Stop Using Busy as a Status
“Hey! How’ve you been?”
Are you familiar with this conversation? You’ve undoubtedly at least overheard it, if not participated in it, like me!
I’m a recovering busy-aholic. It’s nice to meet you!
Now when people ask me how I am, my answer is always a variation of “Never better!", "Fantastic!”, or “Happy and healthy!” But I spent years answering the “How are you?” question by excitedly proclaiming my busy-ness as a status symbol. I used to think that this was a measure of my success. I was working more than 40 hours a week, volunteering with a professional organization, active with my sorority's alumni association and had an active social life.
About seven years ago I realized I didn’t even enjoy most of the things I was doing! I was just doing them because I felt that I should. And not only that, the people I spent my time with were not those who inspired me to be a better human and live my best life. Why was I doing this? Just so other people would view me as successful just because I was busy? How lame is that?
While my day job supports my livelihood, I immediately resigned from my position on the Board of the professional organization, ghosted the alumni association and stopped hanging out with people who didn’t fuel my soul.
It took several more years before I actually realized how much more I needed to do to live a happy, intentional, authentic and meaningful life surrounded by those who inspire me. I first grasped the concept that I don’t need to say yes to anything that doesn’t serve me. I do occasionally take part in work events and other insignificant get togethers, but I’m the queen of the “Irish exit” and am 100% unapologetic about it. I’m completely comfortable with being the first to leave any event.
I live by the following mantras:
These principles guide every commitment I make, be it to myself or others. It’s uncomfortable at first because it feels selfish and I was concerned about hurting others feelings. But you know what, that hurts less than me committing to something I truly don’t want to do. Honoring yourself, protecting your energy and not committing to anything that doesn’t serve you is also a fierce and essential form of self-care. You deserve it and you are worth it.
Lastly, I stopped judging others for their definition of busy. All of our “busies” look different. The person who goes home and watches television after work is practicing the self-care she needs in her life and is busy. The mom who refuses to partake in the parent drama by bowing out of the bitch sessions is busy. The woman who is childfree by choice but spends her time focusing on philanthropic efforts is busy.
This journey is what led me to The SheHive and to start my YouTube channel and social media brand, Happy!Rituals. I’m passionate about sharing this message with others and helping those who need it. I love to inspire busy people to live happy, authentic, meaningful and intentional lives through daily rituals.
7/8/2019 11:27:56 am
7/8/2019 02:51:44 pm
Thank you for offering these classes.
7/8/2019 06:01:26 pm
I learned this the hard way after a life altering event that shook my world and emotional status. I l have learned to say “No” to those things that no longer serve me. I too have bowed out of activities that no longer bring me joy. As you mentioned, it is a difficult start but is that necessary step to taking care of oneself.
What a great post, Julie! Thanks so much for sharing it!
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