When did being too busy to enjoy our families, our friends, our homes, and vacations become stylish?
Everyone says they are too busy all the time. Ask anyone how they are, and a great majority of the time, they will reply, “busy,’ like it’s an acclaimed designer. Y’all, busy is the new black and I’ll tell you how I wore that LBD for a long time.
I grew up in a hard-working, blue collar family. Much of the emphasis was placed on the work; one’s work ethic, how hard someone was working. The goal was to work, often struggle, and keep hustling. This instilled in me a scrappy, dedicated, task-oriented style of work. I was very driven to achieve the goal and then work on the next goal.
And that worked. Very well. For a long time.
I was a successful and decorated athlete and student, graduated college with honors, married my college sweetheart at 24. We both got good jobs in our fields right out of college, moved around for said jobs, made friends, had nice homes and cars. Check. Check. Check.
Fast forward about 10 years. We both were working around 70 hours a week. Owned a big, beautiful home where we slept, entertained occasionally, and remodeled by ourselves over three years. We had cleaning ladies, doggy day care, yard help… and had not been on a vacation since our honeymoon.
We were too busy.
We admirably worked very hard. We were very successful by all accounts. We had friends we loved like family, family who we actually enjoyed spending time with, fulfilling careers, and a deck to enjoy the view of four mountains and a large river.
We had immersed ourselves in working, achieving the next goal, and before we knew it, we had Too Busy Tunnel Vision.
Our focus had narrowed so incredibly that our only priorities were to work, get ahead, work more. We were too busy.
We started seeing that changes need to be made. I changed schools, I changed the grade level I was teaching, my husband won national sales awards. We shifted our friend group to be a bit more positive. We took a couple weekend trips to the beach, a few more dinners out with friends, a few more relaxing nights by the fire. We needed a ground-shifting change, we couldn’t have sustained the life we were living, although we didn’t know it at the time.
And just like that, the universe brought an incredible opportunity to escape Too Busy Tunnel Vision. My husband came to me in 2015 and happily announced he had received an incredible offer, 2500 miles away in Austin, Texas. I took 20 seconds of courage, and said yes.
Through our move, I had decided to take a step back from my career and rediscover my passion for helping people. There was a lot of soul searching and all that, but that’s another article. I found my way into owning my own business, and my husband loves his company here in Texas so much.
Between both of our career changes, we have weekends back. We have time together. We made each other a priority. That shift has made all the difference. We still work a lot of hours, but we are smarter with how we structure them. We don’t have to outsource everything to get done. I now work from home, and my business is flexible and mobile. We are enjoying our home, entertain a lot, and have house guests frequently.
My idea has changed on what is most important about work and achieving goals. The most important thing isn’t the work itself. The priority is not to struggle, there’s no nobility in grinding out your whole life. The priority is your family, your friends, yourself, a full and balanced life. If you don’t have time for those, you’re in the Too Busy Tunnel.
Busy isn’t stylish or cool, it’s just the adult version of ‘my dog ate my homework.’ The truth is that we can design the life we want, with the right mindset and vehicle to get you there.
Does all this mean I don’t work hard anymore? I just drink champagne in my yacht and wait for someone to refill my caviar? No. Not at all. I mean, that sounds great, but caviar is gross and don’t let anyone tell you differently, they’re lying. My schedule is packed every day, it’s packed with my priorities, I get to help people every single day. Every weekend is full, with what we deem is important.
We spend most of our adult lives working, but that doesn’t mean it has to starve out everything else. Busy is the new black, but it doesn’t have to be, and that change starts today, with you.