Let’s face it, life is busy. It seems to get busier each day as we juggle endless ‘worthwhile tasks’. How many worthwhile tasks can we or should we shoehorn in to our life? Once we submit to the enormous forces of ‘measuring up’, taking the time to consider if we are too busy seems like a lazy stroll only earmarked for retired people.
I don’t know how to change the pace of life except by accepting the unenviable label as an underachiever – which I intuitively resist. We are told you can’t build a business or build a career without dedication and sacrifice, there will always be someone else who is prepared to work harder than you. Fear is a powerful motivator that drives many of us towards a finish line that often turns out to be a disappearing mirage when you arrive. There is always another finish line on the horizon to reach. I HATE ‘win the race’ analogies!
I went to a business conference once (I know! It seems like an odd fit but they had free food). To attend you had to earn no less than $250,000 per year as though anything less was for nuff nuffs. My job at World Vision doesn’t pay that well – I was an invited guest. Among the faculty was an unwavering commitment to be financially independent within 10 years. The attractive vision of spending more time with your family was an intoxicating thought. While eating my free yummy things I found myself drawn to the idea and had mental pictures of me bobbing up and down on the bay without a care in the world. Unfortunately my bubble was burst when it was agreed you had to drag your family through a horrendous parental vacancy to achieve this nirvana – apparently it was worth it. The problem with that thinking is 10 years in the life of a 15 year old is 2/3 of their life. I am guessing the person who works like a crazy person for 10 years will spend the rest of their semi retirement trying to make up for being a vacant parent only to realise the damage maybe permanent. Then what?
Obviously I don’t see the value in uber dedication at the expense of loved ones. I have done that before in my singleness and I hated it. I have since realised I traded away intimacy for work ethic and I won’t ever get those moments back. So how do you resist the low stare from a ‘successful person’ for ‘wasting time’? It’s hard, but then if someone doesn’t be lazy and pull the masses back from long work days, when will the busy trend actually reach a peak? Maybe only until each minute is accounted for in a 24 hour cycle – at that point I’d become an agreeable alcoholic.
If we all practise some laziness then maybe we can give each other permission to overachieve in underachieving. I’d like to waste time and be guilt free, after all, it’s difficult to be lazy and enjoy slothfulness if you feel guilty. It’s a bit like rewarding yourself with Nando’s Chicken after a punishing diet but with each bite you allow guilt to rob you of pleasure. Oh dear… How did Nando’s Chicken make it into another blog?
Waste some valuable time this weekend, it will be uncomfortable at first but I have found as I break my addiction to success, it gets easier each time. Like all addictions, a relapse may happen but a game of checkers with your kid or a lazy afternoon staring at the sky will get you back on track.