I rarely read something and feel like it is directed towards me specifically. However, last week, as I finished up delivery on the documentary (in fact, the day after I delivered) – something in the New York Times caught my eye. I read it once, and walked away. A couple hours later, a few of the sentences in the article kept resonating in my head, and I went back and read it again. I nodded. There were definitely things I could take away from it. But then a couple hours later, it happened again. Now, different sentences from the article were swirling in my head. I guessed that I needed to read it again. So I went back and read it a third time. It was only on this third reading that I felt the whole thing start to sink in.
You see, the entire article was about the idea of being busy. (Read the article here), and how as a society, we have filled our days rather than cleared them. I looked at my schedule. Although I had just finished delivery on a film, my next week was already packed, morning to night, with meetings, calls, and blocks of time carved out to read, do notes, etc. And I thought, is this the way I want to live? After all, in working for myself, isn’t one of the choices I have about my lifestyle? Or at least, shouldn’t that be a choice?
The next evening I went over to a girlfriend’s house for dinner. As her (gorgeous) one year old ran around like the adorable maniac that she is, we sipped wine and talked about how her life had changed. The past month for her had been that kind of busy. The non-stop, constantly obligated kind of busy that my life often is daily. And I could tell how worn out she was by it. All I could think is “is that how worn out I am constantly?”
A year ago I gave up caffeine. I LOVED caffeine. We’re talking double espresso followed by a pot of coffee throughout the day kind of love. I drank it morning until night. And when I stopped, it sucked. Headaches, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t get up, grouchy…the whole nine yards. But then, a couple weeks later, I woke up one day feeling so much better. I didn’t need to have a cup to start the day. I didn’t need a pick me up at 2pm. My body had righted itself with the natural way it was supposed to be.
And I think that’s where I am with busy. I have been busy for so long, that my body doesn’t know what to do without it. So as I try to cut out, and cut back, it rebels. My brain tells me I should be working when I pull out a (for fun) book at 9pm, and go out to the patio to read. I get antsy when I look at my calendar and I haven’t filled it 2 or 3 weeks out.
But at the same time, I can feel myself start…just barely start…to be more engaged with the things I am doing.
So, I’m not promising I’m going to be able to do this, but I’m giving it a try. Less busy.