“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.”
This excerpt was taken from a blog post I read recently that discussed what the author called “the busy trap”. Busy – The answer we tell ourselves and others when they ask “How are you doing? How is work going?” Even if we are not actually as busy as we let on, many of us still manage to give this answer with a sigh of exhaustion usually following it. Why do we do that?
I know I have been guilty of this in the past, and I have really started to wonder why. Why did I choose to answer “busy” when I really meant “I have things so under control right now that I can actually take a break in my day to reflect on the awesomeness that is my life?” Was I afraid that people would think I am not working hard enough? Or was I afraid that they would resent me for not being as busy as they claim to be? Or did I just not feel like making small talk at the time? Either way, my brain made an active decision at that time to use the word “busy” when there were plenty of other words available to choose from.
It wasn’t until recently, when my pregnant body began telling me to physically slow down and that it was non-negotiable, that I actually began feeling more comfortable with getting away from using the B-word. Just to be clear, my daily to-do list at work and home has not changed, and I have always practiced taking small breaks to recharge my battery throughout the day. But being visibly pregnant has finally allowed the guilt to lift from my shoulders when I admit to the small mindful breaks I take throughout my day. Nobody questions a pregnant woman when she needs to take a break. I haven’t yet decided if I feel relieved by this, or if I feel duped that I believe the only way people would give me a pass to not use the B-word is if I am the vessel for a human life. That will be mine to decide, but in the meantime I think it’s important to point out that I would rather be efficient than claim to be busy any day of the week, so moving forward pregnant or not, I will no longer be stuck in the busy trap. It’s time to start telling the truth. Ask me how I’m doing – “I’m doing great, I feel like I am getting a lot accomplished everyday and it feels good.” There I said it, who’s with me?!
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Be well…it’s a state of mind.
Sarah Murray, LMT, NCTMB