Last weekend was one of the first, in a long time, that I stayed in Georgia and had minimal commitments. Simply because I'm in full swing in the transitional season of life. It's hard to find a weekend without either a wedding, wedding shower, baby shower, bachelorette party or engagement party. And I know I'm not alone here - that's life in your 20s.
With last weekend wide open, I was so excited to slow down and relax. But guess what?
I was so bad at it.
I got stressed Saturday because I wanted to make sure I was using my downtime well. It's so rare! I told Chris. I want to make sure we maximize it.
It's a condition, I'll tell you what.
On Sunday night at dinner, Chris and I were talking about the glorification of busy and decided that there are two layers:
1. It gives us worth to "be busy"
2. It gives us guilt when we have downtime and others are busy
For example: My roommate is working out? My brothers are running errands? My friend is going for a walk? Why am I not doing any of those things? Should I be? What chaos can I create?
But I was thinking a lot about it and the worth we get from being busy is kind of like the worth we get from a lot of Instagram likes. It feels good and provides a temporal high, but it really doesn't mean anything.
Sometimes, when I feel like I'm too addicted to my phone or too addicted to my checklist, I like to think about being in Africa last fall. It was a time in life when I felt so worthy - of love, of life - so sure. And there were no phones. No social media. None of my close friends or family filling me up with praise. There was no schedule or to do list. There was no image I created.
It was just me and Africa. And I don't know how I can swing, in just a few short months, so far back to the other side. How did I go from a place of such mental simplicity to such a need for constant busy?
Don't get me wrong, here. There is nothing wrong with truly being busy - with truly being productive and getting stuff done. There is, however, something wrong with relying on that for our self-worth and creating the busy simply to feel worthy.
The busy epidemic is no joke and I know I can't solve for it in one day - even in my own life. But I do know that I can start by driving awareness and conversation. I can start by acknowledging it's something I can change. I can start believing that these slower times, which I worked hard to create, are worth enjoying. That great conversation is greater than a completed checklist. That going a little slower to do things right is better than going fast just to go fast. And that deep breaths are greater than deep sighs.