03 August 2012

Busyness: The Ultimate Curse

Oh look, it's been nearly two weeks since I posted... Actually, I wrote a great long post last week about teaching and curriculum and wotnot, and then blogger ATE IT and because I'd just been essentially free writing, I couldn't remember what I'd said. It was tragic.

Anyway, have been doing lots of internet reading outside my usual hangouts, lately, and this article on busyness seemed ridiculously appropriate, given my excuse for not posting was going to be, "I've been busy" O:) Definitely go read it for yourself, but the best quotes are extracted below.

It’s become the default response when you ask anyone how they’re doing: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.” It is, pretty obviously, a boast disguised as a complaint. And the stock response is a kind of congratulation: “That’s a good problem to have,” or “Better than the opposite.”

[We] feel anxious and guilty when [we] aren’t either working or doing something to promote [our] work.

It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do.

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

[But] if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. (That's a challenging one)

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.

Conclusion? Life is too short to be busy.

Over the next month, I'm going to post here (sporadically, as always) about my goal for the rest of the year: decluttering, both my home, my head, and my calendar. Please feel very welcome to join me :o)


Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

I have recently been pushing more and more off my plate so that I can be less busy. It's something I strive for because I love to have my quiet moments when I am not busy. :)

Amy said...

I'm definitely learning to savour mental unclutteredness. And, oddly enough, I feel much calmer and able to cope with life when I'm not pushing myself to be mentally productive 100% of the time!!


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