The Glorification of Busy


In my other work I see women everyday aged between 45 and 69 from all walks of life. The whole range of social stratification is on display in our waiting room. Women from the most underprivileged heart wrenching situations to those sitting pretty high on their golden horses. All of these women have one thing in common. No, not all are mothers, or work or anything as tangible to compare against. They’re all just busy. Actually, sorry, they have two things in common. They’re also all at risk of developing Breast Cancer - which is why they’re seated together in the first place. But that’s a story for another day.

So where did this come from this ‘Busy is the New Black’? How did we get here? Why did allow this to happen? At what point did it determined a women’s worth by how much running around she could do in one day for everyone else? Only to collapse at the end of it all with not a smidgen of energy left to do anything for herself. When did we all start thinking we had to say yes to everything and everyone? How come saying no is a dirty word?

I read somewhere once that before answering to any demand put on you, you should take a deep breath or count to ten first before immediately answering. Because our default answer is yes. But that’s just how we are now right? we want more more more. We want bigger and better, more convenient and quicker, slimmer bods and bulging bank accounts. But at what cost?
Our health has become dominated by hormone imbalance as our bodies struggle to keep up with the pace that our fuel (caffeine and alcohol) makes us run at. But I am not telling you anything you don’t already know in theory. We have all read or watched Dr Libby Weaver and day dreamed about having enough time to do what ever it is that puts the sparkle back in our eyes.

The glorification of being busy is such a multi faceted issue. The extension of this to our children is what worries me. Our wee tamariki are always watching and learning. Mum looking haggard shouldn’t be what they believe as normal. Their parents never having anytime show them what being in love looks like shouldn’t be our normal. All of this to me, seems like we could end up with generational issues of social ineptness. (But I won’t make any more comment on what is wayyyy out of my depth of knowledge.)

However, I am keen to draw a line in the gorgeous New Zealand sand for the New Year. I want to say no whenever the first reactive answer is not a hell yes! Let’s stop saying we are sooooo busy whenever anyone asks and start saying ‘you know yesterday I lay in the park and watched the clouds - it was breathtaking. You should try it!’

The word busy can bugger off I say.

If you agree, firstly, I highly recommend you read the gorgeous book The Art of Simple by Eleanor Ozich. Then say no more often. That’s all. Love to hear how you get on.

Abbe x