It was a love-hate relationship where the love part was 51% and the hate was 49%. Why I felt the need for it, even I couldn’t quite understand. It felt right. It felt good. It somehow made me feel invincible.
Being able to say, “I wake up, go to class, go straight to babysitting (in a nearby city), then off to two more classes back-to-back, do my homework, rush to track practice, hurry back to the dorm for a quick shower, and off to my job as a waitress” made me proud of myself. When people said, “Wow, Amanda! How do you manage to do so much?,” it gave me the opportunity to smile and brag on myself by enlightening them with the simple explanation, “I have really good time management skills,” as if it were no big deal. The truth was, I did develop extremely good time management, but I was overworked, exhausted, and never took any time for myself. I wouldn’t elaborate, explaining to that person that I rarely had a good attitude while shuffling throughout my busy day’s activities. I never openly admitted that it wasn’t fun or that I was tired of my chaotic schedule. Silly, right? Even worse, if I didn’t have something going on one evening, I felt wrong and guilty and had to fill it: picking up extra shifts as a waitress, offering to babysit, making plans just to keep busy.
Ever since I was a little girl my mom and dad instilled a good work ethic in me. That is something I’ll be forever grateful for. However, I took it to the extreme and only found myself happy when I was productive. I felt guilty if I took a 15 minute power nap. I felt wasteful if I procrastinated on any homework or projects. I looked around at everyone else and compared myself to them, believing that they were lazy because they weren’t being productive. Oh, and the other college students who said, “I don’t have time for a job, I play sports and have to keep my grades up…” yeah, those people were the most annoying people on the planet to me. I, too, played a college sport and kept my grades up and worked! I blamed their excuses on laziness and bad work ethic. Oh boy, this is getting harder to write. It’s embarrassing to admit how judgmental I was. I truly believed all of those things until after college when it hit me; is this worth it? And the answer was clear: no. Missing out on time spent with friends and spreading myself so thin that I wasn’t giving the best of me to each activity; there was nothing to love about it. A book that assisted me in the process of healing from being a prideful busy-bee is The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. Recently, my fiance and I learned so much on this subject from a Rob Bell podcast called One Thing and I highly recommend you listen next time you’re in the car with nothing to do for 26 minutes!
“I no longer view a hustle-only lifestyle as the right one; I’ve learned that it’s an exhausting one. The lifestyle I long to live is BALANCED, not busy.”
To need moments of rest and relaxation is not a crime. Going after my goals and being productive is still important to me. My desire to have a strong work ethic has not withered away and I hope to instill that type of drive in my own children in the future. But we need to stop the glorification of “busy.” Let’s not make busy the cool thing. Let’s make sure people know it’s healthy to take time to rest.
I want to encourage you to live a balanced
~It’s never too late to start over.~