When did we get so busy?
Seriously. When was it?
Remember when you could get through a week, a day, an hour without checking the calendar? Without looking at your phone to see where you were supposed to be? Without having to respond to someone’s request for a call or meeting or visit?
How can it suddenly be Sunday night and still there is a stack of magazines and newspapers you want to read, that are dated several days before? Why is the house never clean? Where is that stack of mail you were definitely going to sort through?
Have we traveled somewhere new? No.
Have we learned something truly important? Probably not.
Have we impacted someone’s life? Highly doubtful most days.
And in the midst of it all, when we feel our reserves are running low, and we actually try to sit still, decompress, breathe deeply and withdraw from the world, why are we bombarded by messages and emails and tweets that demand to know why we aren’t responding?
Think of the pioneers. People who got up at 4 a.m. and went in the fields to plow, cut lumber, wash clothes, feed the chickens and in general toil to the point of exhaustion. They knew how to work hard. And they need when to rest. And I have a feeling they all understand how important it was to rest when they could.
We seem to have forgotten that. And for sure, we boomers know better.
Work is good. Feeling productive is wonderful. Some weeks are crazy. But in the midst of it all, one thing does not change: we have to rest. We have to recharge. We have to let our minds settle.
When we don’t, our motors burn out. We get angry, depressed, and we can’t be happy.
Chances are, you’ve put in many years of working late. Or raised children without many nights’ sleep. Or composed a symphony or graded papers or sewed a prom dress long after you’ve reached exhaustion. You pushed yourself many times. And you survived.
But now, maybe it’s time to take a look at what is keeping you busy now.
Is it really that important?
Can’t the call wait?
Does the email have to be answered right this minute?
Does it really matter if you don’t make up your mind right now?
Maybe take a moment. Maybe pretend the phone didn’t ring. Maybe for just a few minutes, or a day, or a weekend, be a pioneer. Work hard, then sit and rest. Listen to the birds.
And is those around you don’t understand, do it anyway.
Listen to your spirit.
Enough. Get busy just being.
You might be amazed at what you’ve been missing.
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”