Busy vs. overwhelmed

I’ve been thinking a lot about busyness lately. Aren’t we all just insatiably busy? When did this happen? When will it stop?

I suppose I’ve been thinking more specifically about how busy I am, and how I don’t want to turn into one of those people who answers every, “How are you?” with “Busy!” I would rather answer: “Great, thanks! How are you?” (which is how I mostly feel).

But oh! The To Do Lists! The work to get through before it’s time to spend quality uninterrupted time with the kiddies! The kiddies! The dinner to be cooked and books to be read and time to be spent with husband and family and friends… How to fit it all in?

I have a suggestion, and I think it might work… Presence.

I asked my lovely life coach this week what the difference is between that vital feeling of being busy and purposeful and getting sh*t done, and that dreadful feeling of being busy and spinning and totally overwhelmed. Her answer? Presence. If you are in the moment, doing what you need to do, focussed on that one task, then busy doesn’t matter, because you’re in it. If you’re distracted and unsuccessfully multi-tasking, and trying to be in two (or more) places at once, and feeling less-than because of it, you’re overwhelmed.

So I am trying to be present to the task at hand. Whether that’s growing the Sweet Life diabetes community, or having a tea party with Arty and Ella, or sitting on the couch with Mark, or chatting to friends. If I am truly present in my work or play, I feel alive and well and thriving. If I am half-involved or distracted, I feel blurry and overwhelmed.

So here’s to a weekend – and week! – of beautiful focus, pure presence, and a distinct lack of overwhelm.

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