I’m a Recovering Busy Bee

10 Jul

Me: “How are you doing?”

Everyone: “Busy!” “So busy.” “Crazy busy.”

Read: NYT Op-Ed “The ‘Busy’ Trap” by Tim Kreider.  It hits the nail on the head (okay, maybe not totally squarely, but for the most part).

Being busy is the thing to be.  And, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and company, we can now boast to everyone, constantly, about just how busy we are!

Our society has glorified busy.  Busy means: You’re important.  You’re desired.  You’re doing things.  You’re living life!

Baloney.  Busyness is every bit the numbing agent that binge eating is, except it’s more dangerous — because people applaud you for it.  Says Kreider:

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.

I used to be busy.  So busy.  Crazy busy.  I would, with pride, take out my calendar and marvel at all of the neatly penned things on it.  What a dashing, exciting, enterprising little life I led!  Then I realized it was, however clever, merely an antidote.  But the modern world doesn’t understand that not all ills are meant to be cured.  From a recovering busy bee:

Busyness traps you in the inertia of life.  You don’t have time to think.  To dream.  To ponder the big questions.  It can be a survival mechanism; yet another way to numb yourself from the gnawing, nagging, disquieting, discomforting thoughts about your life.

In sum: life is too short to be busy!

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