The Glory of Being Busy

It’s 2019 now and the only correct answer to “How are you?” seems to be: “Fine but I’m so busy.” Some people even skip the first part and straight on jump into the complaints, as if they got to win a golden medal for whining. And what else can you reply than – “I knoow – me too.”

So you joined the race. It’s pretty unclear where the starting line was – maybe at high school, where you learned that overachiever was a compliment? maybe at a bar, where your date was one hour late? maybe somewhere in between? – but you’re running as crazy and the finishing line is nowhere at sight. We’re all catching our breath here. Side hustles, projects, deadlines and working extra hours, it’s getting very sweaty and someone in the back might be actually having a stroke right now, but don’t mind him, we’re not stopping ladies and gentlemen, in fact, we’re speeding up! because efficiency! is! the! key!

If you’re wondering how to hop off this bandwagon, I’ll be no help to you. I’m actually trying to get on, so if you have a spare ticket, it’d be great to swap – I’ll be happy to join the sprint and you can gladly have my spot here in Loserland, where we think about things twice and don’t overbook and occasionally even take a nap.

Ever so often I have to explain myself and clarify that I also have shit to do, just like anyone else. It’s only that I prefer not to label it “busy”. To me, busy is being out of breath. Busy is running so fast time can’t catch you, busy is overbooking your life months in advance, so whatever spontaneously comes your way, you can always politely decline.

I firmly believe that you can live your life to the fullest without showing people your Google calendar as a proof. I also believe that busy doesn’t automatically mean efficient, and I try to remind myself of that while playing the losing game of smalltalk ping-pong.

Another fun reminder: busy doesn’t excuse your lack of empathy or kindness, your drinking habits or your shallowness. Having a color-coded agenda doesn’t make you a better person, and meeting all the deadlines doesn’t mean you get anything done.

The blank spaces of life, such as boredom, loneliness or idleness, are wiped off the table because productivity is being served. Bon appétit! Only in case that you can make it to the dinner on time though, because you’re probably running around like a headless chicken. We know that you have a lot on your plate. (You told us.) So why are you still hungry?

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