Busy

That has been my go to word these last seven months.

Too busy to meet with friends.

Too busy to read.

Too busy to do a triathlon.

Too busy to start a project.

Too busy to apply for school.

Too busy to call my parents.

Too busy to write.

Busy. Busy. Busy.

I have lost count of how many times I have used the word busy as an excuse in the past seven months to not attempt or do something. And how many of us are like that in this millennial age?

The term busy bee used to refer to someone who worked hard to get chores done. In this day and age (and as a millennial), it has come to mean being so busy (achieving something) not having time to do anything else.

But what are we busy with?

Or what am I so busy with that I have neglected all my true passions.

I began a deep introspective dive. It started when I left the busyness of Toronto and went back home to Alberta for a month. In true Alberta-ness, blue skies, Rocky Mountains and wide expanse of the prairies shed some (sunny) light to my busyness and dug up all the feelings that came with busy.

Stress.

Anxiety.

Tiredness.

Frustration.

These describe feelings I am familiar with. But what I am not so familiar with, is when I feel them all at once. And why was that?

I had a good job, working with people I enjoyed.

I was back in the city I loved.

I was starting spin classes with SoulCycle.

I was meeting up as much as I could.

I joined a new church with an amazing church family.

But what I didn’t have, was quietness to think about why I was doing what I was doing and when was I going to prioritize things I wanted to achieve in life.

Does that sound selfish? Maybe.

But as part of my introspection, I was feeling busy all the time because I did things on autopilot. I thought I was building and growing myself, but in all honesty, I was only adding things to a to-do list. I didn’t feel like I was achieving anything. I ended up not doing anything I truly wanted to do and set goals for. I ended up not being truly present in anything I did.

Busy eventually manifested itself into exhaustion and anxiety. And for the first time ever, I had to leave my spin class because I almost fainted.

Over the last two weeks I have taken care to get more sleep, to say no to certain things, but most importantly, be more intentional about everything I do. I became busy because everything I did was for the sake of doing. Nothing was about living, building relationships and serving people.  It was a never ending list of tasks that I could never get ahead of nor complete.

2017 is more than half gone and I asked myself what have I done? In some sense, I have done a lot (hence being busy) but in other ways, I haven’t done much of anything. For the next five months, I am focused on being intentional; working towards my bigger goals – not just planning for them. Most importantly, I am working on removing busy from my vocabulary.

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