I’ve seen the phrase “stop the glorification of busy” floating around Facebook lately and I love it. I also love something Jamie Cheshire shared this week… “Not My Circus. Not My Monkeys,” but that’s a story for another time. Back to busy.
I used to worship at the alter of getting tons done, of multi-tasking, of being involved in as many dynamic, fun, worthwhile projects as possible. I almost never turned down work for my marketing business (even when it wasn’t a good fit) because “you never know when you’re going to hit a dry spell.” When people asked how I was, I’d go on and on about being super busy. And if I wasn’t really busy I’d feel a little guilty, or kind of lame, because I wasn’t in enough demand socially or economically.
If people asked me about my art, or my writing or my garden or travelling or going dancing and I hadn’t been giving those joy-connections much time lately, I’d say, “Oh I’d love to do more of that, but I’m soooo busy lately.” Well bullshit. Not having enough time, or enough money, is really not the main problem. If I really want to develop my meditation practice, to learn the entire Golden Flower Tai Chi Form, or get better on the ukulele… all I need to do is prioritize that desire. When I do that all of a sudden more time “appears.” Suddenly I find at least ten minutes to practice every day. I also find that many times that ten minutes expands into thirty because I’m really enjoying myself. Or I sign up for a class or a year long training… and here’s another critical part for me… before I sign up I really think about how much I WANT to do it. I feel into if I’m ready to make a commitment, which means I won’t be easily derailed by other things clamoring for my time and attention.
I also stop making excuses and saying I’m “too busy.” I’m exactly as busy as I want to be… which these days is not actually very busy. If I’m not really excited or compelled to do something because I want to do it, I say no. Or I table it till later. And I’ve stopped telling myself that I don’t have the time or money. If it’s really important to me I’ll find a way to manifest it, or attract it.
In the past year I’ve renovated two houses and put them on the market. I’ve bought a new house with my new husband and gutted the kitchen and bathroom and created our dream spaces. I’ve sent my oldest off to college, helped my youngest get decent grades and get back and forth to many, many lacrosse practices and games during his freshman year in high school. I’ve learned to navigate living with a twelve year old girl who’s learning to navigate dealing with hormones, a new family dynamic and a new middle school. I’ve gotten engaged, married in Belize and planned and taken a two-week long honeymoon. I’ve taken up the ukulele and committed to a year-long Tai Chi Instructor Training. Next month I’m spending six days in Venice and three days in Croatia. Oh, and I also have my own marketing business, run a community web/social media collective MyBridges and spearhead the Imagination Installations Project.
I was sitting with a dear friend today who’s life is as full as mine. She was showing me a collection of seven handcrafted arrows (complete with decorative arrowheads and elaborate feathered fletching at the top) that she had made over the past couple of months…. “in her spare time.” My first thought was, oh my these are so beautiful. My second thought was, if she has the space to add learning something new to her plate (and can pay for the weekly classes and supplies), and if she has the significant amount of “extra time” to craft these functional works of art… then I too have time for more fun, creativity and cavorting.
And you know what? So do you. If you really want it you’ll find a way to rearrange your life, to attract the funds, to make it happen. And you’ll be so glad you did. On the flip side, if you don’t really want it, or if there’s something you want more (like time in front of the TV, or seeing your savings account grow) then it won’t happen.
So let’s stop the glorification of busy. Let’s stop making excuses to ourselves and others. Instead, let’s live the life of our dreams.