How I’m Breaking Busy

Read Time: 3 Minutes


I’m not sure when I became so “busy.” And not busy in the packed schedule sense, but busy in the way you describe a child that’s always moving, always going. “She’s so busy.”

I fill my hours, my minutes. I guess that’s nothing new. There’s always something I could be doing so when I’ve got free time, I dedicate it to a task on the endless list. I’ve needed to research camping gear for an upcoming trip. I need to figure out the steps for launching a business online. I need to make a grocery list and respond to a text and organize my desk.

Not too long ago, everything spoke to me. I saw God and story and meaning in the smallest of moments. It’s funny, I have this thing with phones. I think they are the biggest distraction and reason for disconnection. When Chris picks his up after he’s done eating, I get so mad. When someone pulls theirs out in the middle of a conversation or the slightest lull, I’m so offended. (I’m not exempt from this behavior, obviously. I, too, misuse my device often.)

But to me, when a phone comes out, it means that real life is no longer interesting enough. I was reading the other day that our urge to check our phones first in the morning is just feeding our ravenous desire to be stimulated.

As mad as I get about the phones, I realize I’m doing this too, in my own way. If I have a shred of spare time, I will fill it with productivity. I will absolutely get stuff done.

This, too, is not always the correct response. This, too, is harmful if gone unchecked.

There’s nothing quite like the transition into fall that grabs my attention. So lately, I’ve been stopping more. Smelling the faint earthy, sweet scent of the harvest. Listening to the soft applause as leaves dance in the wind.

I think we can lose so much by always looking down, at a phone, or by always filling spare time. We don’t notice the passing of time, the magic in everyday moments.

We become numb. We forget who we are. We become a mindless people, dependent on stimulation, looking to be entertained. Or if you’re like me, you become defined by what you do and how you use the time you have. Time is valuable real estate and you must capitalize on it.

If you have a hard time wondering where the month has gone, how the year has flown, why you’re not exactly the person you used to be, maybe stop to examine what you do when there’s nothing else to do.

Instead of filling your days to the brim, find beauty in the margins and the in-betweens. Instead of reaching for the phone in hopes of being stimulated, allow yourself to pause and be enchanted by what’s already here.

And gosh, if you can’t find anything to be enchanted by, maybe put yourself to work and create something beautiful and worth admiring. It’ll be better than the screen and more fun than the to-do list. I promise.