Once again, I saw something on my Facebook feed that really struck a chord with me; an editorial in the NY Times by Tim Kreider called The 'Busy' Trap. In it, he talks about how we are all too busy, always stuffing our schedules and never having any unscheduled time. In the piece, he argues that this is not inevitable, but it is something we have chosen. And, I have to agree with him.
This is what Kreider says is the crux of the issue:
"It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.
Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work."I have to admit that I am one of those people who feels guilty when I am not being productive and working or volunteering. I find that so odd since I used to have no problem literally lying in the sun all summer, hanging out with friends, and having non-stop movie marathons. Now, if I have free time, I immediately seem to need to fill it up.
If I am honest with myself, I do it because, like Kreider says, I am afraid of what I will find in the absence of busyness. As I have been working on changing this and other things this past year, I am struck by how true that is. If you are too busy, you don't have time to see what's missing in your life and what needs to be changed. It makes you feel as if you are taking care of something important, when it actually prevents you from taking care of something more important in your life.