Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Glorified Busy

When I was in college, I would often forget to eat lunch. Even to my own ears this sounds ridiculous. But, I would genuinely get so caught up in my day, a meeting, classes that I would find myself grouchy and hungry around 4:30pm waiting anxiously for Sylvia to open the kitchen in our sorority house and provide dinner. In my mind (and probably in actuality) I wasn't really all that "busy", I was focused. If I wasn't home over the noon hour, having a meal wasn't on my radar.

Little did I know that the "busy" lifestyle would be one I would fight for the rest of my life. Not that I don't enjoy having things to do, or that I mind working hard, but my borderline OCD nature often has me taking on more things than I should. When I saw the image above, I was confronted with my ugly reality. I promote a way of living that glorifies "busy". Crap.

I have many friends who practice yoga. They use phrases like "setting intentions" (instead of goals). I adore them. I am nothing like them. My "inner zen" is found when I am running a large scale program or finding the perfect solution to a multi-faceted problem. I am loud. I am energized by the complex. I am a planner and I am spiritual, but not in the ways that these friends seem to be. When these friends hear, "I forgot to eat lunch today.", they aren't impressed. Instead, they are worried.

Some of you are like me. You are an honor student, you are an officer in your fraternity, you work,  you have a significant other, you are a daughter... All these things lead to a busy life. You have a lot to do. But, my friends, the busyness is not the problem, it is the glorification. When I watch you from the advising sidelines, I hear you talking about "spending 12 hours on campus". You challenge your friend to respond with something like, "14 for me yesterday". We do not need to make being busy something for others to aspire to. Truly. That spirit of competition will end up cutting years off of our lives.

I have spent this past week preparing for fall... Transitioning a new staff person (welcome, Jessica), moving furniture for construction, reading, thinking. I decided to work on "setting intentions". Not goal setting and planning for the future. But, instead, focusing on who I am in this moment. Slowing down. Choosing to not be too "busy", and certainly not celebrating it. As we prepare for the upcoming semester, let's slow down. Let's not run so far and so fast that we lose sight of ourselves. When someone asks, "How are you?", fight the urge to respond with "busy". Stop the glorification of busy.

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