ARE YOU "THAT" GIRL?
Unrealistic deadlines, to-do lists for days, with weeknight activities and a social calendar that would terrify a Buddhist Monk....
We all know someone that fits this description, I was one of 'them' for the most part of my adult life to-date. The 'I'm busy being, busy' girl. We all have a friend or someone in our life that is engulfed with the notion of 'busy'. Unfortunately, it's not just these individuals, it's our society as a collective.
We've become obsessed with 'busy'.
How often do you ask someone, 'how are you?' only to be met with the energy zapper response of 'oh, busy!' How often (and nod with me if you've been the sender) of a text to reschedule because 'we're just too busy'.
Dependent on your mindset, success in life, in our personal lives and more evidently in our professional life is sometimes depicted and often shallowly measured by the volume of our schedules. It wouldn't be a work day if we didn't hear someone say or think (especially if you're victim to 'busy' girl syndrome) about how much they have to do, how much time that task is taking or how many things need to be ticked off before Monday and sadly, the real reality here, just how little time we have to do everything 'else'.
When did we decide that this was life?
Do we really want to be chasing the clock 24/7, a concept of time that we humans invented? Do we really want to define our success as the contrast of colour in our schedules or the task lists in our calendars?
Then we need to stop with the glorification of 'busy' and start living. Not merely counting the hours between 9 and 5 (or for many of us 'busy gals' 7 till 7). Real living, making space and doing the things (that heaven forbid) we enjoy. The things that matter most to us. The things that make us feel like us.
I'm not saying we need to throw our watches away and quit our day jobs - BUT - what if we were to answer the question of, 'how' are you?' with 'great, everything's well?' Of course; you have to be happy in your profession to produce an answer like this, but wouldn't it make a difference to our moods and energy if we did. If we stopped rushing to finish a task, to actually enjoy it? If we left home 15 minutes earlier and took note of the passers by on the commute? If we viewed walking the dog as a luxury rather than a chore?
If you're shy to attracting attention this type of answer might be uncomfortable at first.
A response like this will potentially draw the attention of your colleagues, give your girlfriends something to gossip about and make your family worry you're going through a mid-life-crisis. Whether you look disinterested or completely delusional, notice how changing your language makes you FEEL. Better yet, notice the reaction of the person you're conversing with.
So, if it's this simple, why do we (habitually) let 'busy' roll off the tongue? What is it about 'busy' that our society is so drawn to? Why does 'busy' make us feel more superior?
That's why we say it right?
Having been on both sides of the spectrum, when we're 'too busy' there is less time to be spent on our own, which for some of us is frightening.
Time alone? With just my own thoughts? 'Heckkk no thank you!' I'll continue being 'busy'... until I burn out or realise that there's so much more to life than the emails and deadlines of the 9-5 world (or for you busy gals, 7-7pm).
I'm not for one minute 'dissing' the desk job. Not only was it my life, my closest girlfriends are killing it in the industry as Lawyers, Architects, Marketing Assistants, Advertisers and Event Planners - just to name a few (and massive high 5's to you beautiful amazing women!)
BUT It's balance that is key.
For those of us slogging it out being 'too busy' for life, stop and think for a moment; What are you escaping with those extra emails and task lists? What are you truly hiding from with your overflowing social calendar?
For many of us, our never ending schedules and to-do-lists prevent us from that horrible and often frightening silence of our own minds. Ew. Our own minds. How weird that would be right?
Confronting maybe, but once you learn to find time and enjoy your own company, you’ll be begin to grow as a person... and possibly actually enjoy it! You can learn and teach yourself about things and about yourself that you never realised (especially not without Google or Trivia Hack anyway).
I’m not saying you need to go live in the woods and abandon society. No one can argue the benefits and the fun that come along with success at work and fulfilling relationships, but the benefits of hanging out in your own mind are uncapped.
You don't have to mediate or become a yogi, simply tuning in on your commute to work or while you cook, even reading and listening to music counts as alone time.
Not only does it help you recharge (for your day ahead and for your duties within your relationships), it helps you to acknowledge and learn your emotions, teaches you trust within yourself and validation.
People who take time out for themselves are more productive and successful at work (and also the happiest!) .
I know which one I'd prefer.
I've watched my life (and most evidently for me, my health) change drastically with this mindset shift. 6 years ago, even as recent as 3 years ago (yep my inner 'busy girl' really is a stubborn bi*ch!) I had a serious case of BG syndrome. Needing to fill my every gap of spare time with something..... anything. And, when I didn't have something scheduled in, I just found something to keep me busy. Like many of us, I'd fill those voids with social media scrolling or coffees with friends. I did not want to deal with the silence of my own (at the time) unhappy mind.
A serious commitment to change, the introduction of meditation, lots of research and reading along with further study, I've learnt to love (sometimes a little too much) my own company. I am a much calmer, happier, healthier and if I'm to be honest, a much nicer person to be around.
I can sleep without sleeping tablets, function without getting sick, my relationships are full of love and I am in a career that lights me up …and I no longer use the B word (ok, sometimes... I'm only human).
Try it for yourself and note the difference. After all, who said our life's purpose can't simply be to 'be happy'. To be good at being happy. We don't need a computer or full social calendar to tell us we're happy or to feel important. I had that. It didn't work out so well.
I am good at making people around me smile and laugh (whether that be at me, or with me), delivering a presence that makes those around me feel accepted and at ease. And that's enough for me. No task list or calendar invite can measure that.
Have you got a 'I'm too busy being busy friend?' Or are you that girl? Comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts.