I’m not sure if you’ve seen, but recently I’ve been trying to ‘un-do’ some of the busy-ness in my life.
Being busy was a coping mechanism for me. A few things happened in life (losing Mum being one of the main catalysts) and so I did what I knew best - I become UBER busy to cope.
Really - I was just burying my head in the sand.
I was teaching a couple of days a week. I was studying. I had one daughter at school and one at day care (two drop offs in the mornings and two pick ups at night). I was going to the gym. I was running.
I was never home.
I never stopped.
And it didn’t get any better.
One thing in life would calm down, so I’d add something new and different to my plate.
I dropped a day in my part-time teaching role so I could have more time with the kids. Instead, I started working another job (for my Dad, and I loved doing that and it was great to be able to help him. But, you know…)
I stopped going to the gym as often so I could add on my PT work. Again, something I loved doing, but it meant giving up something for myself.
The trouble was, the busier I got, the less time I made for myself.
The first thing to go was my workouts. I stopped running. I stopped going to the gym completely.
(And even now, a year after making time to go to the gym, I am still feeling the physical and mental effects of the time when I didn’t go to the gym.)
I tried convincing myself that I had ‘down time’… Yeah, during the one hour drive down to work and back on a Thursday!
PSA: That’s NOT down time!
I actually look back on those years and wonder how on earth I actually did it. I was about to say ‘how I coped’, but the truth is, I wasn’t coping.
I wasn’t even like the proverbial duck treading water, because I very much doubt that I ever looked calm on the outside.
I found myself doing stupid things - making silly, avoidable errors. Most notable were two things - I lost my wallet (full of cash, cards, everything) because I left it on the roof of my car and drove off, in a hurry to get from one thing to the next; and the second, more seriously, was having a small car accident at the roundabout on Mickleham + Somerton Rds. (no one was hurt), because again, I was in a hurry to get home and already thinking ten steps ahead.
You see, this busy-ness that we seem to have injected into our modern life, I believe, is getting worse.
Working one job? NOT GOOD ENOUGH! You should be doing MORE!
Kids only do one sport? NOT GOOD ENOUGH! They should be doing MORE!
Only volunteer once a month at the school? NOT GOOD ENOUGH! You should be doing MORE!
There are many reasons WHY we are so enamored with being busy. You could be like I was, and use that busy-ness as a coping mechanism or as an avoidance technique. It could be that you want to keep up with the Jones’s. Maybe it’s that you didn’t get certain opportunities as a kid, and you’ll move heaven and earth to make sure your kids get those opportunities. Or maybe it’s something different?
Well, whatever the reason may be, I just want you to take stock of it all.
Sit back and look at it objectively.
How much balance do you truly have? How much time do you have to look after yourself? How much ‘boring’ time do your kids have, time where they can stretch their imaginations?
And how much quality family time do you truly have? The kids are only young once.
I’ve had to learn all of this the hard way myself.
If you’d like to do some further reading, I have a resource that you may find helpful. Click here to find out more.