It happens. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years and before we know it, our thirties are almost behind us and here we are. Life gets busy, and when you are living a busy life, time moves fast. I hate that word “busy” (as in- ‘Hi! How are you?’ —‘I’m soo busy’ . Wanted! In need. So many things to do. I am soooo bussssyyyy.) — Can you say BARF!?!
For a long time, I actually tried to completely eliminate it from my vocabulary, (buh bye BUSY), but this past year the word (busy) managed to creep back into my life in a mega big. Sure, we all get “busy” from time to time, but sometimes things get SO out of control that it has an effect on other areas of our life. And unfortunately, most often we don’t even realize it’s happening until it’s just too late- stress, health issues, neglected relationships and a huge headache.
I was tired. Completely burnt out. I was waking up tired, going to bed tired. JUST TIRED. I was checking my email and my phone more times than I care to admit; Not just work either. Instagram, Facebook, twitter, emails, news, blah, blah, blah. I couldn’t put my phone down. I coupled meals with work and volunteer commitments… the first question I would ask the server about the menu was “what’s the wifi password?”; Any sort of break meant mentally going through to-do lists and figuring out what to strategically do next, and driving became the perfect office for conference calls (and an accident waiting to happen). My favourite phrases became “just a sec” and “I’ll be done in a minute”.
I proudly deemed myself as the Queen of multi-tasking, but what I didn’t realize was that I was trapped inside a self-manufactured sh*t storm of busy. I found myself to be unhappy and I couldn’t quite pinpoint exactly why. I mean my calendar was full, I was fulfilling my goals and responsibilities, doing everything and anything that I thought I should or had to be doing…working my dream job, volunteering, leading a not-for profit organization, sitting on boards, attending events, exercising… I even took on dance classes. I was doing it all. (You go girl!!!) I was the crazy-busy, do it all, run yourself into the ground girl … chasing it allllll and making sure I didn’t miss a thing. Little did I know, I was missing a lot of things. (Sure I was busy…existing… but was I really living?)
It hit me hard. I started noticing how snappy I was getting, the lack of patience I had for others, and I was even finding it hard to crack a simple smile.… everything began to be a chore. And then one day one of the most important people in my life, flat out told me that I was not being awesome. In fact, I was the the total opposite of how we define awesome. It was my aha- moment. Aha, I am f*$king tired and aha I’m being a sucky person.
I was stressed, exhausted, and had zero ability to focus on the present. I was done. Over done. How did I end up creating a life that I had to do more and more, and had less time for fun, less time for awesome, less time to just breathe and enjoy the things I loved???? How did things get so out of control? When did I become so obsessed with busy?
When was the last time you sat down and asked yourself, ‘Ok heart, what do you want to do with your time? What do you beat for? What makes you race?’ I mean, there’s nothing wrong with fulling your roles and getting stuff “done”, but when you get so wrapped up in busy that you forget to brush your teeth, eat for an entire day, and you haven’t seen your family whom you live with in weeks… it’s time to rediscover how to draw the line.
Being too busy reduces the quality of your life… trust me on that one. It’s about BALANCE. It’s an important word. Our good friend Merriam-Webster defines it as “stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of a vertical axis”. With that said, I have been actively working toward a life that I do more things that fulfill me, rather than drain me. I have been trying to be more realistic about how I might not be able to get everything done. I’m aloud to say no. I’m no longer a machine, checking off items from my to-do list one by one. It’s about balancing the “busy” and “must-do’s” with dedicated downtime, things I love (AND WANT TO DO) and moments to reflect and recharge. Setting time aside like recess in grade school, to just be idle , to do nothing at all. You don’t always need to be getting things done and doing things. It’s okay, and actually pretty necessary to just relax, kick back and do nothing. Time to just bay. (You see what I did there).
“Stop and smell the roses” may be a cliché, but I think it’s pure genius. And who doesn’t like roses. For some reason, we think that the more things we pile on to our plate, the more successful we will be. “Busy equals success”. Truth be told, I’ve discovered the most important decision you will ever make is what you do with the time that is given to you. So maybe success is actually learning to not be busy. If your life is overflowing, you’ll never be able to find your balance with your work, social life, family, fun, mind, heart and health.
And remember, once time passes you never get it back. Father Time will catch up with you, so make sure you spend more time doing the things you love. Take a step back and take a look at the things you are doing… what is meaningful? What isn’t? And what means the most?
Now go, Bay Awesome. xo
PS I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA (I’ve been “busy”). Bay Awesome does mean a lot to me and is truly one of my life passions. I’ve been trying to filter through things in my life to determine what makes me happy and what my heart does beat for. There’s plenty more posts to come, as we embark on a new journey together. Stay tuned.
Photo by Damien Gilbert of Epica Pictures