Thursday, 31 March 2011

I Promise I'm Not Done Talking About The Week of Awesome.

There are going to be some type A personalities who will read the following, and then want to punch their computer screens. Just a warning, type A's, that will be a very expensive and painful reaction to these words. You might want to click away now.

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There is a person who drops by our apartment from time to time, and it's a visit I don't usually look forward to because I know word-for-word how the brief conversation will unfold.

"Hello! Nice to see you. How are you doing?"

"Oh! Oh! I'm SO BUSY. Gah. Ack. Busy. Busy. Busy. Never a day off. Every day I'm busy. Busy."

"Oh dear, that's not good. Will you have time off next week?"

"No! Never. Busy. SO BUSY. I'm busy!" this person always cries. And as far as I can tell (because we never talk about anything else) that one adjective must sum up this person's entire existence.

Last night as Dan and I closed the door, we looked at each other as he said aloud, "I think [they] only came over here to complain about being...busy?"

And Internet, that is my absolute number one biggest pet peeve: people who have over scheduled their lives, then feel the need to complain about being busy.

And right about now you are all probably rolling your eyes and thinking, well isn't THAT rich coming from you Mrs. Living in Swiss La-La-Land. But here's the deal, do you *really* think you know everything about my Swiss life? Because call me crazy but about 95% of real life should not be discussed on the Internet. It's boring, personal, and...busy.

AND NO ONE CARES IF YOU'RE BUSY.

But for some reason, it is becoming increasingly obvious that if someone asks how you are and you don't respond with a standard sigh and 'oh, just really busy', you've become some sort of 21st century societal failure because today, if you aren't busy then your life is obviously slothful and void of meaning.

Because here's what gets me: this is a day and age where professional happiness is celebrated and accoladed more than personal happiness, which means that people's desperate need to reach professional super-stardom is now collapsing backwards on personal lives, and--please, correct me if you think I'm wrong--personal lives appear to me to now just be a reflection of ego driven professional ambitions.

My personal life is my professional life, because if you don't love what you're doing then that's just sad.

The kids are in soccer, and swimming, and dance, and music, and everything because they must be exceptional people to reflect that we are EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE.

I think children and childhood is an unfortunate blip on the road to becoming a real person, but I'm still coaching little league  and teaching finger painting seven nights a week anyhow, because god damn that will look good on my CV.

I am volunteering at the food bank, at the animal shelter, at the hospital, at the tennis club, at the school not because I'm passionate about it, but because it means I'm busy, and EXCEPTIONAL PEOPLE ARE BUSY.

And now some people may be menacingly poised over their keyboard, ready to yell at me for hating on doctors, or hand models, or other people with professional ambitions that require a lot of hard work and time. Relax. Chill-out (if you know how). I'm not criticizing people's desires to have a career they have to put effort in to. All I'm saying is that in the working world, the idea is that you don't slow down if you want to get ahead, and if this same attitude carries over into your personal life (should one exist), don't ring my bell to complain about your busy life if you are the one who has filled your calendar with so much red ink, the only way you can tell what day it is is based on what activity you have to go to that night.

Because you know what the result of all this complaining to be busy is? It's becoming a giant competition to measure who's life is busier, hence more important.

"Oh, you think you're busy? Well I just ran a marathon, baked organic bread, taught an illiterate to read, and pruned my hedges. That was all just this morning. Now I'm going to work where I will talk on five phones at once, give a motivational speech wherein I inspire disgruntled teens to turn their lives around, and accept my employee of the century award. Tonight I'm going to cooking classes to learn proper French cuisine and then I'll just whip up a meal to deliver to the homeless."

"Oh yeah? Well I haven't slept in fifteen years because I'm too busy!"

People, am I the only one who sees how ridiculous we can be?

3 comments:

T said...

I just wrote a ridiculously long comment in agreement with you...but then Blogger said they could not accomodate me. WTH? The gist of it was that I know what you mean, I'm tired of people asking me what I plan on doing with an Arts degree if I'm not going to do a Masters. I'm tired of stressing about keeping my GPA up so that I can do a Masters--just in case. It's annoying that society makes you feel like you're being completely irresponsible for going to school simply because you want an education and don't have a plan for what it will do for you later.

I like that you get that :) It always made me feel more comfortable with my choice after talking to you about society's obsession with "careers". I wish I could stop by and ring the door bell at your place! A leisurly game night is long overdue!

mom said...

Sad but true Cait. People wonder why their lives are so "stressed" but it totally self-induced. I could go on and on, but I won't...it will be too stressful
:-)

Ais said...

Well, I was almost too busy to read this blog, but I took time out of my extremely busy life to do it! Lol. Haha, I laughed about the "havent slept in fifteen years because I'm too busy" part.