Life in fast motion

Taking on too much is counterproductive and self-destructive

Don’t have a lot going on in your life? You’re probably not that important.

That is the mindset of America. We thrive on busyness. We live in a society which makes people’s value directly proportional to how many things they have going on and how many hours they slave away at school, work or outside commitments.

If you’re taking 18 credit hours, are president of two registered student organizations and on the board of three others, go home to work every other weekend, volunteer on the other weekends, are engulfed by three very extensive school projects and still find time to be the number one confidant for all your friends, you’re probably pretty important. Your life means something.

But if you’re that “underachiever” who takes 12 credit hours and likes to spend the weekend with family and friends and doesn’t really have a lot going on, you probably have to reconsider your life.

But why do we find so much worth in madness? We spread ourselves so thin. Trust me, I speak from experience. I am the chronic overachiever and perfectionist. I am the girl who says yes to everything. I can’t stop doing. Even before I sat down to write this article, I was racking my brain for something to do, amazed I could have a period of down-time. There had to be some project, some paper, some studying, SOMETHING productive that could fill my time.

It’s like in a sick and twisted way we like it. Sure, we complain about all the things we have to do, but almost to an unhealthy point. We post long, drawn out Facebook statuses about them, tweet our to-do lists and text our friends a long explanation of why we can’t hang out tonight when a simple “Sorry, I’m busy” would have sufficed. But in all our doing and “productivity,” are we really making headway?

Sometimes I wonder how much more we could really invest in things that matter if we focused on only a couple things with all our heart as opposed to what we think is “our all” to everything. Sure, it may seem that way because you are constantly exhausted and think you must be giving “everything.” You probably are, but that everything is spread between all your commitments. And what’s the end result? You’re burnt out, bitter and the things you’re giving yourself to could have had better.

Maybe there are those who truly love dabbling in just about everything, and that’s OK. If that fills you up and gives you joy and worth, then you go, Glenn Coco. But if it is just the compulsion of the world in your ear prompting you to always be doing and going, slow down. Take in the world around you. Granted, there is a difference between chronic laziness and simplifying your life for the better. But be OK with unfilled moments. Be OK with not constantly going. Be OK with allowing yourself to be filled so you can once again fill others.

When we slow down and see the world and people around us, we become more deliberate and intentional people, giving more to things and people that truly matter.