Ask someone how they're doing, and they'll probably give you some variation of "busy." "Good," they might say. "Busy." Or else it's "Ugh. Busy." Or maybe it's even a dramatic "Sooooo busy."
"And how are you?" they'll say back.
"Same," you'll likely say. "Busy."
The crazy thing about all this, though, is that when we tell people "I'm busy," we really aren't saying, "I'm busy" at all. What we're really saying is, "I'm important" or "I'm valuable" or "I'm worthy." We're trying to prove that we matter because we're in demand, because we're working so hard, so long, in such a large quantity.
But it's not a matter of simply working, is it? It's a matter of working towards something.
We've been fooled, in a sense, into believing that filling our time is the same as actually doing something with our time, that being a workaholic is the same as working at a high level. And this simply isn't true. Workaholics are the busy people, the people that confuse general movement for forward momentum, who fall prey to the dopamine hits that come from completing small tasks while failing to realize these tasks aren't laddering up to larger goals. People who work at a high level, on the other hand, are those who are discerning with their time and leave plenty of it for the things that matter — their family, their friends, their health, and finally, their professional goals.
Our schedule is not a status symbol. Our self-worth should not stem from our itinerary. Our busyness — and the stress and lack of sleep that come along with it — should not be worn as a badge of honor. Because truly, what are we so busy and stressed out doing? Checking our emails? Keeping our countertops clean? And does that truly make us important? Valuable? Worthy?
So how about we stop being "busy" and start being present, productive, attentive, healthy. How about we fill our time with the things that are meaningful and free our time for the things that fill us up. And when it seems like everyone else is going, going, going, and we feel like we should be "going" too, how about we take a minute to see if anyone's really going anywhere, or if they're all just going around in circles.