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Episode 64 – Do You Wear Busyness Like Spanx Shapewear?

Busyness is not a status symbol!

Busyness is not a way to describe your life.

Hey there Beautiful!

Do you celebrate busyness?

Do you wear busyness like a Spanx shapewear to cinch in, cling tightly, and hold it all together to present a smooth, sophisticated front to the world? Do you show off to others how busy you are to prove to yourself your worth?

Busyness is not a status symbol.

Busy is not a status symbol.

But we make ‘being busy’ a way to define how our life is with the only time to take a break coming when we are asleep.

Being busy makes you feel important and empowered like walking out of your hair salon with your hair colored, cut, and styled to perfection.

When someone asks you, “How ya’ doing?” You either answer, “I’m great,” or you answer “I’m so-o busy.” Then you launch into describing all the things that are making your life busy.

It’s a way to prove to the other person that you are important because you have all of these things that you have to do.

And I bet that with certain women in your life when you say that you’re busy and then launch into describing all the things that you’re busy with, that other woman then tells you all the things she’s busy with. It becomes a competition to prove who is the busiest. You keep adding things to tell them about to one up them.

Example – 

Mom 1 says – “Oh this week I have to run my kids to soccer and basketball practice every night and somehow help my eldest daughter finish applying for college. Then I have to dig up our tax returns from last year in order to apply for financial aid. And one of our dogs is not breathing right so I have to find time to take him to the vet. It’s crazy around our house!”

Mom 2 then responds – “Well I have my in-laws coming in on Thursday, so I have to super clean the house, and get all of their favorite foods for just the four days of their stay. So annoying. I’m still trying to find a new job without my boss finding out so I have to leave early or take long lunches to go on interviews. Plus my husband is going out of town for two of the days his parents are going to be here. I can't believe he did that to me. Oh and my daughter has to be run back and forth to school Thursday night for a band competition and Friday for a football game. I can’t wait for her to drive!”

Being busy is NOT a competition.

Being busy is NOT a competition.

Being busy is setting out a list of things for you to accomplish to fill up your day and, again, to prove how important and necessary you are to those around you.

What if you answered the question of “How are you doing?” with “I’m doing great. I did nothing today except things that I wanted to do and it was fabulous!”

Would you feel guilty?

Would you feel like you were rubbing it in to that other person about how you’re not busy? That says more about you than them.

You can’t control their reaction but you can control how not being busy makes you feel.

Why do women feel like they have to be busy ALL THE TIME?

Why is it not okay to be busy?

Why do we feel this need to fill up every minute of our time doing something?

I know I do it. When my husband comes home I feel this need to tell him all the things I accomplished like I have to prove to him my value in our relationship. I have to prove what I bring to our marriage is important and make it mean something.

Who would you be, how would you act, if you weren't so busy?

Who would you be if you weren’t so busy?

What would be left if you removed all of the things that create busyness in your life?

Are you afraid to get rid of the busyness because then you don’t know how to fill up that time?

Here’s an example of busyness for me that I want to eliminate.

I told my husband the other day that someday very soon I want to be able to order everything online. I realized that when my husband and I go grocery shopping, we spend a minimum of two hours on a Sunday shopping at Trader Joe’s and Target. Sometimes we change it up but that’s a normal Sunday for us.

I don’t like spending two hours grocery shopping. I want to spend that two hours doing something else. When I told my husband what I eventually want to do, he asked, “Well what are we going to do instead?” I said, “Whatever we want to!”

I think he looks at grocery shopping as a way for us to be together. And don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with him. I just want to spend time doing something that doesn’t involve pushing a shopping cart and us arguing over whether Ben & Jerry’s ice cream needs to come home with us that week.

What if I'm not as busy as I once was since the kids have grown?

But many of you might be saying that you’re not busy.

The things that used to make you busy, taking care of your children, keeping everyone’s schedules straight, making doctors appointments, shuttling children to and from after school activities, are no longer there to make you busy.

So you now have more time.

Do you feel like you have to fill up that time doing something constructive like cleaning or vacuuming or taking care of grandchildren to prove to yourself that you are still needed and have value?

Do you feel guilty that you don’t have enough to keep you busy?

Do you feel that if you just sit on the couch and read a book for one hour that you didn’t accomplish something and you should be using your time more efficiently and getting things checked off of your never ending to-do list?

Women are rewarded in society for taking care of others.

As a society, women are rewarded for taking care of others: taking care of our children, our spouse, our extended families, our friends, our parents, our jobs, our co-workers, the list is never-ending.

I mean who is the one who always organizes the office parties?

Usually a woman, right?

And by filling up our calendar taking care of everyone else and being so busy, we then tell ourselves that we don’t have enough time.

Right?

In a busy life, you then believe that you don't have enough time, especially for yourself.

In a busy life you’re doing it all.

You feel exhausted and you have no more to give. 

Why can’t you fill your calendar with things that are more of a priority to you?

Why do you have to fill in your valuable time to ensure that you stay busy?

Do you ever look at your calendar to see if any of those items bring you joy and are things YOU love to do?

I know that there will be certain things that you will be the only person to get it done.

I get it.

But just because you are the one that has been doing it for the past 20 years does not mean that you have to continue being the person doing it for the next 20 years.

You MAY NOT use busyness as an excuse to ignore what you want!

I want you to NOT use busyness as the excuse to completely ignore focusing on yourself and figuring out what you want.

Look over your schedule for at least one week and see what you could eliminate as busyness and replace it with something that you love and will bring you joy. Each one of us will find something different. If you love taking care of your grandchildren and it brings you joy, then GO DO IT. Maybe there’s something else you could remove from your busyness to allow you time for yourself.

There's no trophies and awards for busyness.

You don’t get an achievement award for your shelf for busyness.

There are no competitions that you may enter and win for busyness.

So why do we celebrate busyness like it’s an achievement?

Like it's a goal that we have to hit in order to prove to ourselves and others that we have value.

We aren’t just taking up space to exist.

We shouldn’t be accomplishing the mundane in order to get to the destination at the intersection of busyness and not enough time.

I’m done being busy just for the sake of being busy to prove to myself that I have value.

And you should be done too.

I’ll talk to you later, Beautiful!

Thanks for listening!

Share your thoughts with me or ask a question about this episode. Send an email.

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Alice Agnello, Lifestyle and Success Coach

I'm Alice Agnello.

I’m a California raised, incurable romantic who was too snarky for the corporate world. I love show tunes, chai tea, and all things British. My mission? To help women rediscover who they are, after their kids have grown.

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I want the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

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Before you go, get the Guide!

Download the FREE guide to 5 Things You Can Do This Week To Help Find Yourself. You are ready to take this next step now that the kids have grown.

The guide will help you:

→  Work on your mindset so you can recognize negative thoughts and work to quiet them.

→  Help figure out what’s bothering you and know it’s okay to go at your own pace.

→ Understand that taking care of yourself is the most important person in your life and to release the guilt.

Sign up to receive my whitty newsletters, tips & tricks, promotions, & other emails, & receive this free guide!