We are so busy. Collectively. Individually. Everyone says it. These days, “busy” is how we feel, how we are.
When someone asks you, “How are you doing?” we often get the all-too-common reply: “Pretty busy.”
A friend recently posted this article, The Disease of Being Busy. Ironically, I saved it because I was too busy to read it at the time. Yet later, once I finally sat down and took time to read it, I found myself nodding along. While this is a topic I’ve written on before, it’s something that we all—myself included—continue to struggle with.
The article points out how parents pack their kids’ schedules full of activities, and how we all say we’re busy without even thinking about it. Most poignantly, author Omid Safi writes “When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?”
When we pack our days and spend time running from one thing to the next, what are we gaining? Though it seems like we are picking experiences like blueberries, gathering them all for this bright future we have for ourselves, is that what we are really doing? At the end of this time, what have we gained? Do we remember these experiences we have so quickly plucked?
Coming off the weekend, people often ask how it went. Usually, I find myself answering, “It went by so fast.” When they ask me what I’ve been busy with, I need to think.
I need to put back the pieces of everything that I did: I met a friend for coffee, I called home, I cleaned, I studied, I went grocery shopping, I went for a bike ride, I baked some cookies. Generic. While they aren’t all extraordinary moments, I wish I could find more meaning in them. I think that if I spent my energy soaking in these experiences, I would remember them more clearly.
Growing up, everyone seems to warn you about how quickly life passes you by, and there’s truth in that. Let’s not overwhelm our senses and our abilities. The challenge is to remember the last time we did something and did it while being wholeheartedly invested in it. Multitasking is to be done sparingly.
Taking a line from Safi, I ask, “How is the state of your heart today?”
Don’t say “Busy.”