I’ve been told on more than one occasion that I’m a busy person.
I can’t deny that I have extreme ADHD when it comes to hobbies. I’m often flitting from one hobby to another based on my inspiration or creativity that day. The same goes for social interaction in regards to friends, family, and coworkers. In fact, this personality trait is the exact reason I started Bind & CrEATe. I didn’t want to be defined by just one thing. I wanted to be defined by the many things that make me a person.
But lately, I’ve been struggling with the word “busy.” Particularly, when someone tells me that I am OMGSOOOOOO busy. I find myself feeling unnerved with the statement “I figured you’d be busy.” First of all, that’s an assumption. No one can see my mental calendar or know what I’m doing. And if a person figured I’d be busy, then why are they asking?
I know that the people who say I’m busy don’t mean it with any disdain. They are just stating a fact. To them, I appear busy. But the truth is, I don’t actually feel that busy, and perhaps that’s my gripe with the statement. I knew I needed to get to the bottom of my sensitivity to the statement so I stopped feeling uneasy by it. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Being busy is relative phrase. In talking with my roommate, I learned that my version of busy is not going to be another person’s. A weekend with two nights out and an afternoon spent away was busy to her. To me, it was just normal. I’m chained to my desk all week at work, don’t get to interact with people or places, so of course – I want to get out and do some things with my free time. My roommate deals with screaming children all day long and is constantly on her feet. I’m an extrovert; she’s a bit of an introvert. See the difference? It is all okay!
Admittedly too, I place a lot of deadlines on my life, and it keeps me “busy.” I do this on purpose because I like the feeling of working toward a tangible goal. I don’t know if it’s the German in me, or what, but I feel the need to be productive about 80% of my day. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with the fact that I feel unproductive at work because I sit. (Therefore, I don’t want to sit at home). I “compete” in races, competitions, etc. so that I will be consistently working on something for a length of time. I like a feeling of accomplishment, even if I fail trying.
I actually set up a lot of time to be lazy. My “a lot of time” is probably different than others’. I say “no” often so I can have lazy time. I say “no” to hobbies that aren’t working in the moment, allowing time for something else to flourish. I say “no” to answering the telephone to give myself quiet time. I say “no” to activities or events that I don’t want to go. I say “no” with the right to change my mind if I please. I’ve actually felt really empowered saying no (and spending a night in, watching the Bachelor on repeat . No judgement, please).
Honestly, I don’t feel busy right now because I once had a busier time period in which I could compare the present. I want to say, “You should have seen me three years ago.” Three years ago when I was working full-time, taking two graduate school classes, training for a half marathon and co-teaching a class? Yeah, that was busy. Definitely too busy, and I learned from the experience to have time to rest.
I’m thankful that I gained exposure to many different tasks as a child, and I think it’s the main reason I don’t sit still well. I was never bored, and life with my dad was blessed with mounds of activity. My dad was a single father and filled up his free time with clubs, activities, friends & family. I don’t remember us lounging around at home that much, but our house certainly felt warm like a home should. We ate meals there, discussed the day with each other, and hosted social events for friends & family. Life was always full.
Add to that a mother who loves heart-to-heart chats and a ton of time spent working on my grandparents’ farm, and you get a consistently-moving person with plenty to say.
And… honestly, I like that person, this being I’ve become. In doing different tasks and having varying hobbies, I feel like I’m completing the puzzle pieces of me. I don’t think my way of life is the best way; that’s not at all what I’m saying here. It’s just the best way for me to feel at my happiest and most whole. I like having things to look forward to (marking up the calendar). I like setting up deadlines so I can stay motivated.
Maybe this all sounds completely nuts to someone, but that’s okay. I’m sure their life might sound completely nuts to me. But nevertheless, I am enjoying this life to the fullest of my abilities & I feel good. I can tell I’m on the right journey for me.