The Problem with Wearing Busy as a Badge

Whenever I ask someone how they are doing, I can usually predict the answer.

Regardless of the back story or excuse that comes after — whether a job, kids or another life event or obligation — the answer to “how are you?” almost always starts with some form of the word, “busy.”

Why do we do this?

I think there’s a common misconception in society that if you’re not busy, you’re not successful or important. The assumption is that those who sacrifice everything they have for something — the weekend worker bees and over-achievers that draw no boundaries to get things done — will be martyred. Busy has become a badge we proudly show off anytime we can. But why?

If there’s something I’ve realized in my 30 years of life (#oldballs), it’s that no one really cares. No one is really that impressed that you work 12 hour days every day or filled your weekend to the brim with obligations. No one truly cares that you’re late because you just came from said other event, or you get an average of five hours of sleep per night. No one feels bad for you that your kid is in 10 soccer leagues and you’re the coach for all of them. You might see a fleeting moment of “oh!” cross their face when you share this information, but let’s face it — the only one thinking of your struggle while you’re doing all of those things is you.

Because do you know what’s harder than being busy? Balance. 

Setting boundaries on those late nights at the office; declining that weekend brunch date to give yourself some R&R at home; choosing quality time with those you love over your to-do list. 

It took me years — YEARS! — to realize this. And I’m still working on it. But it’s just become so obvious to me: you are responsible for your own happiness. You decide whether or not you love your life. 

If tomorrow was your last day on this earth, would all of those fleeting commitments matter? Nope.

So choose balance. Schedule in some down time. Give yourself a break (on the regular!) And prioritize relationships over to-do’s. 

Your life is what you make of it — it’s time to stop complaining and start living.

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