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busy-ness

There was a good conversation in deponti's journal about hardship (what constitutes it, etc.)... most everything that can be said about hardship could be said about the feeling of being busy (...maybe because when people say "I'm busy," what's behind it is "I'm stressed and overworked," which equals a form of hardship--though there are plenty of other forms).

I've been feeling run ragged by too many obligations and depressed about not being able to fulfill even one of them to my satisfaction (and some not to other people's either, unfortunately). And yet, I look around me and see people who seem to be doing more than I am--some seem stressed and some don't even seem stressed! Well, people come in all varieties, and some can juggle more balls at once.

(I'm working on literal juggling: I can juggle three balls for like, two rounds. It's a start though.)

It's lowering not to be able to keep up with the Joneses when it comes to handling a busy schedule. I want to push myself somewhat, partly because so many things need doing in the world and partly because I don't want to just stagnate in my comfort zone... but I don't want to live in misery and anxiety, either. (But I can't even write that without thinking about people who have no choice in the matter--people who have misery and anxiety thrust upon them--and yet and yet, does it help them if *I* become miserable and anxious? If we all have to suffer deeply to be in solidarity with the suffering, it seems the future of all of us is misery...shouldn't we be trying to bring happiness to suffering people, not racing to suffer too? But then that means that at some point I sit back and drink my tea, and the great background music of suffering continues while I enjoy the soft rain of morning... Well, I know it's an old debate with no happy answer.)

So, well, I don't know about my current situation. Should I try harder to be a better (metaphorical) juggler? Or put down some balls? In the past I've put down the balls... but I kind of despise myself for it. But maybe that's simple competitiveness. A person can't be good at everything. Ugh. Headaches. Well, I'm going to get breakfast and try to discharge at least part of one obligation

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
dream_wind
Jun. 24th, 2006 08:39 am (UTC)
I often feel the same way - ashamed that there are people out there who seem to do more than I do, and feeling that I should do more.

But then - are they REALLY coping? Do they take time out for themselves and their family? Or is something lacking? Are they really doing their best at everything they are involved in?

If you feel you aren't able to cope, that you have too many responsibilities, but you aren't sitting around not doing much, DROP SOME OF THOSE BALLS. No one is expecting you to be a super hero. Or if they are, maybe they should step up and shoulder some of the burden.
asakiyume
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:36 pm (UTC)
But then - are they REALLY coping? Yes, I wonder that too. I think I will have to put down some of the balls. Or... exchange them for smaller balls or something.

I feel better now. I went and fulfilled one obligation, and that helped...
deponti
Jun. 24th, 2006 09:02 am (UTC)
I keep a lot of spare time..time to "stand and stare". If I had a schedule like others I know, I could never do Live Journal or any of the other things I like to do!

I can also juggle 3 balls in the air for a while, but decided, both literally and figuratively, not to go beyond that!
asakiyume
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC)
Yes, I think it's really a wise decision, and definitely a way of living that feels more natural to me.
heyes
Jun. 24th, 2006 10:01 am (UTC)
To my favorite Guardian Angel
I know you've heard this before, I sure have like eight million times, and while hearing doesn't really change anything, it always makes even dour old me smile: (btb I stole this from like every website ever)

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the liquid into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favourite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

asakiyume
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:40 pm (UTC)
Re: To my favorite Guardian Angel
Thanks for posting this story--I love it, and it was good to hear it again. It's so true!
sin_agua
Jun. 24th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC)
Just last night, I was trying to learn to juggle 3 balls. ;)

Maybe instead of worrying about how much work you do, you should think about wht kind of work you want to do. What do you want to accomplish?

Sometimes it's amazing how much you can do, just "sitting there."
asakiyume
Jun. 24th, 2006 02:42 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it's amazing how much you can do, just "sitting there." This is a cool thought-- I had never thought about it this way--thanks!
sufitom
Jun. 25th, 2006 08:33 am (UTC)
Reminds me of a zen saying "Don't just do something...stand there."
suzan_s
Jun. 25th, 2006 09:22 am (UTC)
I've been one of those "stay very busy people" most of my life, then I choose to take on more & more and MORE until I got very sick. Not anymore! I like the Golf ball story that your friend posted. I try to stick to that guideline these days.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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