It is a trend, or perhaps I should call it a phenomena, which is getting some attention lately in the media. We all know R.W.’s who do it. We have each likely been guilty of it ourselves. It is when we complain about being too busy all the time. We are just SO busy, we can’t keep up with all that we have to do. And yet, even though we are overwhelmed, frustrated, and complaining, it is like we are participating in some sort of weird one-upsmanship. As in, I’m busier than anyone else – you think you are busy? Well listen to what’s on MY plate…. As if we want to wear this ugly badge of honor.
Sure, we all know what it is like to feel busy. It is how we R.W’s roll. We have our moments of high stress, those overwhelmed feelings where we want to call out “Calgon take me away!” (Yes, I’m aware I showed my age with that reference.). But how often do we really consider what our lives would be like if we didn’t have all this to do? What if our lives weren’t this full? If you didn’t have those kids in your life who need a mom-chauffer; if you didn’t have that job you go to every day; if you didn’t have that home that needs cleaning, or the food in the fridge that needs cooking? How would it feel instead to NOT be busy – at all? I admit, there have been times when I slip into my busy-martyr personae and say “oh, how I’d love to feel bored for a day.” But in reality, I know I’d hate it. (well, ok, so my fantasy of escaping all by myself to a beach for three days would be rather lovely…but really, I’d only need three days…promise.)
Perhaps rather than complaining, or busy-bragging, we should be showing a bit more gratitude for our full lives. Next time we feel the urge to open our mouths to tell another how we are just too busy, we could say we are thankful for what we have. Can you imagine how much more positive that would sound?
And here’s something else we can feel. Pride. Which is not the same as bragging. After all, we really are busy, and we really do juggle a lot, squeezing as much as we can out of every minute of the day. We do a pretty amazing job of it. So I think there is no harm in every now and then admitting to ourselves “dang, I was productive today. I rock.”
My sister sent me an email the other day with a classic example of all that we R.W.’s manage in a day. She had an appointment outside her office, and reported the following accomplishments within 80 minutes: Checked email; drove to doctor’s office and back; filled out paperwork; cleaned out handbag; got mammogram; had bone density test; power-shopped a favorite dress shop and put two outfits on hold; picked up lunch; reloaded an App on her phone at a stop light. Not too shabby. And you know what? She felt pretty darn good about her productivity. And she should.
So what do you say? Shall we start our own form of rehab from busy-bragging? How about the next time any of us are making dinner while checking a child’s homework, starting a load of wash, clearing the kitchen table, carrying on a conversation with our spouse, returning emails about our volunteer responsibilities and preparing for our next work day, instead of stopping to complain about it, we take a deep breath, look around at all we have in our lives and say “yeah. I’m good.”