How are you? “Busy.”
It’s the common answer to “how are things going with you?”
“Oh, I’ve just been busy.”
For most, a short explanation as to why you’ve been busy typically follows: work, family, life in general.
For my wife and I our “busy” schedules seemed to be spinning out of control. For months we had to “just make it to _____” and fill in the blank. [After the project was over, vacation, the weekend, etc]. During one two-week stretch we were in the same town – same house, but we only saw each other for a few minutes throughout the course of two weeks.
Finally, one Thursday evening, following a massively over-committed parade of events, something gave.
Unlike other evenings where we were side-by-side, but really weren’t “there“, we turned off all distractions and did some serious soul-searching. We realized that evening was our first week-night together in over a month.
What followed was the realization that we really were . . . wait for it. . . “too busy.”
I believe in and am privileged to work for a company that stands behind “work-life balance”, but we all know that there are times when 100% just isn’t enough and doing a great job requires just a little more. So you do what you can to manage your schedule.
My wife did have to make some changes to her work schedule, and thankfully her boss completely supported her and even helped her get into a new position that would help with her schedule.
For us though, what we needed was “non-work-life balance”.
Emily (My wife) and I are very passionate people. When we commit to something or rally behind a cause, we are all in. However we were “all in” to so many things that we really became barely-in to events and the people that mattered most.
Seemingly for the first time in our “adult life” we had to truly prioritize our commitments. Which, for me, the fear of disappointing people that I love, and losing the events I cared about had me rationalizing why I needed to stay involved.
Luckily we have a great group of friends and family that support us and understood when we told them that we had to back out of some commitments.
After clearing many things from our schedule, we now enjoy an event that we haven’t experienced in months and seemingly even years – “down time”. Time to, not be lazy and just watch tv, but to give attention, full attention, to people, including our son, and our spiritual life that suffered from our over-committed schedules.
Our hope is that taking a step back in life will really give our relationships “new life”.