Tuesday, April 2, 2013

We are human BEINGS not human DOINGS

I sometimes wonder if the show The Walking Dead (you know, the TV show about the zombies?) is more real life than we all realize!  So many of us are exhausted, worn out, dog tired, or dead on our feet.  Despite the toll that sleep deprivation and stress take on our relationships and health, we've become a culture that glorifies busyness.

How many times have you asked someone how they've been and they respond: "BUSY!"?  The response almost comes across as an boast and an invitation to ask about the person's activities.   Working towards goals and being engaged in our jobs, families, and communities can be incredibly satisfying and lead to fulfilling results.  Action is how we turn our dreams into reality.  But where do we stop?  And at how much does this productivity cost us?

It's as if busyness is a new form of "keeping up with the Joneses" and somehow, checking more items of your to-do list makes you a better person.  Or, blame it on the Protestant work ethic that has permanently left its mark on how we view society and shaped our opinions of how its members should act.  Or maybe it's even a way to bring meaning to our lives (your life obviously cannot be trivial if you are booked up solid all day every day, right?).

I can attest to feeling anxious or jittery when I'm not working on something.  I feel lazy if I'm not engaged in something productive.  Periods of time of inactivity and quiet are not a vacation or laziness.  Solitude, reflection, and times of idleness are necessary for our heath and allows us to take a step back to get a macro perspective of our lives.  It inspires us to make connections we wouldn't otherwise see because we've got our heads down in focused work.

I don't write this from a perspective of having this balance all figured out - I continue to learn what works for me and what doesn't.   Sometimes, I still over commit and have to lean on my family when I feel like I'm about to have a meltdown.  Thank goodness for a supportive family and a resolve to improve!


stacie hurrrle said...

Thanks for the reminder Jessica. There are so many fun and interesting things to do...most of the time I live life like a kid in the candy store. But you're so right...we NEED quiet time to reflect and recharge our batteries. Hope you and Aaron take some time out for yourselves too. I've seen y'all at the candy store too. :)

Jessica said...

I love the analogy of the candy store!

Ashley Rane Sparks said...

This is a great post. I totally agree with doing things that you find meaningful not just to keep you busy. With three busy daughters it's hard to figure out how to slow down but it's important to teach them to choose things that they don't have to say "yes" to every thing they are asked to do.
Thanks for sharing...
Ashley Rane Sparks