March 23

If you're too busy to
enjoy life, you're too busy.

Jeff Davidson


Today's Meditation:

Without pointing any fingers, I believe that these words apply to many more people than would like to admit it.  I've seen people who are constantly overstressed and constantly edgy and frustrated make the claim that they're enjoying life, even though almost nothing that they do is by choice--they have to do it for work or for for school or to fulfill some obligation or another.  And they certainly don't look or sound like they're enjoying life.

This is such a personal issue, though, that it becomes a matter of reflection.  Some people enjoy being busy.  For some people, a busy life is a full and fulfilling life.  I say, more power to them.  But all of us have to ask ourselves frankly a simple question:  am I enjoying my life?  And then we have to answer that question completely honestly, and if the answer is "no," then we need to do something about that fact.

There are ways to cut down on our busyness.  The word "no" is very effective when we're asked to be on yet another committee or serve for yet another function.  And if there are already four people at the bake sale on Saturday, do they really need a fifth?  Some days, just deciding to go straight home from work and taking a much-needed walk in a park could be just what the doctor ordered--an enjoyable activity that gets us out in the fresh air and gets our blood flowing.

Sometimes, we're not even aware that we're enjoying ourselves.  Perhaps that's where the most important ability of all lies--in recognizing our own enjoyment.  Awareness of our own enjoyment is a great gift to us, and that awareness is within our reach; we do have to make an effort to become aware, though, and our mindfulness of our enjoyment will be a wonderful reward for that effort.

Questions to consider:

How busy are you?  Do you ever wish that you weren't as busy as you are?  If so, what steps could you take to become less busy?

How often are you aware that you're enjoying something while you're enjoying it?

Why is it important to manage our own busyness and take control of it if it goes too far?

For further thought:

Somewhere in the late 20th century we got the idea that busyness is a virtue.  We decided that the more activities we can squeeze into our lives, the happier we'll be.  What ultimately results, though, is physical and spiritual exhaustion.  We jump from one appointment to another, our body and mind racing.  We schedule events back to back and overlapping, with no time to rest or reflect.  And when we're in one activity, we're either distracted with the thing we've just done or the thing that's coming up.  It's not a good way to live.

Jack Zavada


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