It seems like everywhere I look lately, there are books and articles on slowing down. Chill out, they say. Learn to say “no.” Prioritize self-care and stop trying to do so much!
Many of these things are written by very accomplished women — women who would never have been so accomplished without the hustle they are spurning now.
I’m currently reading Shauna Niequist’s “Present Over Perfect.” She definitely makes some great points that can be applied individually to my our lives but, I have a hard time taking her seriously on this sometimes. (Let me just say, it’s not the whole book — and I’m certainly getting something out of it — but the main principle in general is what I’m referring to.)
Shauna is the kind of successful many people dream about — she’s written multiple books and is a coveted public speaker. That kind of success is a result of her hard work and choices to say “yes” to spending her time on the writing, the speaking, the learning (as well as, no doubt, her natural talents.)
As I write, I’m listening to a podcast with the author of a book called “Chasing Slow,” another one on this slow-down trend. But is there something wrong with me if I don’t want to slow down? Don’t need to, don’t want to — and it kind of feels like no on relates to that.
And also, it’s hard to hear this “slow down” from people who have small children and write books and run businesses and do so much. Because so many of us want what they have but you realize, you can’t get there by chilling out.
I enjoy being busy, I like to hustle and work and fill my calendar. I keep hearing people say “busy has become a badge of honor and it shouldn’t be.” But what’s wrong with being busy? What’s wrong with filling your time with things you enjoy and having plenty to look forward to?
I’m an extrovert, a social butterfly in many respects. People energize me, calendar dates get me excited. I wish I had more to say “yes” to, believe it or not. Maybe if I had more than one child, things would feel different. Maybe if I didn’t work from home, things would feel different. I don’t take my flexibility for granted.
But there’s a million things I want to do and I don’t want to stop pursuing them. It doesn’t make me happy to sit in silence and have a Saturday full of nothing. Can I say that? It seems like I’m going against the grain of this cultural message of “get slow.”
I guess I just think it’s important to recognize that there is a time and place for hustle and busy…if you are trying to reach a goal or if you just enjoy the kind of lifestyle. It’s the kind of person I am, the kind of person I have always been.
My draw to that lifestyle is tempered by being married to someone who is my complete opposite. Maybe if we were both into the busy, things would get out of control. But since we’re not…I’m not really able to go 100% full speed ahead, and I think that IS a good thing and maybe is what delivers that balance I actually need to sustain.
If you are a busy, hustle, go, say “yes” person — I’m with ya 🙂