Busy Is Not Better

One of the things I’ve noticed with everyone at home is that people seem to feel guilty if they are not ‘busy.’  It apparently has become a cultural expectation that you are ‘busy’ all the time.  The busier you are, the more successful you must be.

The internet is filled these days with things you can do/learn/bake/read/create/draw/make/paint/etc. to make sure that you’re staying busy. You’re made to feel guilty if you aren’t using this ‘time off’ (hah) to somehow improve yourself – whether it’s by learning a new skill, working on your fitness, or whatever.

I find this strange on several levels.

If you look at people who are very wealthy, they’re not generally very busy.  Some are, of course, but most aren’t.  “Deals get made on the golf course,” you’ll hear.  As if the deal they are supposedly working on somehow cancels out the fact that they are golfing, not working. 

I think we can all agree that meetings are some of the least productive things you can do with your time.  But again, wealthy people (like CEOs) expect you to believe that they are busy (and thus important) because their days are filled with meetings.

Also, busy does not equal productive.  You can be very busy and accomplish nothing.  You can be less busy and still be productive.  Here’s a little secret:

It’s okay if you aren’t busy every minute of every day.

The world won’t end.  It just means that you need to slow down sometimes and recharge.  Vacations are a thing for a reason.

Although, now that I think about it, most people are encouraged NOT to take vacations (at least in my experience).  You need to be busy, busy, busy and putting your time and effort in at your job.  (This may not be true everywhere – I happen to live the US, and that is very much the culture here.)  In fact, most people only get two weeks of vacation a year, and that’s if you have a very good job.  In today’s gig economy, most jobs don’t offer benefits like vacation.  You can take a vacation, but then you don’t get paid – something a lot of people can’t afford.

I have made a conscious effort to keep myself occupied, because depression can sneak up on me if I don’t.  But it’s okay if some days you just want to lay on the couch and read.  Or lay on the couch and do nothing.  All the things on your to-do list will still be there later.  It’s okay to not be busy.

Like Molasses

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Credit: Pixabay

Time is relative, and boy has it been running slow lately.  Which is kind of odd, because I’ve been staying busy even though I’m not working.  My youngest, with about 5 weeks to go until graduation, has only been home for 2 weeks – and one of those was Spring Break.  When I asked how he was doing, he said he felt like he’d been home for months already.

Other than staying home from work, my regular day-to-day hasn’t changed that much.  I am still paying bills, balancing the checkbook, cleaning the bathrooms, cooking dinner, buying groceries, doing laundry, etc.  On the other hand, since my children are home, they are starting to see just how much I do around the house that they usually take for granted.

This weekend my husband and I spent an afternoon washing and vacuuming the cars and cleaning off the front porch. Monday my youngest and I, after our morning workout (which he has to do for his weights class), worked outside pruning trees and cleaning up the yard.  Then I paid bills, ran errands, and did laundry.

I’ve been much busier than I usually am, actually.  And yet, the last two days feel like they have lasted two weeks.  Maybe it’s because my kids are home all day, every day.  I’m not sure, but I am definitely ready for April.

Last night, my husband and I looked at prices for plane tickets, because we are hopeful that we may be able to travel back to Canada and see his family, since our visit in March was cut short.  No idea if we’ll really be able to go, but on the up side, tickets that are normally between $600-$800 each are now more like $200 each.  😀

I’ve put my plans to open up an online store on hold for a bit, given the current situation.  Instead, I’m going to focus on building a bigger base, so that when I do open officially, I’ve got ready-made customers.  That’s the plan, anyway.