Reflections at 40 – Busy – 21/40

To celebrate turning 40, I’ve challenged myself to blog for each of the 40 days leading into my birthday. This is post number 21. You can read all the posts here.

I often see articles referring to the ‘cult of busy’, talking about how most people wear the word as a badge of honour.

I have to say, for all that my conversations when seeing friends will go like this:

“How are you?”


The badge I see is usually one of guilt, rather than honour. Most busy people I know would rather be less so.

All that said, I don’t think busy necessarily equals ‘bad’. For me, there are two kinds of busy.

The first is the ‘good’ kind.

The person has a lot going on but, frankly, they like it that way. And it’s not a problem for them because it’s all under control. They know:

  • Exactly what needs to be done,
  • How they’re going to do it all, and
  • When they’re going to do it.

It takes organisation to operate like this and still:

  • Have space in your life to just ‘be’, and
  • Be able to handle contingencies without having them torpedo your entire day.

But I know plenty people who are managing to do it. While people shake their heads at them and say things like, “Do you ever sleep?”, their busy life isn’t causing them undue stress. They’re thriving.

That’s the good busy, however.

There is definitely a ‘bad’ busy.

But I don’t call that ‘busy’. I call that overwhelm.


Image credit: Peter Clarkson