The Vices of Busyness

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Brian Andreas of StoryPeople. Always speaking right to me.

I honestly find it funny that I am sitting down right now to write a blog post on this particular topic. As my friends and my family know, I am a busy person. I find comfort in a schedule packed so tightly that I cannot become lazy or unproductive. And in many ways, my busyness has been good. I am fairly productive, I am accountable to a lot of people and I get stuff done.

But in the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on my busyness and my inability to sit still. And I have come to realize how unhealthy this has been.

The last three weeks have been emotionally charged for Luther as a campus, and for myself personally. In the span of a week, I was confronted with a serious family health scare (we are all good now, so no worries :)) as well as the death of a classmate. I felt in many ways like my world was crashing in. I felt so overwhelmed with sadness and confusion and a loss of control, but also with a desire to shove off all of my responsibilities. I didn’t want to go to class, write my Fulbright application, plan a Senate retreat or talk about voter registration. I wanted to be sad. I wanted to be scared. And I wanted to grieve.

And I did, sort of. But through it all, I felt guilty and anxious, telling myself you should be doing this, or you should be doing that. What a dangerous word, should. So instead of taking the time I should have, I just kept working.

Which leads me to this week, a terribly long week that was filled with copious cups of coffee and a very small amount of sleep. But this week was also infused with continuous reminders that I needed to stop and take care of myself. Through my RA job, and my friends, and a little bit of help from a professional, I realized how close I am, four weeks into school, to burning out. And that is not okay. That is not sustainable. And I need change something.

I have written this blog for two reasons. First, because I need to admit this weakness I have, this desire to always be busy, to myself and to those around me (I know you all already know but need to say it :)).

And second, because I think it is a good reminder to all of us that busyness, without time for oneself, is not a sustainable lifestyle. We always hear of the warnings that we are not our best selves when we are exhausted but I never thought that would happen to me. But it did, and I wanted to tell this story to encourage each and every one of you to really take an inventory of your own life right now and ask yourself is what I am putting myself through, worth it? If the answer is yes, then by all means, keep going but if it is no, try something new.

For me, something new is going to look like adding some more yoga time into my schedule, following through on scheduled skype dates with my Norway friends, a few more intentional meals a week with friends, and maybe a little more delegation of responsibilities to my AMAZING team members (shout out to my Exec Boards).

Lofty new goal, I know, but wow do I need it right now.