Recently, I read a book by Alli Worthington, titled Breaking Busy. It is about how to find peace and purpose in a world of crazy. I thought it was appropriate since crazy is one way to describe the world in which the Sheran family lives. Some others might called it a circus. We always have some crazy story to tell!
I always have been a busy person and for many, many years I took pride in it. Look at all I can do! When I was a young girl, I was involved in many activities from school clubs, volunteering, to dance and sports. Looking back, I don’t see how my parents handled me and my brothers competing schedules.
As a young adult, the pattern continued with work, volunteering at Church, social life and more.
Now as a 40-something working mom with three kids, kids activities, three dogs, a house needing a total renovation and volunteer involvement, the busy has come to crisis point!
Early last fall, I found myself in a state of high anxiety, I wasn’t performing well in my work, my home, and relationships. I was exhausted and completely overwhelmed! Something had to give.
My favorite singer, Kenny Chesney, just came out with a new song called “Noise.” In it, he remarks “We didn’t turn it on, but we can’t turn it off.” Letting busy run your life is another form of noise. Some of it we have control over and a lot of it we don’t. To balance the busy takes extreme discipline.
Alli discusses these issues in a down to earth, non-judging manner and includes action steps to help you “Break Busy” based on her own journey. It was an affirmation of the journey I had already begun to simplify life.
The first step is to understand capacity. I think that is an area where we routinely fool ourselves. The joiner in me, the person who wants to craft the remarkable life for my family, who wants to belong in the neighborhood social circle, who wants to perform and excel at work, and who wants to make a difference for people with disabilities, has said yes far too many times when I truly did not have the capacity. However, I was too blind to even know it. I had good intentions but they were backfiring when I took on too much!
This fall, I was asked to take on the school newspaper club at our kids school. As the time came to set up a meeting date, select kids for the club and plan the editorial calendar, I began to panic. Work was extremely tense at the time. I was working for a nonprofit whose funds were low and the board was breathing down the executive director’s neck and priorities were changing by the minute. My youngest had just started kindergarten and was struggling with behavior. These are just two of the issues I was facing. For the first time in my life, I did not just trudge on and suck it up, I called my friend and said I am sorry to have to do this but I just cannot take this on.
And you know, it was okay. She understood and she wasn’t mad. It was okay. The world did not end. And, while my world was still overwhelming, I had made one small step to regain control.
You see, fighting busy takes courage, but it is so vital to truly living a remarkable life.
So, I have to make a decision daily and weekly about each activity, option, meeting presented. Is it necessary? Is it beneficial? Have I already scheduled too much? Will something else fall behind if I do this? What things are truly important?
And busy shows itself in other places than just on your calendar. Your mind can be busy too. So reevaluate the things you put into it and find a way to un-clutter it. Mediate, journal, pray, talk to someone, but let you mind have peace. Give yourself time to just chill.
Why not join me and Alli Worthington in a new mission to be #BreakingBusy today? Comment below and tell me how you plan to start.