Is one of your greatest pleasures in life checking a task off your to-do list? Are you always on the go with things to do? Are you always “busy”?
I have answered “yes” to all of these questions for most of my life. I have told others, with great pride, “yes” to these questions. Lately, I’ve been investigating what drives a lot of these behaviors for me. They are, in fact, behaviors — and for me– they have often been ways that I cope with life.
For those of you already starting to twitch, itch or object; let me say I am speaking about myself.
But also, may I offer softly and gently, why does this make you twitch, itch or object to think that your busyness is more coping and less necessity?
Of course, it’s true, in life we must get things done. There are times for doing, to be clear. But our bodies and brains were never designed for this 365, 24/7 onslaught of information overload; most of which is nonsense. We consume so much every day that isn’t even worthy of us.
Things such as:
TV news gossip
TV news arguments
Gossips in our lives
Us partaking in gossip
It’s nonstop and all the doing, the playdates, soccer practice, grocery trips, parties, coffee dates, dinner dates, book club, conferences… they are never-ending.
And the truth is we can barely take any of it in because we are overdone. We have far outstretched the human capacity for intake and we’ve overestimated its value.
So I ponder these desires, urges, compulsions to do more.
At times, if I get to the end of a day and feel like I could wrap up work around 6 or 7, I somehow feel like I should go find something to keep me occupied. I have this twinge as if I have not done enough and that is nothing but a really badly learned behavior. A belief I absorbed from the collective that work and busy are next to holiness. And space, quiet and non-doing are the equivalent of sloth and gluttony. They are not.
I am learning to spend more time being. Being in my life. Enjoying my life. If you stop to question it, a good meaningful life is not the sum of to-do lists, laundry and getting stuff done.
What is our fascination with done? We pretend that lists of tasks to do somehow ever end, or laundry is ever done for good, or houses are clean permanently. These are processes of life like breathing. Something of which we at some point cease but most of us aren’t looking to hasten that.
Why are we frequently longing to get things done? I think it’s so we can feel OK to stop, take the day in, take the accomplishment in.
A way we can absorb whatever it is we’ve been toiling away in.
But then, we don’t, we keep with the doing.
Why is simply being, such an uncomfortable part of Human Being-ness?
I think for me it’s because I stopped practicing the being. I stopped allowing it.
I got on this imaginary conveyor belt of pseudo-production and fully relinquished any grasp on the need for joy, the need for quiet, the need and real value for non-doing; on purpose.
It’s like empty nesters who need to remember their marital relationship now that the kids are gone. We need to do the same with ourselves. It’s the longest relationship we will ever have. Why not put some time into it? Why not spend some energy building ourselves up by giving ourselves room?
Room for joy
Room for savoring
Room for taking it all in
Room for grieving
Room for sadness
Room for being lost
Room for being found
Room for realizing we have always been OK
If you’re biggest happiness in a day is it being over or getting your list “done” maybe we need to give ourselves a little check on whether this life we are doing is worthy of our being.
This is what I am working on:
Being in each moment as it comes
Learning to stop rushing it to get to the next simply so I can cross it off my list.
Also learning to stop rushing the hard stuff, sitting with it, and letting it find completion so it doesn’t keep coming back around like a carousel without end.
Being my own best friend who dishes out real love as much as tough love.
I am re-discovering what it means to be a being first and a doer second. The being is where the life is, the doing is the end. Where do you want to linger?
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G