Over the past several months, I’ve been very observant in listening to both successful and accomplished women. Most of these conversations involved the staple modern tropes of how “work is sooo busy, blah blah, blah, how we need to slow down, yada yada yada, and oh the kids, the dog, my husband!…” and you can probably fill in the space or get a good idea of where these conversations went, because let us admit, all of us at one point have been both the listener and the deliverer of such words. It’s why a few weeks ago, I shared the concept on my social media to “Stop the Glorification of Busy” It is not only overrated, but maybe even harmful to our true lives as women of substance and style.
In reflecting an all time high in my professional career, when I was going full throttle and seeing through high capacity, I knew I was doing well, and still acknowledge that that was a blessing in itself, I cannot help but consider one moment in the midst of all this “success”. One of my sons was graduating high school right when I was in the middle of the elevated professional energy that defines modern entrepreneurship: commitments galore! I had just returned from an international business trip (where did you go??), I had planned a huge graduation party with over thirty planning to attend, and I was supposed to be in another part of the country (where??) in less than forty-eight (48) hours (after the party). Exhaustion overwhelmed me and I broke down into tears and wondered how I was going to keep up with all these obligations. What I came to realize is that I made these commitments, no one forced any of these engagements or responsibilities.
Hindsight has shown me that, I had become an automaton in the modern world, one driven on worry. Worried that I would have enough clients, enough time, enough money…enough ME?!
What I’ve come to realize is that there is enough time and enough ‘me’. I just had to readjust how I utilized both of these indispensable resources not made in factory (like money!) There are machines built to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year; the clock, either your friend or enemy, it’s your choice. But we were not meant to “run like machines," we need a break to assess our actions, energies, and most important to live.
I’ve learned that there’s a big difference in actions and commitments driven by excitement, joy and love, versus those spurred by fear, insecurity, and unmerited competition of the social kind. A Woman of Substance, Woman of Style knows which of these motivating factors will decidedly lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying life, both the external and internal.
When you boast and brag “my kids are doing this, so now I need to…, I’ve had seven meetings this week… I don’t have time to see you in the next month because…”, you are glorifying the concept of busyness and more often than not, at the expense of what it means to actually live. Why is it that the number of professional engagements you have and how little time you have left to do the things you want to do is used as social fodder to raise your status?
Of course, there are times in our life when we are busy, and it’s even okay to allow your journey to be a part of the conversation. But remember that a conversation is a two way street, and I've learned a lot by keeping silent and reflecting and even more when I spent time just listening. Of that period in my life, when I was a five hundred (500) horse powered engine, with the pedal to the metal, I remember my sons graduation party being a great success and everyone having a good time. It didn’t blemish my professional life to enjoy the day that would never come again, because trust me, I’m still working with clients and having meetings and no, I don’t go about them with the constant buzz of busyness and worry, but with a bit more awareness and the gift of presence.
We seemed to have filled every corner of our lives to capacity so much that we've become numb and oblivious to what's really essential and what's truly relevant.