Busyness does not Equal Worthiness

Maurice Sendak from "Open House for Butterflies" 

Maurice Sendak from "Open House for Butterflies" 

I felt very proud of myself as I explained to a friend something that had happened a few nights before our conversation. We had been talking about dealing with feelings of inadequacy and I told him a story where I had laid down to go to sleep and as I put my head on the pillow all of the thoughts of what I did not accomplish in my day flooded my memory. I shut my eyes tightly and fought against those feelings by recanting all of the things I had done that day, schoolwork, 10 hours of work, ate good food...etc.. As I proudly told my friend of this accomplishment of how I had slain the dragon of inadequacy (at least for that night) he immediately shot back at me with a wise but slightly painful statement.... Don't confuse busyness with worthiness.

By recanting all that I had accomplished that day I forced myself to think of myself as being accomplished because I was busy. Our culture open looks to busyness as the gold standard of success and I had waltzed right into that mentality with ease. Luckily I have friends who easily call me out on my bull sh*t. Alas, it is difficult to let go of that drive, difficult to let go of the fact that my busyness is not a sign of my worthiness. 

I had to test that statement today, not by my own volition but my body's choice to let a virus take over #jerk. I was incapacitated all day and as I could barely keep my eyes open, the possibility of getting school work done was not likely either. As I lay in my chair, feeling terrible and feeling guilty for not doing any work, I thought about my conversation with friend. I realized that today was the time for me to slow down and allow myself the freedom to not get anything done. I'm still cringing a little as I write this, because I can't help but argue with myself about the "wasted" hours. So even though the timing could not have been worse, I rested today and I had peace about it. I am learning to value times of rest and healing, which are (unfortunately) slightly foreign words to me. I am learning... to be less busy. 

Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work.-Soren Kierkegaard
Amy ShenkComment