365 Challenge: Day 157 – Busy

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Busy: having a great deal to do; occupied

busy

Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word is ‘busy,’ chosen because I feel like when someone asks me how I’m doing, all I ever respond with is 1 of 2 phrases: “I’m good, you?” or “I’m so busy.” Perhaps another day we’ll cover the former phrase, but today’s all about pushing myself and you to think about what being ‘busy’ really means, especially in today’s society. Let’s start from the very obvious point of view…

There are some basics to being able to survive once you’re born; you need food, water, shelter, oxygen and sleep. From that point forward, it’s about the surroundings you are born into, i.e. are you from a family with money, do you have any illnesses, or are you able to freely exist in that location. Some people are lucky — don’t need to work nor do they have any responsibilities other than those five basic staples. Others have a level of fame which immediately gives them a purpose. And then there are those who simply don’t know any better, or have not been given any choice, other than what they are taught to do at a very early age. Somewhere in the middle are the rest of us, those who must balance our needs and our desires in a healthy way to enjoy our lives.

I often feel two kinds of ‘busy’ — (1) an actual physical one with tasks that truly need to be done, and (2) an emotional or mental one with the reminders of all the things I know I should be doing (or want to do). It’s important to separate these two items, especially if you want to control that painful and scary feeling lurking deep inside, which if not monitored, usually has negative consequences. In the grand scheme of things, that is, beyond our own ‘little’ lives, what’s the point of pushing ourselves to that breaking point where we are so utterly busy, we cannot function? That’s where I’m focusing today, at least for a few minutes in this 365 post.

No one knows it all. Few know every specific goal they want to attain. That’s the point of life… to learn and grow every day. For some, it’s determined by their spiritual or religious beliefs. For others, it’s a personal calling to help specific people or causes. But for most of us, it becomes how to earn enough money to pay the bills to focus on all the things we want to accomplish. It’s a bit like the concept of “let’s make a deal,” especially when most of the activities we want to do aren’t always at our fingertips or able to be completed on our own. It ultimately comes down to truly establishing our priorities and understanding what it is that we most want to accomplish in life.

When I tell someone I’m busy, I am definitely busy. It’s not an exaggeration, though, it feels like I must convey that sense of “it’s all too much” in the conversation. What am I thinking about in those moments? What am I not thinking about? Well — everyone else — for one thing. Because we’re all busy. We are all doing something. We are all trying to achieve our goals. It’s not a competition with friends and family, even if it feels that way at times. It’s a choice we’ve made to hopefully bring about happiness during whatever amount of free time we have available. Maybe when I say ‘I’m busy,’ I’m trying to convince myself that the right steps are being followed in my plan. Or perhaps I’m taking a few seconds to actually realize what it is I’m supposed to be doing. We all need some level of downtime where we’re not doing. And by doing, I mean thinking or doing. I often find myself more exhausted after writing and networking for 8 hours from the bench in my dining room than I do from several at hours at the gym or out running errands.

There are different levels of mental and physical exhaustion to consider when you’re working towards the goals you’ve set. You cannot achieve it all, but you can setup some boundaries and remember not to give that control away to anyone else. Being busy is one of those things we shouldn’t really need to consider or think about, whether it’s to convince yourself or convince someone else. If you need an hour a day to read a book, as that’s what helps calm you down or gives you a sense of relaxation, then make it a priority in your schedule. If you enjoy going to the gym but end up feeling guilty because it takes time away from someone or something else, you’re hurting yourself. Of course we all have priorities: children, jobs, medical things… strip those out where you can (meaning focus on them as necessary), know the amount of time left, then check your priorities. At that point, your time is your time. Don’t load it up so you feel like all you ever say is ‘I’m busy.’

Since I take my own advice here, I’ll lay out an example. I have a publishing contract which means a good chunk of my time over the next year we will need to focus on those efforts. I have to work with an editor, come up with a marketing plan, review designs and formats, update websites and social media profiles and help sell the book. That could be a full-time job. I want to be successful. I would love to be the next big author. Ignoring whether that’s a reality or an unattainable goal, it will only happen if I spend an inordinate amount of time focusing on it. I also have the ThisIsMyTruthNow blog, where I get a great deal of happiness either through posting or reading other people’s posts. That takes a lot of time. And I’m 50% done with writing a rough first draft of my second book which also has goals and deadlines (I’ve given myself). That’s another full-time job right now, too. Then I have family and friends, my partner, my dog, my apartment, other responsibilities. I obviously can’t do it all without getting exhausted. And I don’t want to be that guy that stops seeing everyone in-person, and then when I do, I always says ‘I’m so busy.’    YEAH DUDE, WE GET IT.

