Busy, Busy, Busy | Breaking the Cycle of Chronic Hustling
"Hi you. How was your week?"
It feels that way. On Sunday it is hard to remember what happened on Monday or find anything noteworthy about the week that has just lived its hasty life. Monday blurs into Thursday, Wednesday bumps into Monday and there we have it.
It is not uncommon to blink and find an entire week or month or year has passed. In the tale of the boy who skipped past any bit of life he didn't like by pulling on a thread, he found that life had passed him by. In some of our stories it feels more like we clock out of life instead of leaning into the moments, and find that suddenly, large chunks of life are gone and we have no meaningful memory of it.
Mentally we exhaust ourselves by always looking forward. But we say, isn't life supposed to be hustling, hustling, hustling? Don't we have to live all the life we can? Live to the full they say, and we translate it as do all the things.
Do all the things? That's a variation on a materialistic commitment to do all the things instead of have all the things. In short it's a frantic run without stopping to enjoy or intentionally live anything. It's fear. It's ego, because we think we're going to, oh heavens! Miss something. If the pantry isn't organized with the latest clever IKEA hack, quality of life will be lost. It must be done this week. If the invites for this party are not worthy to sell on Etsy then the party will not be worth throwing, or attending. If I can't do that cross fit routine at the gym I may as well hang my head in shame and go home, because go big or go home. If I don't travel everywhere, in my twenties! I will never have another chance.
There's no room to live life here.
We need to ask what we can cut out. Do less to have less, but live more. Or perhaps we need to change perspective. It seems like feeding the beast to always say "oh! I'm so busy!" with a huff and puff when people ask how we're doing because in reality, that is not how we're doing. That is what we're doing, and not a very good description of it either. Then, because we say it, of course we become it. It is wise to be a bit more careful with the words we carelessly throw around, and to manage life so it doesn't enslave us.
Life apparently becomes maneagable when it is managed as important, but not all-inclusive.
I would say that one of the most life-changing things I have started practicing is stopping in the moment and taking five seconds to really soak in the Instagram photo I am viewing, the kid I'm reading a story to, the customer who has a life I'm forgetting about, and the fact that this collection of little moments where I am actually present will count toward a healthier future.
I want to leave you with something I read about a mum with eight kids; a cook, a TV host, and author of cookbooks. She says:
We are a big family. When I met my husband, he had 2 kids aged 7 and 9, and I had one daughter aged nearly 2. We fell in love and had 5 children together. So now we are 8, and we love our big family. Regarding a balanced life, I think the key is to blend everything together until it works, just like a recipe. You need time to raise your kids, time to work, time for your marriage, and they are all important. It might sound ironic, but I simply do not ask myself how to do it, I do not question myself. I just do it with all the strength in the world, and I know it’s going to be all great! And it works!