Monday, October 8, 2012

Letting Go of Busy

Work has been busy recently. I hate to say "I'm so busy", especially after Julie led me to this post and this one. But that's life. I had many out of the office meetings last week and spent several late nights working. When Friday rolled around, and the last of those late nights was through, I just wanted a break. Granted, I had plenty on my to-do list and I could have easily filled my Friday with work. But I decided that everyone deserves a break and asked my boss if I could take the afternoon off after working so many long hours.

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?

1 comment:

  1. I think that sometimes we make ourselves busy (or focus on it and talk about it frequently) because we feel like others won't be impressed with us if we aren't busy. Maybe we'll be perceived as lazy? I see people who also make themselves more stressed sometimes simply by saying how stressed and busy they are all the time.

    Obviously this is a general statement, and obviously we all do get really busy at times. When people boast about being stressed I feel a little annoyed, but clearly there are times where we are all busy and stressed too, and that's ok.