A while back I read a blog post on the “glorification of busyness”. The author described when she asked the simple question, “How ya doing?” she invariably heard, “I’m so busy!” As if that told the whole story of life packed to the brim.
That made me pause. Do I do that? I took it as a challenge and began to spy on myself at work, home, and the grocery store.
And to my surprise when asked how I was doing, I did say, “I’m so busy.” Or “Crazy busy,” or “Way too busy”. A lot. And as I listened to others answer that same question, they did, too.
There are lots of words to describe busy: occupied, engaged, involved, hard at work; rushed off one’s feet, hard-pressed, swamped, up to one’s neck, tied up, hectic, overworked. (From the online dictionary.)
The opposite of busy is idle.
Being a nurse and scientist, I thought this deserved a bit more study and experimented with my “busy” responses.
When I lumped my whole state of being into the response “really crazy busy”, I literally felt pressed for time, a little tightness in my chest, and guarded. Like “Please don’t ask me to do one more thing because, well, I’m too busy!”
Yet, when I got specific about my work projects, I found I engaged more with the person asking. We shared a warm story or gave each other support. I left the conversation feeling uplifted, inspired and energized. Not too much time talking, because we were, well, busy.
Looking at nature, idleness happens every year during the winter months; plants go dormant, animals hibernate or hang out in warmer climes and even the sun goes to bed early and rises late.
This state of being in the practice of mindfulness is a form of non-doing. It’s a way to focus your attention so that the natural busy nature of your human mind, gets some ease and rest.
In other words, to just be.
Today, any time you feel swamped or overwhelmed in the midst of being with co-workers, clients or family, let go of the busyness and give yourself a moment of idle reflection or a breath or two. It might return a little sanity amidst the really crazy busy doings of every day life.
Let me know what you think about this and what you find out!
Until next time, be well.
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