A Reflection on Busyness

I am guilty of being busy. 

I forget to call people. I make simple mistakes. I get anxious. I feel spread thin and obnoxiously obligated.

It’s because I’m busy.

Busy with school. Busy with building a house (and everything that goes along with it.) Busy trying to make a place for myself at a company I genuinely enjoy. Busy with people, places and things – many of which I don’t even want to be busy with.  Busy speeding through the Buffet of Life and adding more and more stuff to my plate.

When I “complain” of my busyness, I don’t mean to sound pretentious or important. If anything, I’m confident that I sound like an incapable child with terrible priority management skills.

I’m driven by deep seeded complexes and the urgency to go go go – for what kind of person would I be if I had time to fill with nothingness?

I’d feel guilty. Lost. Soft. Bored.

But when I think about it – maybe after some time, I’d feel calmer. Lighter. More focused.

I’m not unhappy. I’m not ungrateful. I’m not wishing anything away. I’m just tired of going 100 miles an hour every day. I need to learn how to pump the breaks.

This is simply something I’m working on. I’m terribly flawed and I have no answers. This is merely a reflection. Maybe you can relate? 


  1. says

    Oh I can definitely relate! I think in general, I thrive when I have more obligations and responsibilities, but that sometimes I can take on TOO much (and that could be just one little think I sign up for/volunteer for/ etc.) and its like I hit a breaking point. I have been steady taking on more and more things to do this semester, but no signs of a break yet. I am such a planner. I like to know what I am doing, how I am doing it, when I am doing it so maybe try planning times to stop WHATEVER you are doing and just relax and decompress, possibly take a relaxing yoga class, take a bath with a glass of wine, or whatever you like to do to relax.

  2. says

    I completely get it. Working 40 hrs at the Bank, going to the gym, and trying to get my photography business going… oh, and being in school, just getting through planning our wedding, and taking in a new dog. The last 8 months have been warp speed.

  3. says

    I actually use busyness as one of my defense mechanisms. Like right now, with the being single thing, I tend to go overboard with activities and plans just to keep ‘busy’ so I don’t have to dwell on anything. It’s okay, but it can absolutely backfire! It’s not always easy to just sit and be still with your thoughts.

  4. says

    I think we can all relate. It’s been ingrained in all of us, I think, that if we aren’t on the go and busy that we aren’t reaching our full potential. It’s a lot of pressure and it’s difficult to escape.

  5. says

    I was nearly in tears yesterday when speaking to a co-worker about this same matter. 10 million directions — I’m only one person! She looked at me, shook her head, and said “Busy, busy, busy” … Can you name that movie?
    It’s Frosty the Snowman. What did I do? I shut down for the night, made a fabulous dinner, lit some candles, and watched Frosty. Yes, life can be busy. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. But in the end, we need to MAKE TIME to take moments for ourselves and make the most of them. The world won’t end, and my friends and loved ones will understand. If I’m overwhelmed and stressed and haggard, I’m not the girl they know and love. Also, I’m not the girl I know and love.
    From now on, I’m going to commit to taking time from the Busy to simply Be me. :)

  6. says

    It’s funny because I often find myself complaining about having no time or feeling under pressure and over-worked – mainly with the amount of stuff I pile on myself. But when I’m not busy and have days where I literally have nothing on my to-do list, I feel lost and ansy. I hate not having something to do. I think there are just levels of how much we can cope with! There must be an optimum somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet…

  7. says

    I can relate. And this – “I’m driven by deep seeded complexes and the urgency to go go go – for what kind of person would I be if I had time to fill with nothingness?” – is the issue. I always have to be doing something in order to feel like I’m using my time wisely. Over the past couple of months I’ve been prioritzing better and beginning to understand that sometimes downtime is way more important than ticking things off my list. It’s not easy for us Type A people, but it’s a must do!

  8. says

    I used to feel like this when I still had a desk job. But now that I’m substitute teaching, I have much more flexibility (and school breaks). Sometimes I feel a little lazy because of this (I almost considered picking up a second job), but because my husband works so many hours, neither of us would ever be home to clean, cook or pay the bills! I think in our society, a busy schedule = success…but that’s why so many people are burnt out!

  9. says

    Oh I can definitely relate, I feel guilty when I’m NOT busy. I try to sit down and stay still and I think of a million things that I could be doing!!! I like to be busy, but then I get irritated that I’m constantly on the go too! I’m a walking oxymoron!!!

  10. says

    I’m EXACTLY the same. I tend to be the “I can do it all” type of person and then when I crash and burn wonder what happened, so I’m working on that. This month I set realistic goals and it’s working!!!

  11. says

    I used to be this way, but it’s just about saying “no”. Trust me, it’s rough @ first… but it gets easier girl. Take sometime for yourself :)

  12. says

    I have the exact same tendency, to feel somewhat guilty when I’m not busy. When I’m doing a whole lot of nothing. When I’m watching tv or relaxing with roommates. I enjoy it once in awhile, but for some reason I can’t shake the “lazy” label I want to give myself if I let it happen too much. Ironically, now that I am actually so busy that I barely have time to sleep, I seriously crave that downtime. It’s like it’s ok for me to have downtime as long as I’ve been running non-stop for days. That doesn’t seem right. Wish I had some advice for you but it looks like I’m in the same boat!

  13. Vanessa says

    I know exactly how you feel! I am working hard to slow things down, but then feel guilty when I do! It seems like our society prides itself on burning the candle at both ends, as opposed to slowing it down and actually taking time to rest and care for yourself. Glad to see I am not the only one that feels that way : )

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