June 2 – Busyness/Housework

Upon reading today’s topic, I just had to laugh. I have been struggling recently with my inability to relax. I find myself filling every spare moment with work—much of it unnecessary, at least in the moment. I tend to think that everything must get done right now, right this very second, when in fact much of it can be put off to a later date. There is something to be said for doing things in time. It allows you time to slow down and enjoy more. Today I intended to do exactly that, and I find myself instead taking care of things I have been meaning to, which don’t necessarily need to get done today. In fact, I just thought, “Won’t you feel better after you tidy the house a bit?” Sometimes cleaning and organizing puts my mind at ease. Mostly, though, it prevents me from doing nothing.

animal bees bloom blooming

On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:

“One of the comforting qualities about housework is that it is always there. When we feel at a loss for something to feed our need for busyness, we can always plunge in to housework. For some of us that means we  have to be pretty desperate. In this regard the workaholic is comparable to the alcoholic who prefers a good scotch and will settle for a beer in a pinch.

It is hard for us to admit how addicted we have become to keeping busy. Our busyness affords the same numbed-out state that others get on drugs. Some of us go for the adrenaline high just as a drug addict goes for a drug high. Let’s face it: we are hooked.”

I am addicted to staying busy. It keeps me distracted and occupied. When I have nothing to do but relax, I find my mind itching to move on to something else. Find something to do. Become preoccupied with a task that keeps me from simply enjoying the present. Why am I so uncomfortable simply sitting in the silence of the moment? Why can’t I be alone with myself? I’ve been searching for an answer, and perhaps the answer is as simple as I am addicted to busyness. Perhaps there is no rhyme or reason beyond that. I have been numbing myself to my emotions for so long, I have reached a place where I cannot tolerate being bored. I seek constant entertainment and distraction, even when it comes in the form of work. Busyness keeps me from happiness. I must learn to be comfortable with being bored again. To embrace doing nothing sometimes, I must first accept my addiction to busyness and treat it like any other disease. In doing so, I can finally begin to move on to recovery.

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