I need to re-set my expectations and priorities. I need to focus a little time on each of these things. And the first book may take longer to get published or find its following. The new book might need more time to be thoroughly flushed out. Because in the end (of me and my life, that is), I want to know I enjoyed it all and breathed in each moment with the right sense of balance. It’s a hard decision to make, but I need my hour each night to read before bed. I want to spend quality in-person time with the cherished people in my life. And that means it’s important to ‘schedule’ those times, know it’s OK with that being part of my goal and realizing it’s not healthy to be busy 100% of the time. It’s about finding the right balance and not feeling those demons eating away for ‘what could have been if I worked even harder.’

So… I’ve rattled on enough about me… what about you? Do you always tell people you’re busy? Could you change it up and say “I’m getting a lot done and so happy,” or “I met one my goals last week, it was fantastic.”

Turn it around. Don’t make it negative. Find a positive in everything you are achieving and stop worrying about what you’re not achieving. Don’t be so busy all the time that you forget about what’s really important to you and your future. A happy and well-lived life.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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69 thoughts on “365 Challenge: Day 157 – Busy

    Abhijith Padmakumar said:
    August 16, 2017 at 8:42 AM

    Really inspiring post James. I just loved it !! 👍😊

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 8:43 AM

      Thank you very much. I appreciate your feedback.

      Liked by 2 people

        Abhijith Padmakumar said:
        August 16, 2017 at 8:45 AM

        You are welcome 😊. Your blog is really awesome and inspiring. You have a great gift within you.Please continue blogging and inspire people around you 😊. And if you can please do visit my blog and let me know about it. It would be really helpful 😊. This is the link to my blog

        http:// authorabhijith.com

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 16, 2017 at 8:48 AM

        I will take a look this weekend. You might need to change the link in your profile, it doesn’t work. I tried to click on it. Says motivationalblog

        Good luck, I appreciate your kind words.

        Liked by 1 person

        Abhijith Padmakumar said:
        August 16, 2017 at 8:50 AM

        Motivational blog is my website my friend 😊. Please look in this link

        http:// authorabhijith.com

        Liked by 1 person

    janieleeds said:
    August 16, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    A happy and well-lived life! Yes indeed. That’s the goal! Well-put Jay! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    RobbyeFaye said:
    August 16, 2017 at 9:45 AM

    Great blog, great advice.
    Busyness seems to be the bane of a lot of our existence. I know for me, sometimes the mental busyness is the most worrisome.

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    August 16, 2017 at 9:57 AM

    You always wrote exactly what I need to read at the exact right time! I’m hugging you big right now!

    Liked by 1 person

    melaniemolewriter said:
    August 16, 2017 at 10:06 AM

    Balance is so important J. Not only for ourselves, but those that we love too.

    Liked by 1 person

    scr4pl80 said:
    August 16, 2017 at 10:20 AM

    I have always felt that mental work can be much more exhausting than physical work. It is all such a great balancing act we do. I’m in a transition period right now, kids grown, regular work dwindling…I need to get my goals written down so I don’t just “busy” myself. Great post, Jay!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 10:52 AM

      Thank you! Goals really help. Even if light ones, they help guide your mindset each day.

      Liked by 1 person

    Nel said:
    August 16, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    JAMES I’M SO BUSY!! You know its funny that you post about this because since changing jobs and buying a house, I find that my life has exponentially gotten busier which is crazy since I worked more hours at my old job than I do this one. I’ve taken to getting good at juggling the things I need to do. I’ve started utilizing Google Calendar waaaaaay more than I did before which helps me to remember things. My reading time has unfortunately gone down from my normal spread but it’s for good reasons and I can honestly say I’m still pretty happy with life overall. It’s definitely a balance act and sometimes it gets overloaded but managing to handle it all through chaos is a good feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    coffeelovingbookoholic said:
    August 16, 2017 at 11:25 AM

    and again you find the right words! great post jay! enjoy yourself, don’t put so much pressure on you! it will all be fine 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 11:57 AM

      Thanks. I feel like it might be! Just gotta breathe! Glad it came at the right time too.

