I’m cooking, discussing some recent fitness progress and perhaps showing you a few of my latest creative endeavors. But for now I’m just relaxing because that is what feels right. And I have to say, Damn it feels good to be a (Couch Ass Dent Causing) gangsta!

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12 comments to Rejecting The Cult of Busy

  • Christy
    October 27, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I used to be the same way. That was before I had my daughter and while I had a full-time job. That that I have a very part time at home job and a nearly 3 year old my life is much more calm (most days) and I love it. I don’t get nearly as much done as I (somedays) want to, but I’ve come to appreciate my time. I do not miss those days of being busy all the time. In fact yesterday was one of those days and I found myself snapping at Lily (daughter) and being rather a b$tch overall and I hated it. That isn’t me anymore.

    • Holly
      October 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      So glad you could take the steps necessary to get there. I hope to continue to keep up this pace of life even when we have kids, so it gives me hope! 😉

  • sizzle
    October 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    I suffer from busy-ness. I’ve been working this past year on down time, chillin’, not over-booking. I’m actually getting to a place where it feels good and normal. I like it!

    I’m still too busy for my own good though.

    • Holly
      October 27, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      I’m definitely the type of person who doesn’t want to miss out, enjoys socializing, volunteering, etc so I think it is super hard to NOT overbook. That is my biggest challenge! But I’m adjusting to a new normal too, and WOW it’s amazing what a little time to exhale can do.

  • Jessica
    October 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    This is why I want to quit my job. Right now I sprint through my days trying to do it all and I don’t want to live that way!

    • Holly
      October 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

      Man, Jess — if that is not the hardest decision. I can empathize even though I’m not in that situation because I anticipate that being a tough call for me to make when we have kids. I hope you guys find a solution that involves less sprinting on your end soon!

  • Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie
    October 28, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    OHMYGOSH I could have written all of that myself! Hope you don’t mind me passing this along, I’ve already sent the link to my boss (she has my life plus a husband & 3 kids, she is, quite literally, superwoman). Great, great post!

  • Amelia
    October 28, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    This is so interesting to me. I’m the complete opposite. I seem to do whatever I can to keep myself as un-busy as I can. I pretty much have a limit of one important errand/task per day. I’m working on branching out and not being afraid to commit to more things. It’s not like I’m a hermit or anything, it’s more like I just like to keep my options open and leave PLENTY of time for relaxing! Like you said, it’s about balance. You working on being less busy and I want to be a bit busier. Let’s meet in the middle!

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