You Don't Have To Be Busy

"Busy is a decision and presence is infinitely more rewarding than productivity."Søren Kierkegaard, 19th century Danish philosopher


Have you started feeling the pressure yet?

Did you participate in Black Friday or are you carving out time for Cyber Monday? Have you filled your calendar with parties? Do you dread the obligations of the Thanksgiving to New Year calendar?

You aren't alone.

In fact, if you pick up your feet and go with the flow of the crowd, you're going to be stressed. Think about those evites, the school parties, the work soirees; consider the meals, pinterest projects, the elf on the shelf; this season is ripe for overcommitments.

But really, EVERY season has its own way of inducing overload.

However, you don't have to be a victim to the craziness. You have "agency," that is the ability to choose what you do with your days. If you are busy, it's simply because you've made the choice to live that way.

Busy is my decision and it's yours.

Period. Hard stop.

If you live frazzled and harried, you need to own your lifestyle as a choice. Your challenge is to figure out what's driving your decisions.

While my busyness trigger often feels like FOMO (a fear of missing out), when I dig deeper, the root cause is something more complex. In the dark corner of my brain, I value productivity more than presence. I want to be "doing" rather than "being."

I want to earn my keep. I want to work hard to prove my worth. I want to point to my contributions to find my value.

(If that sounds like pride and a rejection of grace, you're probably onto something, but that's a different post.)

What helps end the cycle is recognizing the busy life isn't satisfying.

Busy kills joy by removing margins. Busy sets me back as a spouse, parent, and friend. Busy ruins my attitude.

What's most relevant is when I elevate presence over productivity, the more joy I experience. And so I continue honing my "no" skills and maybe I'll read more Kierkegaard.

I hope you'll spend some time thinking about what's driving your busy.