Is busyness even a word? I don't know but I'm ready to take Courtney Carver's challenge and ban the word busy from my vocabulary. Now, normally, I'm not a huge fan of banning words but I think there is a lot of merit to the idea of not always talking about being 'busy.'
I didn't notice it before I read anything by the Minimalists or Courtney Carver (who is my new inspiration! I love her!) but busy is such a common word that we use.
"How are you?" "Busy"
"Whatcha been up to?" "Ahh, just busy"
"How was your day?" "Busy"
"Want to come over?" "I'm too busy"
It's everywhere! and it's starting to drive me crazy! It is a complaint but also a mark of how important, or something, you are. It has turned into a mark of honour that you are busy, like it makes you important or something. It's a weird word because it is a mark of importance and a complaint at the same time. But it doesn't make you important, it makes you take away time from living your life.
I've been trying to notice when I use the word and try to stop myself. I find, as soon as I say it or hear it, I feel more tense and unhappy. I have been not only trying not to say I'm busy, but also not to be busy. As soon as I find myself feeling busy, I step back and evaluate my choices. I ask myself: Am I doing things I want to be doing? and what can I eliminate that I don't really need to do? Where are my priorities? I can't remember who said it but they said instead of saying "I don't have time" say: "it's not my priority" and see how that feels to yourself. Does it resonate with your heart or does it hurt? If it's hurting then maybe you need to re-evaluate what you want to do with your time.
Not being busy has been incredible for my mood, my energy levels, my eating habits, and my learning. The downsides, as I've mentioned before is my friends are all still quite busy and I don't do well with making new friends, plus I still love the old ones. I also don't remember ALWAYS to be un-busy. I still do get busy and overwhelmed (it's normal, I think with a family to take care of) but my feeling of overwhelm is significantly reduced.
However, I have been using my free time to think, to breath, to stretch, to learn, to be grateful. I NEVER thought I'd ever be here. I NEVER believed that I could live a life that was so freeing and happy. I have been able to take time everyday to go out into my garden, to talk with my kids, and to make better choices when it comes to food. I have been able to find so many things to be grateful for and I generally feel so much more present in my life.
Thank you minimalism for making such enormous, positive change in my life!
PS I apologize if this post is random and all over the place but for some reason, I can't seem to write a coherent thought without my contacts in, even though they are for distance - I don't know! It's like the guy who can't talk without his hands.