January is often a quiet month for bloggers. Work seems to go quiet and everyone is constantly refreshing their inbox for new work. We chat online to each other, checking that other people are in the same situation, fearing that it might just be us, that we’ll never work again and worrying about we’ll pay the gas bill at the end of the month. It’s the nature of freelance work and after a few years in the industry I’m used to it. Work waxes and wanes, it just seems very slow in January as the lead up to Christmas is so busy.
I now know to work a LOT in December so that some later invoices get paid in January meaning that I’m not penniless for a month. I also know that I can make the most of this quiet time and work on the list of things that I want to do on my blog that I never have time for (hello new PR and Media Pack!). I even manage to fit in my tax return and organise my photos into folders. I keep myself busy, because it would feel weird not to be working. But I’ve started to wonder why we are all so obsessed with keeping busy? It’s a naturally quiet time of year for work so why don’t we just take the break while we can? We all know that there is more to life than work, so when there is no work, why don’t we just make the most and have a rest? Recharge those batteries, spend some time on ourselves?
Last week there was another one of ‘those’ Mumsnet threads. You know the ones, where someone asks a provocative question and sparks outrage so the comments go crazy! This time someone deigned to ask what stay at home mums do all day when they aren’t looking after their children. Have a read of the comments – I found them really interesting. Amongst the sarcastic responses you’ll find mums who fill their days with housework, cooking, reading, crafts, cinema trips, the gym and reading. They meet friends for coffee and lunch, pick up and drop off their children every day and generally enjoy life. They make no apologies for it – they are happy and content and why shouldn’t they be?
It got me thinking. What’s the obsession with being busy? Why did someone feel it necessary to post this question in the first place? When my husband comes home from work and we share stories about our day it often feels like a competition – who had the most on and who accomplished the most. It’s like a measure of achievement; why is how busy we are a measure of our success?
I’ve worked from home alongside raising the children for nearly 11 years now. I honestly love working, and love that I can be with the children too but I am so busy and it’s been getting too much. It’s got to the point where I can’t sit in the evenings and watch TV because I don’t feel productive. I always have to have my laptop on, writing something at the same time. I feel guilty for thinking about carving some time out of my day to do some exercise and if I don’t eat lunch at my desk while working I feel lazy.
Well, I’m starting to question this attitude to life. What is wrong with not being busy? A day spent going to the gym, having lunch with friends and watching a film sounds like utter bliss and would be me leading my best life. Why wouldn’t I want to live my best life every day, and why should I feel guilty about it?
I’m telling you – being busy is not a measure of our success. So maybe we should make some time to not be busy. To lounge on the sofa, go to a yoga class or have coffee with friends, to spend time faffing or browsing the internet. We don’t need to justify how we spend every minute of every day. We need to realise that being busy isn’t everything.
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