‘How are you today?’ my mum asks me with a smile. ‘Busy,’ I say. ‘And tired,’ I add as an afterthought as if I was too busy to notice how tired I was. This wasn’t the first time I’d answered my mum’s questions with a non-answer and it (sadly, annoyingly) wasn’t the last. But it was one of the first times I noticed how being busy had become the new status symbol. How often I said I was busy. Free time was very last generation and the currency of now is how much you have to do.
Why am I so busy?
So then my mum would ask me why am I so busy? I would reply with a long list of stuff which essentially boils down to three things – working, fitness, and blogging. They are three massive areas in my life which take time and dedication.
The work one is obvious. I have a full time job which I want to succeed in. I work hard and put in the hours. I love to run and play sports, and HIIT in my time. That also takes time. The third: blogging, is the hobby which has turned more serious. It’s also the one I will let slip (though I am now getting into a routine of posting twice a week).
Am I really busy?
So yes, I do a lot of stuff and most of it is stuff I enjoy. But am I really busy? Some days, yes I am rushed off my feet and have no time to do anything but most of the time? No. I like telling people I am busy. Yes I fill the hours in my day with a lot of activities but I usually also have a fair chunk of time every day to do nothing and relax.
This could be watching TV, reading a book, Pokemon hunting with my sister (yes we still do this and LOVE it), talking with my parents. I might be inspired by something I saw online and cook up a something in the kitchen before photographing it and eating it.
I have enough time every day to do the truly mundane – ironing and washing dishes and making myself comfy on the sofa. I don’t think TV is evil incarnate and should be avoided at all costs.
During the weekends I have even more free time to do whatever I want. Some days there are obligations but most days? Most days you’ll find me curled up with a good book. Or sweating after a good long run.
The Cult of Busy
I have come to the realisation that saying ‘I’m busy’ doesn’t mean I am actually busy but that I am a successful individual who believes sleep is for the weak. It’s a classless status symbol. The new way to show off how brilliant you are. I am busy because I have so many fingers in so many pies. I am busy because I am slaying at life. I am busy because free time is a waste of my time. I am busy because I am in such high demand.
On social media everyone is busy. On Instagram influencers take pride in telling people how busy they are. Don’t get me wrong, I was the same and I am trying to break out of the habit and cycle now.
As I discovered the truth is that no one is as busy as they say they are or think they are. Before I actually sat down and assessed what was taking so much of my time I didn’t realise how much I was exaggerating my own busy-ness.
I don’t want to ever be a ‘recovering workaholic’ mainly because of all the things I could be recovering from, that one is the most dull sounding. I have had to teach myself to take a breath, to relax, and to stop telling people I’m busy. Now when my mum asks me how I am doing I try to actually answer the question instead of taking about my schedule. No one care about my schedule. Even I don’t care about it all that often!
Here’s the thing, relaxing doesn’t equal laziness. Laziness doesn’t equal unsuccessful. Relaxing equals relaxing. Laziness is allowed. In fact, laziness is welcomed and embraced with open arms! Success doesn’t come from only sleeping 5 hours every night. Slaying at life comes from working hard and playing just as hard, whatever your version of playing hard is. Most of the time mine equals running for about half an hour and then curling up on the sofa watching a crime drama or reading a good book.