A friend recently asked me to join her in a really fun and enriching event. In my excitement, I shouted yes, my eyes sparkling and soul excited. But as a few days passed, I felt that old familiar nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach — I'd committed far too quickly without giving myself time to look at my schedule and really think it over. To just stop before answering.
It was a fantastic offer, which is why I said yes, but my calendar and energy levels were telling me otherwise. I've been working on crafting my time in a way that allows space and growth — so that I can live my life instead of rushing through it. To cut out things that may be amazing, but not essential.
This is far more difficult than it sounds — especially for someone like me who gets enthused about so many activities, opportunities, and relationships. And yet my desire to live a little more slowly, savor the good, and remember moments instead of racing through them is beginning to outweigh all the busyness.
I'm beginning to find I've bought into our cultural lie that tells me I'm worth something — or more — the busier I am.
I'm not sure who started to perpetuate this idiocy, but it's crept into workplaces, families, holidays, vacations and has snuggled with us into our beds. It's taken away the space we need in our lives as human beings — to be and daydream. It's created an unhealthy cycle of competition to who can work the longest, fit in the most, have the most, and sleep the least.
Common phrases I often hear on a daily basis:
- I'm just so busy
- This day is a little insane
- Can you squeeze it in?
- I've got too much on my plate
- I'm overwhelmed, but I can do more
- I can maybe fit you in between such and such
We all do it — and I'm just as guilty. We wear our busyness as a badge of pride and self-worth, instead of what it really is — a sickness. We talk about slowing down and cutting back, and the next moment we take on 3 more things.
I think I'm starting to get a little bit healed, because I'm not only knowing but feeling that if I didn't do one more thing the rest of my life, I would still be worth an immeasurable amount because I'm a living, breathing, human being.
As this truth sinks deeper into the fiber of who I am, it's retraining the way I think, and patching up my heart. I was able to be honest with myself — and my friend about her fantastic offer. I backed out and said I couldn't attend.
And you know what? The world didn't end, and I didn't lose my friend. She responded graciously and with a depth of understanding I appreciated so much.
I look forward to settling into the slow process of continuing to grow in essentialism and learn healthy rhythms for my life, no matter what stage I'm in. Because that's the beauty of being human also — we get to choose and discern what is essential.