Busyness as a disease

I have decided to say NO to more things on the calendar.

busy.WaitingSunday, March 1 was a very full day. We went to the early service at church (8:30).

Then I taught a class for adult education about the book The New Jim Crow (9:30), sang at choir and read scripture at the second church service (10:45), and watched The Daughter and other kids perform The Gospel According to the Beatles (12:15). Afterward, the parents-in-law came over for dinner.

After they left, I said to The Wife that, had I not had all of those things on the agenda that day, I might have stayed home sick from church.

So you would THINK I would have had the common sense to stay home from work the next day, on Monday; I did not. I thought that, because I had a particular project to do on deadline, and since we’re behind on reference, and because I needed to take Friday off that week, I BETTER go to work.

What a mistake! I’m sitting at my desk, but I am unable to focus, with a sore throat, and probably a fever. I decide to take the next bus home out of Corporate (frickin’) Woods, but, unfortunately, there’s NOTHING leaving between 9:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. I muddle through the morning, find my way home and to bed. Stay home on Tuesday, I tell myself, and THIS time I listened to him.

Somewhere during my incapacitation, I come across an article that brought me up short: Busy Is a Sickness.

The American Psychological Association has published its Stress In America survey since 2007. They find that the majority of Americans recognize that their stress exceeds levels necessary to maintain good health. The most frequent reason they cite for not addressing the problem?

Being too busy.

It’s a vicious cycle.

When I used to call my late parents on the phone, and would ask them how they were doing, they’d almost always inevitably say, “Busy, but good.” Sometimes, they would reply, “Good, but busy.”

As the article notes:

It’s busyness we control.

Self-created stress.

I’m so busy that I decided that I don’t have time to be ill? I have about 125 sick days and get another day and a half each month. This is NO exaggeration.

And speaking of NO, one of the things I have decided is to say NO to more things on the calendar. There are plenty of good causes, learning opportunities, interesting events. Unfortunately, I’m not at a point to squeeze any more in.

Sidebar: have you noticed that more and more retired people say they are busier now than they were when they were working?

Last week, one of my library colleagues sent me UCLA Mindful Awareness – Free Guided Meditations, which I have just started to do, even though I might have otherwise argued that I don’t have time. I NEED to have less busyness, and this may help.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial