Modern Life: Busy or Empty


 Ask someone how they have been and one of the most common answers is “busy.” Everyone seems so busy all the time. Weekends, holidays, and evenings. You know, normal times when people used to relax, reflect, and enjoys downtime. Downtime has turned in to a vulgar word in 2015 and a day with no events marked on the calendar seems to be something to be ashamed of nowadays.

I get it. Everyone who actually works seems to have to go way over the 40 hour mark to make ends meet. Work does eat up a great deal of our time. But why is everyone so busy when work is over?

I see the busy factor in my own life. There are school functions, kids’ sporting competitions and practices to attend, and the never ending household stuff. Got to keep the yard mowed, limbs picked up, clothes washed, floor swept, and dishes clean. I could go on but don’t want to depress anyone further.

We only get 168 hours a week so there has got to be some time in there for fun or just idleness (another ugly word to many folks). If life consists only of working, sitting down to pay bills, grabbing a hamburger in a sack for meals, and driving in a zig zag pattern every evening and weekend to run errands, then that is a pretty empty life.

I see people who complain about having an overwhelming schedule but never say no to any activity. Never! They say “we can’t just not do ______.” I’m not sure what the penalty is for saying no to some events, but it seems very scary to some folks.

idea puzzle

There is nothing wrong with having downtime. Naps are great for the body and mind. Long walks to nowhere with a dog along side you are awesome. Watching a great TV series for a few hours occasionally in a binge fest is terrific. These things don’t fit in with the busy life that seems to be the norm now and that’s a real shame. By the way, great ideas are often formed during idle time. People need to be unproductive for periods of time in order to be more productive when it comes time to be “doing.”
What is all this running around being busy accomplishing? Most people who are too busy to have a meal with their parents or grab lunch with their kid at a sit down diner are not busy curing cancer. They have likely shackled themselves with appointment after appointment to make sure they don’t have free time to think about their life at all. That free time might just reveal how empty their weekly allotment of 168 hours a week has been.

We should all chill out a bit. Take a nap, go on a hike, sit by a river, go fishing, lounge in the backyard with a book, etc. Just do nothing for a change. The world won’t fall apart and you might have a better appreciation for the time you have been granted.

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Shane McLendon
Wannabe geek and FLOW Seeker