Oh, sweet baby Jesus, am I le tired. And in all honesty, I didn’t even realize how empty my tank was until my mom asked me (partly joking, I think…maybe?) if I was doing drugs. I have some serious bags camping out under my eyes right now that no amount of concealer (is that what it’s called?) can make disappear. To set the record straight, I am not doing drugs, at least in the conventional sense—just thought I’d clarify.
No, my drug is something called being ‘busy.’ GOD, I hate that word. But I throw it around like confetti, and each time it comes out of my mouth—like word vomit (does anyone else get a flash of Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron when they say or hear that phrase or is it just me?)—I just want to five-star myself across the face. And do you know who busy’s sidekick is? Should. A word I despise even more. I should do this… I should say that… I just rolled my eyes typing that.
Somewhere along my journey, I got attached to the idea of busy as being a prize or trophy to be won. A sign of productivity, of status, of hard work. For so long, I wore the word busy as armor, as a way of saying, “Yeah, I work my ass off. I’m doing the things. I’m going to the places.”
I’ve fallen into this terrible habit using busy as a way of measuring my worth both at work and the other arenas in my life. If I’m not busy, I’m behind. If I’m not busy, I’m unproductive. If I’m not busy, I’m doing something wrong. I should do a, b, and c because x, y, and z. Should. Should. Should. Busy is a choice—it’s a compilation of things we have said yes to, whether we wanted to or we did it out of obligation. It should never be used as an excuse, scapegoat, or status, in my opinion.
And I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that you, as well as I do, know how fucking exhausting it is to be busy all the time. It’s unsustainable, hell, it’s not possible.
This is what busy, with a whopping side of should, actually looks like for me: a packed planner (almost down to the minute sometimes, I swear), saying yes when I really mean no, way less sleep than I need to be available for human consumption, cancelling plans and flaking last minute, feeling anxious, guilty, run-down and resentful (mostly at myself for over-committing), etc. etc.
Basically, I’m a horrible human being when I self-proclaim myself as busy and should myself. I’m all the above things, and I am not living out of my core values—those things that make up my heart and soul, my true self. And that is a gnarly realization to have, you guys. Sometimes, we need that “ah-ha” moment to snap us out of our present reality, however unrealistic it may be, and bring us back down to earth. For me, it was my own dear mother asking if I was doing drugs. Sigh.
So, consider this my sacred pause. My time to take a magnifying glass to my life to figure out what’s adding value and what isn’t, and consequently what can stay and what will get the boot. I’m not sure exactly what this looks like for my life, but I love me some action-ables to hold myself accountable and to get me started on the work. So, over the next few weeks as I reflect and re-evaluate, I commit to these three things:
1. I banish the words “busy” and “should” from my vocabulary. Going forward I will refer to these words as “the-words-that-shall-not-be-named”. If you witness me saying either of these words, here’s your green light to throw a proverbial (emphasis on proverbial) slap across the face.
2. I prioritize rest.
3. I exercise my “hell yes” and my no. Don’t take it personally if I tell you no, not now, or later. It’s not personal, it’s just me respecting my own boundaries.
Stay tuned for Busy Part II, comin’ atcha in a couple weeks.