The Glorification of Busy

When did being busy every minute become the definition of a successful, happy person? Why do we feel compelled to make lists and schedule our lives away, one precious minute at a time?

I’ve always been a procrastinator. A free spirit. A fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. Now I am a slave to clock every second from Monday morning to Friday night. I get up and rush to work. I’m checking the clock several times an hour, rushing from meeting to meeting. I rush home to rush back out for 100 unnecessary tasks I’ve assigned myself. I set imaginary deadlines to do things and then scold myself if I miss them.

The guilt that comes with “doing nothing.” How dare we slow down and relax. How dare we take time to ourselves to recharge and forget about what time it is for a bit. We feel lazy and worthless. Why? Because society says I have to be running like a crazy person to be productive? Maybe. Probably. Yes.

I’m beginning to think it’s time to draw the line. Maybe that line can only be on the weekend, since I can’t ask people at work to leave me alone. But there needs to be a point where I let myself off the hook and let the day happens as it may.

Actually, that’s what I did today. I scheduled nothing. No plans. No annoying little tasks. No house chores. It’s me time. What would I do with all that spare time if I’m not running to Home Depot and doing laundry? What would I do without having to plan every activity for the day and watch the clock?

So here’s what I ended up doing.

  1. Rolled out of bed and went to Starbucks for a mocha latte in my sweatsuit. No makeup, no shame.
  2. Came home and read the newspaper (OK, iPad. But is sounds so dumb.)
  3. Went to see Blade Runner in 3D on a whim. Move reviews will be another post, but meh.
  4. Went to an antique store for no reason.
  5. Stopped at Rita’s for raspberry water ice.
  6. Came home and watched a UFO documentary on Netflix.
  7. Rolled out a new carpet in my living room. Love it.
  8. Made a huge salad for dinner and watched the Zookeeper’s Wife.
  9. Wrote this blog entry about how great it was to have NO PLAN for the day.

So it wasn’t a disaster. The house didn’t blow up. My clothes didn’t get any more or less dirty in the hamper. The carpet didn’t disintegrate because it wasn’t vacuumed. There are dishes in the sink that will be fine until morning.

And I don’t feel guilty. Not one bit. Because on Monday, the world of clocks and schedules is going to reclaim my peace and quiet. I’ll deal with lots of people and my blood pressure will go back up. But until then, it’s my time. I think I’ll take a nap.

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