Reflections on Being Busy and Finding Fulfillment

The current obsession with being busy that I have observed as endemic in our society is a huge pet peeve of mine, so apologies in advance for being a bit rant-y today. At the heart of it, I don’t want to pass judgement (ok, maybe a little bit) as much as I would like to encourage everyone to celebrate being fulfilled, and with the capacity to take on things that matter to you, rather than to fall into the trap of complaining about having a full calendar. So here goes:

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· Saying “I am so busy” has become the new “fine” when asked how you are doing. Consider reverting to “fine” sometimes and see how that feels (and add a smile!).

· Busy-ness is the new “black”- the Gucci bag of status’. It says, “I am so important!”. You ARE important- you don’t need your calendar to prove it!

· To really get stuff done it makes a lot more sense to have a shorter “to do” list. Less is more and focus is your friend.

· If you train yourself to say, “I have chosen to take on more things that I want to do” instead of “I am so busy”, you probably get your stuff done more cheerfully, and you may feel less put upon.

· If you are a single parent working two jobs- you are most definitely busy, and should feel very free to say so- venting also has its very valid place.

· Likewise, everyone who has kids isn’t busy and everyone who is childless or single isn’t awash in free time. It is impossible to judge someone else’s life.

· Doing things you love, that fulfill you (without the need for survival of yourself or the care of loved one) is not “busy”, but can still be very, very important. For instance, I love going to the gym and hope you (and I) can get there regularly. Gratitude for having the time, money and good health to make this happen is key.

· An active and meaningful life in retirement is something we all aspire to and want for our loved ones. If you are a retiree who says, “I have never been busier”, that makes my heart happy, and hopeful for my own retirement- I am just going to do a translation in my head and remove the word “busier” (my issue, I get it) and replace with “more active/contributing/fulfilled/engaged/exploring life/ happy”…and I celebrate you!

· If you have time to drink to excess on a regular basis, you aren’t busy. Ditto binge watching Netflix. There is really no way to sugar coat this one, but also your choice on not being busy all the time!

· People who are actually really busy generally don’t talk about it. Note to self.