And then I made a choice…

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“We are all busy.  Everybody’s life is full.”

Talk about a great opening line to grab a reader’s attention.  This morning, during my somewhat-daily blog tour, I clicked the link in my inbox to read the most recent posting on Lindsey Mead’s blog A Design so Vast, and this opening line had my attention.  I hate the whole “I’m so busy” mentality of… well, everyone.

I hate when people play the victim of their own busy-ness.  Because we are all busy; therefore, that excuse has no merit.  And, as Lindsey so wonderfully reminds us, we are busy with things we chose to be busy with.

A few months ago, I was doing a nutrition challenge and one aspect of this challenge was a daily reflection about the points you’d earned or lost that day.  I tried to go through our team’s reflections regularly to comment and encourage others, but there were a few people whose daily reflections were really getting to me: they constantly wrote that they “accidentally” ate foods that weren’t allowed on the challenge.  Every.  Day.  I complained to a friend who was also doing the challenge who told me “People aren’t annoying.  You are annoyed” and suggested that perhaps I needed to look inwards in this situation, since something as frivolous as a stranger eating chocolate really shouldn’t be bothering me.

Mid-text-message-rant-response to her… it hit me: I get particularly… bitchy… when people imply that they don’t have a choice when they really do; many people of this world are legitimately victimized every day, their choices completely taken away, their voices silenced.

(Barring addiction, physical or mental illness, etc), we have a choice in what we eat and drink.  We have a choice in whether we workout or not.  We have a choice in how busy we are.

Life is really a game of choices; we need to make choices we can own, not ones we imply were beyond our control.  If you can’t stand behind your choices, maybe they aren’t the choices you should be making.  I did my “fallback” Jen Pastiloff class on yogisanonymous this morning (it is Level 1, so I do it when I’m feeling lazy) and Jen said “I’m not saying you’re not busy, we’re all busy though… whatever you want to do, make time for it… Look at where you’re not paying attention or seeing the beauty.”  She later continued, “A lot of us use busy-ness as a sign of worthiness.”  How true.  But at what cost?

It took me a total burnout and relocation to realize that I didn’t have to say “yes” to everything that was asked of me.  I didn’t have to do everything people wanted me to do.  I didn’t have to go to every event, fundraiser, party… my hand didn’t have to shoot up every time they asked for volunteers.  My busy-ness in no way reflected my value.  And I had a choice in everything I did.

I’m not saying I never say that I am “too busy” to do something; I said that about fifteen minutes ago.  But lately, I’ve been trying to change my language after reading a facebook post (sorry, I cannot remember the source) suggesting we try saying “it’s not a priority” instead of “I am too busy”.  Because if I want to do something, I do it.  I make time for it.  If I want to have a relationship with someone, I make time for them.  I don’t believe that people “don’t have time” for a friend… I believe that people don’t really want to be friends with people they don’t make time for.  That’s their prerogative; I just wish they’d own their choices and stop playing the victim of their own busy-ness.

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