Busy or Burned Out? Questioning Society's Obsession with Constant Busyness

Do you remember when you decided that being busy is a good thing?

I do. 

While I grew up I always had my personal space physically and I am grateful for that. However, having space as a person is another story.

I am not born into the culture of parenting where the child is asked or checked in with about what she really wants to do or not to do. We had to flow with the family whether we liked it or not.

I remember sitting at loooong family visits where everybody spoke in a language that I didn't speak. So I just sat and smiled when needed and sat some more. 

Don`t get me wrong, I had lots of quality time in my introverted life; I read like a maniac, drew and wrote occasionally, created little dance routines inspired by my favorite artists, and had long phone calls with friends. 

Society and Constant Busyness

However they all felt like a luxury that I get to have whenever I get a chance rather than my ` right ` and could be interrupted at any time whether I liked it or not.

Then I found the magic word that gave me all the personal space I needed. ` busy `. 

My father was always excused for missing a dinner or a family occasion because he was busy with work. Then I noticed that this applies not just to my father but everyone else around me. When somebody is busy with something ` serious ` like work or study then they get a green pass. 

So I got busy.

I remember that I wasn't necessarily the best in my early years at primary school. But the more my need for my privacy increased the more successful I became. Not the only reason of course, I cannot put aside my ambitious parts. However the freedom of staying in to study instead of doing something I had absolutely no interest in rocked!

As life went on, I witnessed again and again how working like a dog gets you a pass whereas taking care of your personal needs is considered unimportant and even selfish; therefore looked down to. 

Finding Balance in a Busy World

No wonder that studies show 75% of workers experience burn-out; managers more likely, if not slightly more so. 

As a self-led entrepreneur, to this day I still feel the tension between the two polarities of martyrdom and self-centeredness. Their balance is the golden middle path I am trying to walk on. This quest is teaching me precious lessons and is profoundly liberating.

There are many more ingredients to the recipe of burn-out that I will get into but let's start with this.

When did you decide to be busy? 

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