What’s Hiding Under All That Busy?

photo: my store, thinking ‘oh, I won’t have to get up at 5 am and go to the gym anymore. I’m going to have so much time!

But you know what I did? I made myself lists that ran off the page. After all those years of devoting every waking hour to my retail business and raising a family, I turned my attention to the piles of household projects.

Even after I dropped a huge load of obligations and responsibilities, that busy bug lived inside me. Even without all the orders to place, people to contact, deadlines to meet –  I quickly found ways to create more busyness.

And I wanted to finally start writing every day. I decided to go back to school so I registered for some classes, and eventually became a full time student. I painted almost every room in my house. I took on a part-time bookkeeping job and some other work gigs.

My days became just as full as they were when I worked 12-hour days in my store.

And why?

Well, if you’d asked me then I would have told you it was because I WANTED to do all those things.

And that’s true. But it’s only part of the truth.

Underneath that truth is one I haven’t wanted to face.

If I’m busy enough I don’t have to look head on at my pain. At my fear, my grief. At all the emotions that I’ve so handily kept tucked away because there just isn’t time to unpack them.

And now here I’ve done the same thing. A job, a business, a new town with so many new people to get to know, so many adventures to explore.

But this time I’m on to myself. My new mantra (when I remember) is:

What can I subtract from my life, instead of add? 

It feels so weird because there’s so many new and interesting threads to follow every day.

Remember those old style band-aids your mom used to put on your skinned knees?

It always felt so good to have Mom take care of the owie – but when it came time to take off that thing, Yikes! It could hurt more than the original wound.

Having so much to do is like that band-aid – except it’s covering up a wound that needs to get some air. A wound that’s just festering under there beneath the tight covering.

And that’s why it actually takes courage, self-awareness, and yes – even discipline to slow down enough to get un-busy.

And yeah – it might hurt like hell to rip that busy band-aid off.

Scary to do it, yes – but what sparkling jewels might you find on the other side of that pain?

Are you willing to take a chance, take a peek?

What can you subtract from your day, or your life, today that will give you even a small window of emptiness?

Tell me in the comments – I’m playing with this already, but I need some good ideas!



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4 Responses to What’s Hiding Under All That Busy?

  1. Sarah, I love, love, love what you are saying here. I think we women hide behind busyness and even get very smug and competitive about our degree of busyness, and it’s bullshit. The constant busyness does not serve us well.

    We are hiding behind busyness to not face pain, as you talk about. Or we are deriving our value and therefore our power from all our busyness. That’s not real value. Our true value is inherent and comes from our beingness and not our doingness. In fact, I just finished recording a radio show about exactly that — the value of women.

    This is a great post. My name is Carol, and I’m a busyaholic. Repeat after me. My name is . . . . .

  2. Yes..the art of being is underdevoped in our human doing world.
    My new learning is to practice and know I can have a business and be still and spacioud and with
    Others in this way.. as t the sane time.
    Great to step off the wheel of rushing over plsnning stress and ovetdoing.

  3. Not sure why there are not more comments here but to say I believe you may have hit a nerve. I say your right on and I know a few people who could benefit from reading this. Balance elludes many in this world.

  4. You are right it is a definite curse of our times. When we relax we consume information on our phones, we are definitely addicted to doing. I do know a few people who know how to relax and actually since I took a month off this summer I am definitely moving on a slower treadmill. Today I meet a friend and we spoke about our businesses and how busy we were and as we spoke and I told her all of my projects and plans, I realised that I didn’t’ need to get these done now, that I was pushing myself for what gain? timely article! Good Luck with it I hope you find the balance

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