This past week I was at a small camping festival in rural Minnesota.
The event featured several speakers throughout the week, including myself.
I did two workshops. One was on beer and one was on tiny houses, two of my favorite subjects.
In my tiny house workshop I mentioned my problem with the way our culture has glorified the act of being busy. We aren’t socially allowed to have “too much time on our hands” or else we are judged by our peers or our community. I talked about how disturbing I find this trend and how slowing our lives down can create more satisfaction and peacefulness in our lives.
I encourage you to scroll/click below to read more about my thoughts on busy-ness.
When I returned, I discovered this op-ed from the New York Times on this very topic.
“Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.”
When I quit my conventional job to write full time I realized that my life would be very different. As a self-employed person I was no longer guaranteed two weeks’ vacation a year. I probably wouldn’t get sick time either. And yet, this was something I needed to do for myself. I knew I would be busy but I could change the way in which I was busy and reclaim much of my life. For me, it is important that my work and my life be integrated. My new tiny life allowed me the flexibility and freedom to do this.
As I prepared to travel to Minnesota, I wanted to be able to stay away from the internet as much as possible. I wanted to enjoy time with my friends in our campsite. I made arrangements to complete all my assignments for the week prior to leaving and was able to connect for about 15 to 20 minutes a day to tie up any loose ends and submit anything essential. I was able to disconnect and be present in the moment. I wasn’t at all busy while I was camping, but I was engaged.
What do you think of our culture’s glorification of busy-ness? Do you think that some people have “too much time on their hands?”
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