You’re so busy, forever racing around taking care of stuff, creating stuff, replacing stuff, upgrading stuff, sharing stuff. Yet, something doesn’t feel right. Though you do so much in a day, instead of feeling satisfied, you look at your long list of things to do and sigh. There’s still so much left to attend to.
Something’s dreadfully wrong when you no longer live life as a human being but have morphed into a human doing.
Whatever happened to your childhood laughter? Your zany antics? Your thrill-seeking curiosity? Sure, you grew up and took on responsibilities. But does that mean that you need to become just one more adult taking care of stuff all day long, bemoaning the “fact” that “there is no time?”
In short, when will you start enjoying your life?
Kara’s answer: “When I finish all the stuff I have to do.”
George’s answer: “When things ease up.”
Maria’s answer: “When the kids are older.”
Who are you kidding? Tomorrow always brings more stuff to do. Overbooked schedules never ease up. Older kids deliver new troubles and tribulations.
If your life is so overbooked, so busy, so bustling that you’re not enjoying life, it’s time for a change. An overabundance of stress is not a given. It’s a choice. It probably does not feel that way, as you’ve surely convinced yourself that you “have to” do all these things. But do you?
Some people work many hours at jobs they dislike just to stay afloat. Others live the “good life,” involved in careers they love and pursuits they enjoy. You would be forgiven for assuming that there should be a huge difference in these two groups of people in terms of life satisfaction. But there isn’t.
Because many who are living the “good life” are too busy to be enjoying it. They are rushing around from one activity to the next without absorbing pleasure from any of them. Busy they are. Stressed they are. Happy they are not.
It may seem strange to say this, but in many ways, there’s not much difference between a person who doesn’t know how to read and one who doesn’t read. Similarly, there’s not a huge difference between one who doesn’t have many life options and one who doesn’t exercise the options he has. You may be in the enviable position of being able to choose how to structure your day. But if you experience your day as rushing around from one thing to the next, not particularly enjoying any of it, what’s the point?
We fool ourselves into believing that we don’t have enough time. But we’ve got it wrong. Time is not the problem. It’s the habits we’ve developed that are the problem. And it’s the certitude that we cannot change those habits that makes it an entrenched problem.
But lucky us! Even though it’s still winter, the first sign of spring is in the air.
Can you feel it? Can you imagine the growth that still lies dormant getting ready to tentatively poke its way through the warming earth? True, you may not see anything yet. But you know, literally and metaphorically, that new growth is upon us.
If you’re feeling depleted because of all the things you think you have to do, now is the time to cultivate your spring. Feel the warmer air. Nurture your curiosity. Hear your childhood laughter. See yourself bursting into full bloom. Appreciate that you are a human being — not simply a human doing.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Mar 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Sapadin, L. (2013). Too Busy to Enjoy Life? When Will You?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 26, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/03/04/too-busy-to-enjoy-life-when-will-you/