Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Why I'm not busy anymore

I am not busy.

I am a working mom to an adventurous little guy and a needy cat. I am a woman who likes to travel with her husband, maintain a blog and a often-neglected but still beloved podcast, and who enjoys cooking and forces herself to exercise.

I work more than 40 hours a week in an office where everything is an
emergency, I eat at my desk and I haven't had the time to call my friends in weeks. I use my car to wind myself up or down for the day, and I have rediscovered yoga to hang on to the thin thread of calm that I have left.

But, I am not busy.

I say that for a few reasons. First of all - my life could always get busier. We are all healthy, my son hasn't taken up any after-school activities I need to ferry him to, and we only have one child to keep track of. At work, we could lose people on my team from staff reductions or people resigning or I could get handed a lot more projects to work on.

My other big reason is that I am tired of living in a culture of busyness. One where we are always connected to work and one where we try to one-up each other with what we get accomplished before 8 am, or how late we stayed up last night to work on something. I feel nothing but sadness when I see emails from my coworkers that came in during a weekend.

So, I say that I am not busy. And most days I believe myself. On the days I don't, I focus on the following things:
  1. I don't need to interact with media every day. My phone can ring/buzz and I can ignore it. It's usually not that important. 
  2. Work is for work. Home is for family. I am thrilled to see that other countries like France and Germany are trying to make that distinction on a national scale - I'm making it a distinction on a personal scale. (I don't enjoy working from home, anyway.)
  3. I am an organized person. Lists are my friends - as long as there aren't too many of them - and they can help me find the time I need to find to get everything prioritized and accomplished.
And for the most part it works. I feel occupied, but not busy. I feel balanced, but not slammed. I have down time to just sit and breathe for a moment.

Do you feel overwhelmed with too much in your life? What are you going to let go of to free up some of your time?

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