      Liked by 1 person

    Valerie @ Valerie's Musings said:
    August 16, 2017 at 11:43 AM

    What a great post! Very inspirational. One of the things you learn quickly when you have a chronic or mental illness is how to pace yourself and take care of yourself. My new job is a lot less stressful than working with the public was. I’m thankful because this has given me more time to work on my room and really dig deep into cleaning out. Before, it seemed like *all* my energy went to work. Good luck with reorganizing your priorities and figuring out what works for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
    August 16, 2017 at 11:44 AM

    We’re all busy. You are totally correct about that. And busy is good. Being busy keeps everything moving….mind, heart, body. What I hate are people who assume their busy is more important than your busy. I get through my busy by being overly organized and structured. There are times I plot out each hour of my day. I do tend to get a little lazy in August….it’s like my refuel month. As my daughter is still in school, I tend to think of September as the beginning of the year. So in August I clean out closets, clean out cupboards, rearrange things in my house. I start September off fresh- and I’m prepared for the new “year”…..

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM

      and are you just about cleaned out and ready for it? Wow, a few more weeks. You’re probably way ahead already!

      Liked by 1 person

        wakinguponthewrongsideof50 said:
        August 16, 2017 at 12:03 PM

        Not quite. There are still half box of quinoa, half container of barley, 2 cans of kidney beans and spicy Italian sausage that need to be eaten. And I’m reorganizing my desk calendar. Going thru fall and winter clothes. Buying new knee high boots. I’m really so busy……..

        Liked by 1 person

    roseelaineblog said:
    August 16, 2017 at 12:00 PM

    My favourite line “I have a publishing contract ” 🤗🤗🤗🤗 made me so happy 😁 great post James 😊

    Like

    Roda said:
    August 16, 2017 at 12:03 PM

    Thanks for the beautiful reminder!💚

    Liked by 1 person

    inspirationpie said:
    August 16, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    You are so smart to have everything so well prioritized, Jay! Thats so important in life, it’s much easier to say, “I’m too busy” and not make time for friends and family. You expect them to always be there, right? Best of luck to you, Jay…I’m so excited to see the next chapter of your life play out!

    I’ve been asked to illustrate a children’s book (20 illustrations! yikes!) and paint Polish folk art on walls as part of the newly built Polish church, starting in Sept and to be finished in December. So it’s been incentive for me to get as much novel writing in as I can in August.

    Jo-Ann

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 1:52 PM

      That sounds like so much fun. I’m so excited for you!!

      Liked by 1 person

        inspirationpie said:
        August 16, 2017 at 5:21 PM

        Thanks! I’m hoping I didn’t bite off more than I can chew with these projects! I’m sure it will be fun 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 16, 2017 at 5:25 PM

        Sometimes that kinda of stuff drives you to the finish line…. productive and excited each day!

        Liked by 1 person

        inspirationpie said:
        August 16, 2017 at 5:46 PM

        Yep! So true! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    superwifeandmummy said:
    August 16, 2017 at 12:53 PM

    Ha. As a mummy, I laugh in the face of busy, mwahaha haha 😤
    Super post J.

    Liked by 1 person

    Judy said:
    August 16, 2017 at 1:18 PM

    I love that idea of turning it around, changing my attitude. I downloaded pictures, did my exercise, ordered some things I needed. Now, it’s on to writing… after lunch. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    anne leueen said:
    August 16, 2017 at 1:41 PM

    I have to confess that I like to be busy. I spent most of my working years self employed and being busy meant I had lots of work and was making a living. Now I am retired but I still like to be busy. But you raise good points about busy-ness!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 1:53 PM

      I know how you feel. I like it too but only if I control it and am not always feeling behind!

      Liked by 1 person

    N. N. Light said:
    August 16, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    Busy is my new middle name. I’M SO FREAKIN’ BUSY!!!! *leaves in a whoosh*

    Liked by 1 person

    Rae Longest said:
    August 16, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    I am busy too. Am filing this in the James Cudney file I created so I wouldn’t miss a day of the 365 day challenge, even though I am too busy to look at it now. Turned in final grades today, had breakfast with a friend whose daughter (age 13) was headed for reform school (We talked the judge into a program at our home town high school that is like being in prison (really!) instead.) It was a sad case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong friends. The girl could have been exonerated with just a school suspension, but she feared for her life if she ratted on the bad friend. Went shopping, met a student at the college to give him his portfolio and to run off syllabus for Monday when fall semester starts. Whew! And that was just one day–Wednesday, my 53rd wedding anniversary. Tomorrow already promises to be another busy day….

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 16, 2017 at 7:48 PM

      what a story. i’m so sorry, that’s a tough emotional one. thank you for saving all the 365 posts. i hope things get better at home!

