Something about this Melbourne winter has been challenging. The days seem darker, the air has been bone-chilling cold and my energy has been periodically flatter. I am juggling a few more balls in the air than normal and my days are often excessively long simply to keep those balls from dropping on the ground.
I read an article that was posted on my friend’s facebook wall the other day called “The Busy Trap’. I highly recommend you take the time to have a read. In brief it discusses the predisposition of many people in the 21st century to be in a state of busyness. Tim Kreider writes that this “hysteria” is a personal choice derived from one’s “own ambition or drive or anxiety”. People may complain about their busyness but in fact they are addicted to it and “dread what they might have to face in its absence.”
The words of Kreider couldn’t have rung more loudly in my ear as a few minutes beforehand I had written a text message to a friend proclaiming how “crazy busy” I had been. This article is certainly pointing its finger at people like me.
Sure I am a busy person but I know that I have actively imposed everything that is on my overflowing plate. Do I regret this – certainly not, I love the life that I lead and I feel very privileged to do the things that I do. That said I do not love the fact that I feel uncomfortable in stillness. I do not think it is healthy that I am unable to sit down after work without feeling the need to organize something, respond to emails or check something off my never ending to-do list. I think it is even less healthy that I feel guilty when I take time off from doing those things. I don’t think the article is condemning ambitious people but it is certainly questioning whether people are busy as a means to have a purpose.
In reflection the most relaxed I have been this year is when I was in Cambodia & Laos with my best friend and even then I was constantly seeking out internet to develop projects I was working on.
I don’t want to change my ambitions or my goals however I feel I need to reflect on my approach and state of mind. I currently embrace a maniac approach as if the world is going to come crashing down on my goals if I take a night off. I am ready to take on the challenge in seeking stillness and space, something that I value in theory but don’t put into practice anywhere near enough.
This weekend I went away to Sanctuary Cove for the Communicom Group “Top Gun” conference. Everyone at the conference was highly energetic and motivated. I read this article as I was flying to the Gold Coast and I thought this was a great opportunity to
- be in the moment;
- rest where possible; and
- keep things simple.
So what did I do – I took an afternoon nap after I presented at the conference; I enjoyed pizza & pasta whilst enjoying the banter of some pretty interesting people and I went for 2 runs one morning with different sets of people who were keen on running till they would drop. It was a pretty hilarious run where I didn’t concern myself with the pace I was running and I absorbed myself in the sunshine and new friendships.
Life is great and even more enjoyable if you can remember the “buttercups, stink bugs and the stars”.