The "Busy" Perspective
I posted recently on Facebook about overbooked schedules and the perspective we take on that. I also know there has been a bit of encouragement on "break the busy" cycle, as to say, "Busy isn't a bragging right."
I am reading a new book, and it’s about a lot of things. It is mostly, so far about vulnerability and allowing yourself to make choices that may be uncomfortable, yet so beneficial to your life. My book choices have had excellent timing, as of late. This one talks about our problem, as a society, of “scarcity.” And she doesn’t talk about scarcity as a problem of the impoverished or third-world cultures. It’s here, it’s in and around us every day. We wake up and think about all the things we have to do, and all the resources we lack to do them. We tell ourselves we are not enough; we don’t have enough. And then at the end of the day, we beat ourselves up over what we failed to do, what we were not, didn’t say, or achieve.
We dismiss what we actually are, and we choose to not change anything about it. We say that’s how it is, and continue in the cycle of underachieving while being mad about it, yet we keep expectations the same. And, we keep our choices and outlook the same, as well. Why?
I found myself falling into this trap.
Dragging myself out of bed to catch up from yesterday. Making up for today, before my day even started. At the end of the work day, I’d fall onto the couch and beat myself up about what I should be doing instead. I’d do things begrudgingly, only because I felt like I had to. I didn’t have time for the things I wanted to do. And I was mad at myself for that.
You know what, I actually do have the time and energy… if I choose to make it. But I was so focused on tasks and the checklist of “shoulds” and “not ___ enough” that I dwelled (and dwell, sometimes) on that. But this week has been the beginning of a really positive shift because every day, I’m aware of this choice. It's been happy and thoughtful. And I see the returned energy.
When I was in high school, I was also busy. How did I have so much energy? Because I loved everything I was doing, and I wanted to do that, and more. I was never satisfied with just the basics. I was involved in in-, and out-of-school activities. I made good grades. I had friends I kept up with. It was my goal to be good at handling all these different things as much as it was to be good at them. This kept me motivated enough, somehow. It wasn’t hard to be engaged in my life.
I have this really wonderful friend.
Many of my friends and readers know him. And you’ll think of him as I write this. He doesn't know I'm writing it, but I'm sure he will find out. If you're reading, I hope you understand I appreciate who you are.
Let's call him "Friend." "Friend" truly is busy. And I don’t say that as in, oh, he doesn’t have time for anyone else… he is always doing something, or else he is sleeping. I say that he is busy, because he does everything, his schedule and ambitions are big. He is in med school, working 18-hour days. He’ll be a great one. He does it all, and then he finds time to do more and be a good friend. On his time off, he makes sure he finds time for exercise and friends and family. He does it because it is important to him.
From my point of view, he is never scarce. He is always fully present. He is aware of his wants and stays true to it. He helps. He has fun. He encourages others. He reminds you of your worth. And in his presence he reminds you that you should appreciate where you are now, but always strive. His path is full, in all the best ways. I’m sure he struggles, as he is human.
How often do we hear to “stay true to yourself,” yet we are pulled in different ways, which we then complain about?
How often do we try to do this, then get mad for it not being available right in front of us? You know, life doesn’t always just land the way we'd like. You kind of have to be active in your own life.
Next week, I start a pretty time-crunched schedule. "Friend" asked me if I wanted to join in on this workout plan they are doing. He is convincing and smart (he said, afterward I’ll “be fit,” according to science, whatever that means), and it’s a connection between us, so I said yes. He texts me nearly every day to make sure I did the workout prescribed for the day. Sometimes, we’ll suffer through it together. I asked him why he started it now, when he was just starting his long days, and he simply said his health is an investment; he should be able to do it at any time. Great perspective: it’s not a chore. It’s not an additional thing piled onto his plate- it’s a treat.
My plate was like lima beans and green peppers and under-cooked beef- the things I didn’t want to eat but felt I had to, or I'd go hungry. "Friend's" plate contains BBQ and banana pudding and cherries, every meal. I wanted that on my own plate.
The other day, I asked my husband, “I wonder what it’s like to be liked.”
He said, “But you are well liked, Sloane.”
I said, “Yeah, but people don’t gravitate toward me. Like 'Friend,' he is a light that draws people in.”
First of all, this is me not valuing my likeness.
Secondly, I realized that people just want to be around him. Like me and my husband. And everyone else we know who also knows "Friend." There’s so much positivity around him. Why? How?
It is a fortune and inspiration to be the friend of someone like this.
The perspective we have on the daily, what are you telling yourself? How is your energy spent? I have spent (the worst) half of my life fighting with myself. Even as I think I'm in a much better place (I am), I haven't quite thought about how I present myself to life itself. I don't think about myself as much as I should. Not myself versus my "stuff," but it's me, with myself, with my stuff, for myself. With gratitude and abundance. For the people I care about and have yet to meet; the things I have yet to do, or become.
Let's help each other wake up everyday with positivity, and motivation, and gentleness.