I overheard a conversation between two friends recently, in which the first was sharing on how her she’s happy about getting the balance back in her life ever since she resumed her studies, etc. I was just thinking about how I felt the same way, when – The reply of her friend surprised me.
“Aren’t you doing your Masters? Why do you sound so relaxed?”
And immediately, I thought about how the friend’s reply and question carried with it all the underlying stereotypes and thought cycles of the modern society we live in.
That it is good to be busy, to be running around all day fulfilling working obligations, not having any time to yourself. That it has become the norm to be “busy”. And if you dare to admit that you are anything but busy, you risk labeling yourself as “lazy” or “unambitious”.
But why do we do this to ourselves? Why is it wrong to lead a life of balance? Why is it “bad” to be able to commit 4 or 5 hours to work in the morning, then going out for a cup of coffee in the afternoon, or meeting up with close friends for a cozy chat at night? As this article suggests, we might have become so hooked on the feeling of importance we get from announcing the fact that we are “busy”, that we now hesitate to be otherwise. Because we don’t know how to anymore.
Ever since coming here, when friends ask me how I am, how is life here, I don’t say “busy” – because I am not. My life is balanced, and I’m learning how to make the conscious decision to stay happy, to enjoy every moment, to embrace every challenge that comes my way. The next thing I need to learn how to do, is to not feel guilty about having this balance in my life. Because we have been born and bred in a society where being “busy” is the norm, I now need to realise and learn that it is not, that there is a healthier and more spiritually enhancing way to live. With balance.