But it’s a good busy…

Do you ever run into a friend or acquaintance and when you ask “How are you?  How are things going?”, the response is “busy”.  Or “good busy”.  So, what does this really mean?  In our manic society that always seems time deprived, busy has become the new sign of success.  If I’m busy, I must be productive.  If I say I’m not busy, I’ll appear lazy and unmotivated.  But is any of that really accurate?  With many of my clients, and myself, we get lazy with our language and “busy” has become a catch-all phrase like “fine” or “good”.    With our multiple responsibilities and often hectic lives, this phrase has become a shield and a barrier to deeper connection and an intentional life.  As animals, we are hardwired for connection and we are most successful when we are engaged and involved with others – packs, tribes, clans, communities, etc.  But the “busy” label keeps others at a distance and keeps us from that connection.

What the heck are we so busy doing?

There is no doubt that we are over-scheduled and our lives are very dissimilar to preceding generations.  But it’s also true that we have more leisure time than ever before.  In so many ways, our lives are so much easier than our ancestors and yet we act as if we are busy tilling the land, protecting the homestead and eking out a living – all not true.   The question becomes:  what am I busy doing?  The answer is at the heart of intentional living – taking off “the badge of busy” and starting to rewrite the story of your life.  Are you busy with classes, education, volunteering and vocational work?  Great – that level of being busy should feel productive and satisfying.  Are you “busy” with social media, Netflix and shopping that leaves you dissatisfied and unhappy?   What can you do less of or differently?

If your default status is “busy” but you are unfulfilled, stressed and unhappy, it’s time for an internal audit.  Revisit your priorities and start living intentionally.

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