Monday, June 25, 2012

"I'm too busy."

Photo via Katazoom

I was going to apologize for being such a slacker on my blog this past week, but then I thought: Do you really sit around and think, "Darn, Semi-Charmed Kind of Life hasn't posted in a while. I miss a little Megan on my Google Reader"? I assume you have bigger concerns in your life than how often I post, so I thought apologizing for being absent might be a little conceited. Instead, I'll just give you a quick rundown of my excuses: I finished up my internship on Tuesday, drove home to California on Wednesday and Thursday, and then tried to cram as much family time into the weekend as possible before leaving again this morning to begin training for my new job in Atlanta.

Anyway, thinking about all the above things brought me to the point of this post: Is anyone else sick of hearing people complain about being "too busy" all the time? This is something that has bothered me for years, even in high school. In college, it became even more bothersome. There always seemed to be some type of closet competition between who could be the busiest. The conversation starts out like this: "Man, I haven't gone back to my dorm since 8 a.m. this morning. I had class and then work and then meetings and then I couldn't even eat dinner because I was at the Student Center and ..." Then the other person (usually a female, sorry), says, "Yeah, I know, I was up at 4 a.m. this morning for work and I have two papers due tomorrow and my mom is coming into town so I have to entertain her ..." Sound familiar? And maybe a little annoying? (I think so.)

Here's how I see it: How many of you have a Facebook? A Twitter? How many of you read or watch the news? Cook real food instead of making microwavable meals every night? Go to the gym? Are reading this blog right now? Then you have time. Almost everything you do throughout the day is a choice, besides sleeping, going to work (which is still technically a choice, but I won’t go there), taking care of bodily necessities and eating (but remember what and how you eat is a choice, too). Sure, there are things that will improve your quality of life, like making time to exercise and cook healthy meals, but you still don't have to do these things.

A typical week during my senior year. I also worked from 5 to 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, but that didn't fit in this screenshot. Thank goodness for Friday/Saturday! :)

I can think of one specific evening in college that pretty well explains my feelings on being "too busy." My last semester at Mizzou, I was taking two capstone classes, working a part-time job, serving as president of my sorority, applying for jobs, holding an active membership in a "secret society" and participating in various other organizations a few times a month. One night, a sorority sister very kindly brought a T-shirt I had ordered to my room. Normally, we picked up our merchandise during pre-arranged times, but this sister said she brought me my shirt because I was "the busiest person" she knew. What was I doing at this time, you might ask? Was I working on chapter business or doing homework or working on my history thesis or getting dressed for work? No. I was watching Netflix.

Several of my friends often asked how I could watch so much TV when I had so many other things going on. To me, the answer was simple: It was priorities. I wanted to watch Law & Order: SVU, so I didn't do my reading for class. I didn't start my history thesis until the last possible moment and pulled an all-nighter cranking out 30 pages on Joan of Arc and other female mystics of the medieval period. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to go to work three times a week, but then I napped in the afternoon whenever possible. Sure, there were days I felt overwhelmed, especially when there was an issue in the sorority I had to attend to, but I couldn't complain. I chose to run for president. I chose to get a part-time job instead of taking out student loans. I chose to double-major and graduate early, pushing both my capstone classes into one semester. And I chose to watch Netflix or nap when I could have been starting an upcoming paper or working out at the gym or writing another cover letter. My extracurricular activities (and even my academic pursuits) in college were my choice, so wouldn't it seem a little silly for me to complain about the load I had assigned to myself? Plus, I may consider myself to have been a busy person in college, but then I look at my friend who triple-majored while serving on Residence Hall staff and actively serving several student organizations, and I remind myself that there is always someone who is busier than I.

What do you think? Do you feel like you're "too busy"? After reading this post, do you realize you actually have more free time than you thought? Or do you think I'm completely wrong here and you should have the right to complain about being busy? Don't be afraid to disagree; I really do want to know your perspective on all this!

Disclaimer: This post exempts moms because children seem to be quite time-consuming, and I wouldn't presume to pretend like I know what it's like to raise a child.

P.S. — I might have neglected this blog this week, but I did a guest post for my sorority's national conference blog! You can check it out here. I'll also be posting more throughout the next week as the conference and my training gets underway.


Lindsay Cochrum said...

Was the "friend who triple-majored while serving on Residence Hall staff and actively serving several student organizations" Amy by any chance? Haha, even if it's not, she's definitely still the standard I set for "busiest person I have EVER met."

Meghan said...

Woo, girl That was one busy semester. I think everyone is busy in their own way. I know there are some people in my life that I do get irritated with because they always claim that they are "too busy" , but then I see that they are done working at 4:00 p.m. and have no other responsibilities. However, I began to realize that there could be much more to the story, and everyone has their own priorities.

amandamwysocki said...

I have a whole new perspective on being busy now. I overscheduled myself so incredibly much during high school and college. Now, even though, I'm off work by 5 and home by 5:45 or so, I still claim to be too busy. It's more just that I'm tired by the time I get home from work and want to prioritize time for myself before doing anything else at that point. For instance, I really want to do some volunteering for political campaigns, but I can't make myself do it on weeknights. I just can't be around people anymore at that point. It's too hard to explain all that, so I just use the copout of "I'm too busy."

I know that right now, I'm not really all that busy. I work 40 hours a week and spend another 7-10 commuting to and from work. Basically, from 6 pm - 8 am, I have nothing to do. Especially with the work I do, though, I can't really bear the thought of trying to socialize or do anything else.

Sweet Green Tangerine said...

lol I like your Disclaimer. I quite enjoyed this post and I love how honest you are. I hate using the excuse, "I've been so busy". Last week I almost missed my own link-up and it wasn't because i was too busy, it was because I chose to make spending time with my friend I never see a priority. I still felt guilty about it, but I think that's because we "busy people" actually like to stretch ourselves too thin.
Great post. :)

Sierra said...

I love your blog! Love your honesty.
Oh, Just Living the Dream