Busyness is king in today’s world. Everyone I know is talking about how busy they are or how busy their day was – myself included. I find myself getting sick of this word and trying to find substitutes to still get the point across that I had a full day.
But of course I had a full day! We’re all adults here (maybe) and so we should be able to see that with adult jobs come adult responsibilities, which often take up adult amounts of time. So how do we navigate the busyness of our schedules and still make time for family and friends and enjoying our lives?
I’m going to argue that it will be a choice we make – to take back our time, or not.
Let’s check all our excuses at the proverbial door. Let’s all agree that we have a lot going on in our lives and there is little time for relaxing outside of our 9-5s and everything else we need/want to do every day. We’ve all got the same 24 hours, right?
So what’s the solution? Actually, what’s the real problem here? Why does it matter if we’re so busy? First of all, I think our minds and bodies would tell us it doesn’t really feel great to always be busy. I feel frazzled after just one or two full days. I can’t imagine that that feeling is supposed to be a normal thing for adults to manage. I don’t think that was the plan.
No, I think we’re busy because we want to be. We want to be successful and powerful and beautiful and have great families that do all kinds of fun activities and look good to everyone around us. And really, I think all those things are ok things to want. But if you’re running yourself ragged to keep up those appearances, I think the priorities are a little off.
I believe we were designed to flourish in this world, and to make this world flourish with us. To me, flourishing means growth and success and strength, but it also means fullness and health and life. If I’m always so busy I can’t see, I can’t be growing, or feeling full and healthy and alive. A girl’s gotta rest.
If the problem is our busyness is making us all tired and sick and sad, how do we fix it? First of all, we’ve got to admit we have a problem and then hone in on why. What’s your goal? Why are you striving? I bet the reason isn’t that bad, and is actually probably something really good! Healthy, happy kids. A good career. A strong marriage. Self-assurance. But none of those things are accomplished by just one person’s tireless work.
My husband and I are reading through the Bible together this year and we keep praying that this would help us remember our lives are part of a much bigger and better story. When we rest – i.e. unplug, slow down, relax, enjoy something, go to sleep or home instead of working late – I believe we are acting out a reliance on our Creator. I believe it’s good for us to remember that the things we stress about day to day might not be the huge challenges we think them to be in the grand scheme of things. And I believe that resting allows us to savor moments and memories, and to appreciate our ability to work hard when we need to.
I say we take back our time, our daily 24 hours. Work hard when you need to, and then make small changes daily to weed out things you don’t really need to do so you can focus on the things (i.e. people) that are most important in your life. Don’t use your phone after a certain time. Read instead of watching tv before bed – or better yet, talk to your roommate or husband or parents or siblings. Pray, journal, reflect. There will always be more work to do, so savor and take advantage of the time you can take away from it.