Why is Everyone Suddenly so Busy?

For my, an Empty Road = Empty Mind

For me, an Empty Road = an Empty Mind

Busy is the new good.

Remember when, “How’s it going?” elicited, “Good” as a response? Now it gets you a, “Busy”, or even a, “Crazy Busy”.

I prefer “good”.

Busy is not necessarily good, it’s not necessarily busy either, it’s just what people say because it’s what they think they’re supposed to be. After noticing how common “busy” is becoming, I even caught myself saying it. But I’m really not that busy. I certainly wasn’t too busy to spend 600 hours on my bike in 2012. Yet something in me often feels busy, it can also feel out of balance. I recognized this in myself during December in that hateful period of time where European days are short and the weather awful. What was missing was my time to not feel busy, that 2-4 hours each day when I am on a bike with time to think, or better yet, to let thinking fade away to an empty mind.

Last year a good friend sent me an article about how not doing anything but letting our minds wander is critically important for humans. Watch most anyone these days and you’ll notice them pull out their smart phone at the first moment of inactivity. What happened to people watching? To staring out a window? Or to simply sitting still and doing nothing? It was driven home to me in December when I suddenly realized I was missing that time on my bike of sitting still and letting my mind process information. Without that time I was lacking inspiration in our work, I was irritated by some things that I couldn’t get past, I was not content with myself – all of which had me feeling busy, or the need to get busy to solve these things. I was out of balance and it was a negative circle to be in. I was not getting the time to let my mind process all these things and clear itself. Then came a warm spell of weather and I was back on the bike thinking, and finally not thinking – the things that needed to be done, were done all on their very own. My slate is clean, I am in balance.

But how many people have the good fortune to have learned this lesson and understand that it is as simple as having some time to yourself? Better yet, some time of physical activity with mental inactivity. Throw in some suffering and hardship and you have the perfect combo for good health, experiences and personal rewards.

I miss just hearing that people are good, because good is what we all really want to be. Make 2013 the year of getting back to saying, and really meaning, that you are good.

Have a Healthy and Happy New Year!

–Dan & Janine


Comments 8

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    2. Brilliant summary of where people of the West are in their minds today. I will be working on the “good” suggestion and not crazy busy in 2013.

  1. Added 20 mins of trascendental meditation to yoga and running and teaching and mothering and practicing and writing made me less busy…and even found time and energy for more, skialp! See u soon!

    1. Post

      The more we fully do the less busy we feel. But get busy making plans for a visit, Tite. 😉 …xo, D&J

  2. I have a hard time sitting still, but I’ve been working more at it over the past few years. It’s just not in my genes. Even watching a movie can be difficult.

    My wife and I traveled to Europe and Africa this past summer and we did a fair amount of sitting and relaxing. I’m not perfect, but getting better. Thanks for the great reminder.

  3. Happy New Year,

    Well said. I think it is why I like slowly cycling uphill on lonely roads so much. I like reading better than watching TV. Talking to someone better than texting them. Doing one thing with focus better than multi-tasking. Thanks for the reminder.

    And for what it’s worth: “I’m good, thanks.”

    Good luck in 2013

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