Why does it always seem like there is a competition of who is the busiest, who has the most stress and who works the longest hours?
When I decided my intention word of 2023 would be Balance, I made the call to try and find more balance in my life this year. To try to push back on the busy culture, find better work life balance, time for me, quality time with the kids, and not fill every moment. However I feel like this has meant I am noticing more than ever how we glorify being busy. As much as I try I still fall in the trap. When asked how my day is going the automatic answer is something like “good but busy/crazy/hectic”. It is like I feel saying it is a good day is not enough. Do we worry that we are seen as lazy if we are not busy and stressed?
When asking someone how their weekend is it seems they have a need to have a long list of activities they have done. I noticed my youngest who is 11 is constantly asking where we are going next as he feels a need to fill each day with activities like he thinks his friends do.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have the balance right yet. I work full time, am a single mum with two kids. Some days are long and full and I limp across the line at the end glad when it is bedtime. Other days I manage downtime, meditation, baking or catching up with friends. Each day for the last month I have found time for a walk to centre myself while listening to a podcast or talking to my youngest if he joins me.
What worries me is that I have friends who are always busy, their life is always a drama and they never have time to catch up. When their life actually goes through a rough patch, as all our lives inevitably do at some stage, will other people notice? If you always answer that life is crazy, you have no time, work too hard and can’t take a breath or minute to yourself, what happens when it actually occurs. When you are really in that state is it a case of boy who cries wolf and no one notices? Do your friends stop asking because they know how you will answer?
With three weeks left of March I am going to try and pause when people ask how my day is going and not automatically answer with busy. More importantly, I am going to try and make sure that I don’t have to answer busy because I am starting to get closer to the Balance I desire. With my kids quickly growing up why do I want to look back and realise I missed the moments because I was too busy. Where is the glory in that?