I left the office at noon and headed directly to my parent's house where my brother was visiting for the weekend. From their front porch, I called into a meeting and then spent the afternoon eating an outdoor lunch and talking with the fam. That is, after we forced my dad to remove the headphones playing his precious Science Friday in his hears. It was the first time the four of us had been together since July. And it was the first time we'd been alone together in longer than I can remember.
It got me thinking about life and priorities. Before my summer away, a week like the one I'd had would have left me feeling stressed and anxious. But I think (at least, I hope) I'm better now at internalizing a stressful workload and not letting it negatively affect my life. I believe in working hard and achieving success. But I also will never be the kind of person who makes work my top priority. Family, love, friends, health and happiness will always come first. My to-do list may be never ending but I know I will get things done and sometimes life will have to get in the way.
And I will try not to complain (or boast, as one article calls it) so much about being busy. It's true that we live in this culture where our lives are purposely filled with much to do and sometimes we may think that busyness translates into fulfillment or success. I will say that life was much simpler and more peaceful when I was biking all summer and had nothing else to be busy with. But the demands of daily life will rarely be without busyness.
What I'm trying to do is accept that, and manage it in a way that lets me happily live my life without a lot of stress. I will get my work done but I will also take days like Friday when I need to. In the grand scheme of things, they are what I'll remember.
What about you- are you always busy? Do you think it's a complaint, a boast, or just a simple fact to tell people that you are? Do you know when to take a break?