Tuesday, February 28, 2017

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things.

It really bugs me when I ask someone how they are, and they respond, "I'm so busy." It really, really irritates me when people use, "I can't. I'm so busy," as an excuse not to do something. Look around you: everyone is busy. That busy-ness you're feeling? It's called life. And just because someone else's busy doesn't look like your busy doesn't mean they aren't busy.

College is a busy time: we're going to class, doing homework, writing papers, studying for tests, staying involved in student organizations, maintaining our social lives, working, eating, sleeping, surviving. Yes, college is a busy time, but that's part of what makes it so fun. It's such an amazing opportunity to try new things and meet new people and create who we want to be.

There's no such thing as being too busy. First of all, if you want something, you'll make time for it. Second of all, it's all about priorities.
Maybe it's just me being an optimist, but I think being busy is such a positive thing. Being super busy means you're lucky to have opportunities and the chance to try new things and be so involved and get an education and have a job and just have the chance to live. Many people aren't lucky enough to have those kinds of opportunities, so be grateful that you have the choice of so many amazing experiences.

While it might be so great that we're all so busy, I also think we should stop the glorification of busy. Sometimes I think we try to one-up each other with our busy-ness and craziness and hectic-ness. While it is great that we're busy with all of these opportunities, I also think it's important to celebrate taking a break and having some me time. And I don't think we should look down on those who do take some me time. I think we should celebrate those people! Those people are wise enough to know that they can't keep going without stopping to take a break and catch their breath. One of my favorite sayings is "You can't pour from an empty cup," and those words are so true to me in so many ways.

First, they're true in the context in which I brought them up: you can't keep going without taking care of yourself. In order to be successful, you have to take care of yourself and meet certain needs for yourself. Eat, sleep, comfort: those are basic human needs that are impossible to function without.

But I always like to think of these words in the context of taking care of other people. Personally, I'm someone who always tries to put other people first. I absolutely love being this way and really value trying to put others before myself. But sometimes, I have to step back and take care of me. If I'm not taking time for myself and relaxing and rejuvenating, I can't take care of others. And maybe taking care of others is part of your busy. If it is, you can't take care of them if you're too busy to take a little time for yourself every once in a while.

I love that I get so many opportunities and that I have a lot to do. And I'm happy for you that you get that for yourself, too! But we have to stop glorifying being busy. It's great that we all have these opportunities, but don't use busy as a mood or a response to someone asking how you've been. And don't use busy as an excuse to let someone down. And absolutely don't forget to slow down and have some non-busy time for yourself. After all, you can't pour from an empty cup.

What kinds of opportunities are keeping you busy? How do you like to relax and take a break from it all?

Lots of love,

Mitch Albom, "Tuesdays with Morrie"