Friday, April 5, 2013

On Being Busy

Yesterday morning my friend posted this NY Times essay, The 'Busy' Trap, on her Facebook page.

The timing couldn't have been better. As spring break comes to an end, I've been anxious and my mind's been racing: There are student letters of recommendation to write, colleagues to email, lessons to plan, papers to grade. I haven't done enough this week! I feel guilty writing in my blog right now - there is laundry to fold, appointments to make. Flavio is working this Saturday, which makes me feel like I should be "doing my part", working on all those teaching tasks, and getting stuff done around the house - contributing. My husband never makes me feel like I should be doing more. Instead, he's always telling me to slow down, relax and enjoy my break. But part of me can't help but feel guilty when I'm not busy. There's the trap: I hate being busy, but feel bad if I'm not.

This last part of The 'Busy' Trap resonates, 
"I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy."
I made a conscious decision to pursue teaching so I too could choose time over money. As I wrote in this post, teaching mostly lets me stay out of the busy trap. It's a seasonal business, which allows for an off-season of idleness where I get to take long walks, drink wine with lunch, daydream and stargaze. This spring break has been languid and lazy. And after reading Kreider's fantastic essay, I am going to make a conscious choice to keep most of the upcoming weekend unstructured and idle, and instead of feeling guilty, focus my energy on the present, and the necessary space a weekend brings. I have some fun plans ahead - like a beer festival tonight, dog beach with our neighbor, drinks with some new friends, Sunday brunch. But for the rest of the time I'll be totally relaxing, not trapped, but free. :)

Happy weekend. xo

{Image by Brecht Vandenbroucke from The 'Busy' Trap}

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