Monday, December 22, 2014

Why I'm not busy

I often hear people lament how busy they are, but there's a hint of braggadocio about it. It's like there's this contest and whoever works the most hours and juggles the most tasks simultaneously proves that their time is the most in demand and they are the most important person. And the prize is stress, exhaustion and unhappiness. I don't get it. But what do I know? I only enter contests where the prizes are money or free vacations.

I am failing terribly at being the busiest-most-important-person. I am not busy. I am not important. And it's quite fantastic. I spend my time doing the things I love to do. Which is primarily running, laughing, reading, adventuring, working (because it pays for the adventuring) and talking about future adventures I want to go on until people agree to accompany me. I can cram a lot of activities into one day and not feel busy if they are things I want to do and with people I want to see. But I like to leave some spare time for spontaneity too. Sometimes it's nice to just let life happen instead of overscheduling it all.

Granted, I am extremely fortunate to have the luxury of leisure time. Some of that is luck - I don't have to worry about my safety or where my next meal is coming from and I don't have to work two jobs to make ends meet. But some of that is choice - I don't have kids to chauffeur around to a bunch of activities every day.

The beauty of time is that everyone gets 24 hours of it every day and the choice of what to do with it. I don't know who invented the busiest person contest. It was probably someone trying to sell something. But I do know that participation is totally optional. If you like being busy, by all means have at it. You win. But if you don't, if it makes you tired and unhappy and grouchy, just know that you always have options. The only things you absolutely HAVE to do are breathe, sleep and eat/drink enough to keep yourself alive. So when you say you have to do something that is not on that list, what you really mean is that you want to do it or you feel obligated to do it or you don't want to deal with the consequences of not doing it. And yes, some of those things are important. But maybe stop and ask yourself how important. This is your one and only life. Make time for the things that are most important to you and realize you can opt out of the ones that aren't.

Lyric of the moment: "We are very busy people. But we've always got time for new friends..."

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