“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~ Socrates
Amazing to think the warning of an ancient Greek Philosopher, born in 470BC rings so true today.
Earlier this year I contributed to a blog posting for my colleague, Linda Samuels. The topic was what I wanted more and less of in the new year. My response:
“I’m at a point in my life where I’m actively embracing the idea of less and am pursuing a ‘smaller’, more focused life: less stuff, simpler lifestyle, and fewer activities & commitments. Having a less complicated lifestyle will yield more time and energy for what matters most to me these days: personal connections, healthy living, following my curiosity, learning, practicing and continuing to create a business model that most authentically represents my values and appeals to the needs of my clients.”
Most people who know me well would tell you I’ve always been an extremely busy person. My mom would tell you I rarely sat still and my kids might say I’m in perpetual motion. My husband teases me about being a “shark “- unable to stop swimming lest I no longer be able to breathe. To some degree, my “busy”ness is most likely attributable to my ADHD and my tendency to say “YES!” to shiny new tasks and projects presented to me. I know any number of my ADHD clients experience the same type of “busy”ness.
As noted by Socrates though, this “busy”ness can result in a feeling of barrenness. Barrenness like in the landscape photo above I took in central California several years ago. Busy translates into life flying by while you barely have time to enjoy it. Busy means shifting from one task to another so quickly you don’t even consider celebrating your completions. Busy means juggling too many activities and commitments and maybe even experiencing physical exhaustion or stress related challenges. Busy can result in enjoying life less and experiencing barrenness.
I’ve given much thought to what less busy looks like and I have experimented a lot with slowing down this year. My learning: I enjoy doing less and relaxing more. Even more than I thought I might. The result, less stress and more time to enjoy the company of my family and friends or to just be.
Having a smaller, more focused and less busy life isn’t something that happens overnight. Just like I tell my coaching clients, change is a process. This change requires making many choices, but they’re choices I’m enjoying making because one by one, they add up to the change I’m seeking. I’m no different from you. Only I can create change in my life. Only you can create change in yours.
I’d love to hear what you think. What changes could you make to result in a less busy life? What could being less busy bring more of into your life?