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Friday, September 16, 2011

Is Busy-ness the New Addiction?

Even professional athletes have to take breaks from their workouts to recover. I wouldn't put myself in the  category of a professional athlete, but I can attest to the need for recovery. For the past four months, I've been trying to recover and it's the toughest thing I've done in a while.

That sounds lame when I read it out loud. But, it's true. I have adrenal fatigue and I'm learning that means I have to slow down and recover from my need to be busy.

I used to say these things on a fairly regular basis:

"I've got a million things to do."
"There just isn't enough time in the day!"
"I don't have time to do that."

Have you heard yourself saying similar things? Does saying those things make us seem more important or more valuable? You know the saying that if you want something done you should give it to a busy person. Is it because busy people can't say "no" or just that they have an addiction to being everything to everyone. I think I fell into that trap. In the past four months, I've been trying to make a shift away from saying those all-to-familiar phrases. The shift has been difficult, but liberating.

Why does our society look down on resting? Do we fear being called lazy? Do we feel we have evolved and now have the capability to do it all? I think our technology is so prevalent, we might feel we have to adapt to it, not the other way around. Maybe some part of us has a really hard time doing nothing. We don't want to be labeled as lazy. One of my friends said she thinks our society places far too much emphasis on the importance of being busy. Like somehow busy people are more important.

Here's what I'm not doing:

  • blogging at a high frequency (or even a regular schedule).
  • checking my email every five minutes (including while sitting at stoplights — c'mon, I think a lot of us do this!)
  • training for a triathlon or running or visiting the gym. 
  • trying to increase my followers on Twitter or on my blog.
  • actively pursuing any major writing a book, or planning a trip to Europe.
  • cleaning my house regularly.
  • going to every event I'm invited to.
  • pushing myself to put a lot of things on my to-do list.
  • scheduling myself or my kids to a lot of activities.
This holiday season is the time that most over achievers go overboard. This year, I'm going to go underboard.  This year I'm committing to slowing down, doing less and under achieving. 

What are you not going to do this season? 


  1. I'm not going to cook a Thanksgiving feast thanks to visiting the in-laws. And I'm not going to go to every event I'm invited to during the holidays. I will go to lunch with you, though. ;)

  2. It is such a hard balance! I think busy-ness becomes a habit all too quickly. Last week was the first non-crazy-busy week I had had since school started and I had to stop myself from filling it up with other stuff. It helped a little that my youngest got sick and we had to stay home. It was kind of a relief to cancel some play dates and just hang out at home.
    I'm so sorry about your adrenal fatigue. Although I haven't dealt with that specific thing, I do understand. And it's hard to deal with the pressure of other people/parents that heap expectations on you as well. I have to remind myself all the time that my family is my priority and if the request/activity/etc doesn't fit in with my priorities then it can easily be cut from my to do list.
    And I agree with Emily...pretty sure we have to go to lunch. Hope your holidays are wonderful and "lazy". ;o)


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