      Liked by 1 person

        Rae Longest said:
        August 26, 2017 at 4:15 AM

        The latest stressor is we are experiencing Hurricane Harvey in all of his glory. It is 3:10 CST and it sounds like big trucks going down the road. I am certain it is the wind, but I’m not going to open the door to check. LOL Our power lines are underground, so we only lost electricity for about thirty minutes earlier. We have a flashlight apiece and plenty of batteries. We are 30 miles south of Houston and 30 miles north of Galveston. Our greatest worry is predicted flooding Sunday. (Today is Saturday.) We were ok when Tropical Storm Claudette dropped 29inches of rain in 24 hours (It was a Guinness Book of World Records record holder at the time.) in our little town (population 24,000) of Alvin, Texas. We are supported by prayer by friends and family, specifically a brother and neice in Virginia and cousins in NC. We feel blessed and protected.
        Rae

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 26, 2017 at 7:36 AM

        Sending lots of good and positive thoughts your way. It sounds like it’s gotten less intense now that it made landfall, but hopefully there’s little to no damage for you. and no flooding! keep us posted.

        Liked by 1 person

    Run Wright said:
    August 16, 2017 at 7:51 PM

    Some days are busier for me than others so I try to take advantage to relax when I can. I hope you do the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    TizzyMatic said:
    August 16, 2017 at 10:43 PM

    I’m on the other side. I need to make myself more busy, especially when it comes to my dream and goals. Tomorrow is the start of that. I gained a bunch from your post, so a thanks to you for a well timed post good sir 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    Patty said:
    August 17, 2017 at 9:00 AM

    Truly Inspiring! I use that I am busy alot. But I am really am busy not emotionally but physically. Usually baking or doing things with the family. I know the past two months I have felt emotionally and physically drained. Being busy doing things for everyone and not myself. I really needed some me time. My hubby and I both are feeling the effects and are trying to take time out to decompress. Looking for a break at the end of my rainbow. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 17, 2017 at 10:00 AM

      I hope you get the break soon. Sounds like you need it. You definitely deserve it!

      Liked by 1 person

        Patty said:
        August 17, 2017 at 12:22 PM

        Thanks Jay. After this weekend I am hoping for a month break. I know my next cake order is a wedding cake for 9/17. Maybe I can breath a bit. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        August 18, 2017 at 7:03 AM

        how long does a wedding cake take?

        Like

        Patty said:
        August 18, 2017 at 7:48 AM

        a week for the cake itself, but the roses will take a couple weeks to make since they are gum paste and not buttercream. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    zumpoems said:
    August 17, 2017 at 2:29 PM

    The concept of busy is both so relevant and ironic and irrelevant in the context of our brief lifetimes!

    Liked by 1 person

    TizzyMatic said:
    August 17, 2017 at 4:16 PM

    Reblogged this on TizzyMatic.

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    August 17, 2017 at 4:54 PM

    Prioritizing is so important for busy people. I find that my busy goes in cycles. The last two weeks have been extremely busy because I am one of the co-ordinators of the VBS at my church. 8:30 to 4:00 everyday plus planning and preparing, then I will have a few weeks of not much to do. That is when I actually get time to read and respond to all the blogs I follow.

    Liked by 1 person

    vinnieh said:
    August 18, 2017 at 9:36 AM

    I think busy can be good, if what your busy with is something you enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    boundtowriting said:
    August 18, 2017 at 9:05 PM

    You perfectly describe how I feel all the time: BUSY! Not that I hate it at all, but sometimes it is overwhelming. Balance is very hard to achieve. Every day I work to balance everything I have to do. Thanks for such an inspiring post!

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 19, 2017 at 7:51 AM

      I’m glad I could capture it for us both! Balance is key. That’s the best place to focus. Good luck. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

    shalini said:
    August 20, 2017 at 8:31 PM

    Great post…

    Liked by 1 person

    shalini said:
    August 20, 2017 at 8:32 PM

    I have been using this excuse in the past 1 month when I want to avoid everyone…
    All your posts are speaking to me now

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      August 20, 2017 at 8:35 PM

      It’s hard to separate from how you feel and how you think… focus can be easily stolen by things you don’t want to be the priority. Hopefully a few words make it easier for you. But don’t worry if you need a little time before you are ready to deal with it. It’s OK to focus on yourself for as long as you need to get to a place where it’s better for your each day.

      Like

    Rae Longest said:
    August 25, 2017 at 10:12 PM

    This was a very insightful post, as were the comments. Thanks, guys.

    Liked by 1 person

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