Happy is the new busy.
Well hello there, lovelies.
Do you know the most common responses I hear when I ask the people in my life how they are doing: “I’m busy”, “We are busy” or “Life is so busy”.
We are all guilty of it, yet we continue to fill our plates with more and more obligations because the world around us is calling for us to wear all of the hats at all of the times.
Over the past few months I’ve been reflecting on my life and the things I hold value to. I’ve been asking myself what would help maximize mine and my family’s fulfillment and what are the changes I can make to be more present – is it where I work? How many days I work? Where I physically live? How I spend my time? I feel like I’m living in a hamster wheel of busyness and I’m certain that the primary reason is that there is something much deeper going on in my person that I am quite possibly trying to avoid dealing with; decisions to be made that seem too overwhelming to make.
Maybe there is some truth to that for other people in my life or maybe we attribute our success to our busyness which seems fundamentally flawed to me; however, when it really comes down to it and our time here is done I must ask myself – will I remember my career and all of the hours I spent working early in the morning or late into the evening? Or will I remember the meaningful phone conversations I had with a dear friend when she needed me most?
Don’t get me wrong – I realize that hard work and quite honestly the money we earn when we work is what makes all other things possible. The issue I see is that so many women and parents are so busy getting busy that maybe they aren’t busy cultivating happiness. Sometimes we are busy out of necessity, and that season of busy is understandable. But – at what point are we using ‘busy’ as a crutch to avoid engaging in the other parts of our lives that can’t simply be excused by our schedules?
What prompted these thoughts for me was when I was watching Jillian Harris’ insta story (ok – laugh now. It was not a thought provoking Brene Brown book or a Ted talk, but simply a moment on the bus aimlessly snooping on a celebrity’s life whose thoughts on motherhood are generally aligned with mine). She was apologizing for her perceived laziness since she had slowed down and stopped filming her tv shows to spend more time with family. I immediately wondered why on EARTH do we as parents feel the need to apologize for not being busy and for spending extra time playing with our kids? What cultural norms have cultivated this kind of guilt???”
I don’t have the answers BUT my promise to myself is that for one month when someone asks me how I’m doing I will not answer “busy”. Side note: I have also promised myself every Monday for the last 5 years I would practice weekday sobriety and I’ve failed miserably so I can’t guarantee any positive results. I do intend, however, on giving it a college try.
So, today when asked how I am I answer: “fulfilled”. Just saying it out loud makes me feel better already.