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On Being

“Hey friend! Lovely to see you. How’ve you been?”
“Busy. Just really busy.”

“Hi! Haven’t seen for you a while, how are you?”
“Good. Yeah, just busy! Flat out. You?”

“Hey {Insert Name}! How are you? What you have been up to?”
“Good. I do things. All the things. In fact, I’m really busy, busy, busy!!! Zzzzzz!! I’m busier than a bee, seriously… they have it easy. What about you? Gosh I’m busy! Sorry, I don’t have time to chat.”

Ok, so that last conversation may be a slight exaggeration but you get the point.

A State of Constant Busyness

These days, the world – more than ever – seems a busy place. There’s not only those planes, trains and automobiles, there’s Facebook, Instagram, sometimes-addictive shows on TV, work, dietary requirements, supermarkets to visit – but wait, there’s more! People to see, things to do, places to be. Repeat x 100,000,000.

We’re booked out 24-7, or so it seems through social media…
Check out our perfectly crafted flat lays suggesting that we only have unlit candles in our house, ready stock of oranges cut in half and freshly cut peonies hanging about in our house. We’re checking in here, tagging people there, selfie-ing it up in its various forms and doings… often, all within a day.
Our work, our play, social life and even ‘me’ time –find it online as we put our best, crafted and certainly very busy life forward. Even our relaxing on holidays is busy as we snap, catalogue and document happenings usually a few times a day.

Others, perhaps less ‘busy’, see our busyness and may question their own lack of it.
The message is clear: a schedule full of busyness with no space for anything else available suggests importance, awesomeness and high-fiving Life (bam!) with gusto.

The question is: is it ok to not be busy? Or, rather, to allow a little space in our lives?

Are we still worthwhile and valued members of society if our schedules are not jam-packed, like little sardines squashed in a metal tin or literally, like a nice jam in a jar – that’s all that’s in there, just jam? That may seem like a rhetorical question but for this blog, I can’t help but offer my two cents (or gold coin, inflation taking into account from when that phrase was first coined – mind the pun). Yes, it’s ok to just be.

Being Before Doing

It’s ok to remember that we are human beings first and not, as the old adage favoured by many psychologists, speakers and even Richard Branson on human doings, human doings. There’s genuine commitments in life – parenting, work, study, volunteering, cleaning the house, doing dishes, feeding the cat, patting the cat – but then there’s just the necessity of couch time, too. Let us consider this.

Sadly, the Oxford dictionary seems to be missing the term in its online resource so I will draw on my vast experience here and attempt to clarify this worthy pursuit:

Couch Time

                                                                                                                                                         

A human being on a couch or soft thing, either in a vertical or horizontal position; with the intention to “relax”, “rest” or “just be” through the possibilities of Netflix, reading, colouring-in or an avenue of their choice.

Picture this scenario. You have a HUGE weekend coming up. Study, part-time work, a wedding to attend, house to clean, your grandma to visit, chicken soup to make for a sick friend and lawns to mow. Youch! After all this, will you keep on doing? After all, there are still things that could be checked off that never-ending list: clean the windows, turn your mattress…  and then there’s that novel inside you that should be written. That very weekend!

But what about if you just want to plop down and enjoy some Couch Time somewhere in this? Or, take a bath? Or go for a long walk? Or just sit in the backyard, breathing in some fresh air?

Allow me the blogger’s indulgence to please just jump in here for a sec again: yes, that’s absolutely fine.

And, here’s what else is fine too: not necessarily having a booked out schedule. A schedule that’s all doing with little to no chance for being.  You see, in the quiet times and the rest times and the times when we’re taking a little break from all this Busying, Doing and Striving – we can hear our own thoughts.

We can be who we really are. We can breathe, really breathe, and we can be – just be.

And that’s ok.

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