Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been writing on my blog sporadically at best this fall. I mentioned in my last blog post that I had good reason so today I thought I’d share a bit about why it’s been so quiet here over the past few months. You see, every year starting in August/September my work schedule gets pretty intense (it’s the nature of the beast in my industry). Combine that with the kids starting school, the fact that I’m typically organizing travel plans for the year, gearing up for the start of hockey season, etc… well, let’s just say that life gets a little crazy around here. For the past 6-7 years we’ve done what we could do brace ourselves for “busy season”, but each and every year seemed a little crazier than the one before. While our schedule and daily life felt somewhat out of control during those stretches I found comfort in that everyone around me seemed equally busy. I began to wonder if maybe “busy” was the new black. It seems a lot of people, my family included, were running from one thing to the next in a state of self-imposed busyness.
Then last Fall I stumbled upon an article titled “The Busy Trap” by Tim Kreider. Wow. Talk about an article that nearly knocked me out of my chair. I read the article not once, not twice, but three times in a row. I printed it, highlighted it, let it soak in, and did a lot of self reflection on how I was contributing to our “crazy busy” schedule.
In the article the author says, “People are busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence. Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work.” That part hit me like a ton of bricks. As an entrepreneur I feel wired to work. I pride myself on my ability to multitask and manage a heavy workload…especially with a lot of looming deadlines. Then I read further in the article where Kreiger follows up saying, “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
Right then and there I decided that this year would be different. I didn’t want “busy” to be the pace of life our kids remembered about their childhood, nor did I want busyness to serve as their existential reassurance. No longer was I going to fill my schedule so full that I had to sacrifice my quality of life at home. No longer would I stress myself out trying to write blog posts, promote my work, or anything else that would push me into the “crazy busy” category. It’s not to say that we aren’t involved in activities. The boys are still involved in school activities, they still play hockey, I’m still working. The difference this year is that I’m doing everything I can to protect our schedules. It’s meant turning down work, saying no to some speaking/traveling opportunities, taking a break from writing on my blogs, limiting time on social media, etc…
Becoming purposely “unbusy” has allowed me to enjoy Fall, one of my favorite seasons of the year, for the first time in a very long time. I feel reconnected with my family and I’ve been rediscovering things that feed my creativity. Obviously this has been a great thing for my family, but I also have to say that it’s been great for my business as I’m much happier with the quality of the work I’m producing now that I don’t feel so rushed and hurried. Which leads me to my favorite part of the entire article where the author states, “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. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. ”
So, there you have it…a little explanation as to why the blog has been relatively quiet for the past few months. I have no plans to stop writing as this blog does serve as a creative outlet for me. I just hope you’ll understand if the posts aren’t as frequent as they’ve been in the past.
Today’s “quick-and-easy” lunch seemed fitting considering today’s topic. The lunch includes peanut butter roll-ups on lavash bread, broccoli, raspberries/blueberries, hard boiled eggs, almonds, almond flour chocolate chip cookies all packed in a Planet Lunch Box