As I sit in class 10 minutes before the professor walks in and gab with my table-mates, our conversation gradually becomes a battle of who is busiest:
“Yeah, I’m the founder of the Photography Club and I’ve got that meeting until 7:30 and I still have to write a six page paper that’s due at midnight…”
“Well, I have to get up at 5:45 tomorrow morning to go to work, which is an hour and a half drive. Then I’ve got to take a midterm that I still haven’t studied for…”
“Ouch. I’ve got to read the last six chapters for Smith’s class and then get up at 4:30 to go run track before my 8:00 a.m. class…”
Not to mention the email signatures listing majors (sometimes double majors) with concentrations and minors, sororities, honors societies, and student government offices that end up being twice (or even three) times as long as the actual email.
Speaking as a barely 21-year-old college student and mom of a barely six month old, being busy isn’t fun or cool or fashionable. I would give anything to go one night with six hours of uninterrupted sleep. I would love to have the time to take a shower that’s more than two minutes long. I would kill to be able to eat dinner in one sitting.
But the trend seems to be that we compete for an award based on who’s life is the craziest, when we should be thanking the powers that be for every moment we can sit and breathe and relax. We should engage in active rest.
So stop filling every dead space in your day with your Facebook feed. Stop saying yes to everything. Stop glorifying being busy.
Busy is defined as “keep[ing] occupied” (Google, 2016). What are we so afraid of that we have to distract ourselves from our lives? Are we afraid of being alone with our thoughts? Are we so unhappy with reality that we have to check Instagram every few minutes, lest we slow down enough to realize that going full-throttle all the time is actually taking a toll?
Busy is also defined as “having a great deal to do” (Google, 2016). No one wants a to-do list that is miles long. The thought just makes my head hurt. Trust me, I feel like my work is never done. When the baby is finally down, I think of the mountain of dirty dishes in the sink, my broken and too-long toenails, the spit up stain on my shirt, the readings I should be catching up on but will probably end up just SparkNote-ing. Instead my finger itches for my phone and I check the time. I calculate the hours of sleep I’ll be able to get, remembering to subtract the 30 minutes it’ll take my brain to shut down. I crawl into bed and dream of a day when I’m not so damn busy.
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As seen here on Odyssey