Thursday, January 7, 2016

No More Busy!!

Someone posted an article on Facebook the other day called Busy Is A Sickness and it really got my wheels spinning! Go read it, I'll wait...

If you didn't follow directions, I'll sum it up a little bit. He speaks about how busy we all are these days and about how we wear our "busyness" like a badge of honor. When friends ask how we are doing, we tend to dramatically exclaim about ALL that we have to do and ALL that we have going on and then the friend commiserates and gives us a run down of how busy they are as well. But one day his friend put things into perspective - made him think of how lucky he was to either "get to" or "be able to" do all of the things he had to do in that day. And he began thinking of how much of his being overwhelmed came from self imposed anxiety.

After my conversation with my friend, I began to notice how much of my rushing was an overreaction to my "awfulizing" in my head. Most of the time, I manufacture urgency in hopes that it will create urgency in others. Instead, it only creates anxiety, resentment and spite. Which is absolutely counter-productive. And even in the cases where the urgency is real, it's often due to a packed schedule I created.

This is the part that really got me to thinking about my life and my feelings of stress. My husband and I were talking the other day about whether or not I should go to work at some point. He asked why I would want to do that when I am finally a stay at home mom like I have always wanted to be. I told him that I just haven't settled into it as easily as I thought I would. I like everything about it and feel so blessed but I just always have this uneasy feeling of guilt that I'm not earning money. After I read this article, it really hit me why I am not enjoying being at home like I thought. It has to do with what he says about manufacturing busyness. In my case it goes something like - I sit down to have a leisurely lunch on a slow day but  instead of enjoying it, I think of all the people at their offices working hard or other moms who want to be stay at home moms but are at work instead and then I feel guilty. So I rush through my lunch and start thinking of all the things I "should" be doing - organizing a closet, wiping down a baseboard, running an errand - and then I don't feel so guilty because I'm not relaxing, I'm stressing out and feeling pressure about all of these things that do need to be done but are not anything urgent or needing to be accomplished right at that moment. And if I really want to pile it on, I start thinking of all of the things I've not done that I probably should have or things I didn't do as well as I could have. And then I feel really nice and stressed and busy. And then I don't have to feel guilty!

Obviously, that is not good. And now that I realize it, I will stop. I woke up this morning feeling nauseous after a night of not very good sleep because I felt nauseous all night. The old me would have made myself fight through getting a bunch done all while feeling horrible. But today I thought about how much I've gotten done the past few days, about how once the kids get home this afternoon I'll have tons to do, and how I have a meeting tonight. I got comfy on the couch and started up my latest binge watching Netflix show(Hart of Dixie right now - SO good!) and I've been getting a baby mermaid tale done all morning...and NOT feeling guilty one bit about it.

The writer of the article sums it up with this

I am created in the image and likeness of God, yet somehow that isn't good enough for me. So I fill my Facebook feed and my calendar with self-important busyness to avoid just being. In the process, I not only miss out on the peace and beauty that lies within myself, but I also miss seeing that same beauty in others, because my manufactured urgency has covered it up with anxiety and worry.
It's time I let my busyness rest in peace.
So my prayer today is this. That I stop defining myself by my doing, and start defining myself by my being. That I stop measuring time by the clock on the wall, and start measuring it by the experiences I share with those around me. And that I stop seeing my life as "busy," and instead, see it for what it truly is.
I am adopting this prayer and hope that you can do the same!
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