As a young professional its not hard to get caught up with the appeal of appearing busy. Everyday, my time is compared to people who have the same hours in a day but manage to build a business empire while climbing Mt. Everest at the same time having a balanced home life and the best smile. Everyone around me seems to have their dream job and are so busy loving life. There is pressure to always be on an adventure, on a quest to “live your best life” (I’m not a fan of the phrase, be-tee-double-you). And when if you’re not seeking (or posting) the most recent adventure, there is a subconscious and nuanced message: “You could be doing more.”
It’s can be suffocating.
Somewhere with the age of instant pictures and media that became social, the essential rhythm and tension of adventure and routine was lost. Society has convinced us that if our life isn’t full, if we haven’t fully maxed out on our time and lived completely free of routines or time schedule, we haven’t arrived. Not only that but it seems that if you lead a normal life, you aren’t taking full advantage of your potential.
However, there is a natural ebb and flow within the life of any human being of rest and work has been interrupted, and is constantly interrupted. Not only that but it’s so easy to get that rhythm out of wack because the work and adventure we pour ourselves into are things that we actually like.
The thing is, adventure or work or whatever keeps you busy isn’t in opposition with routine and normalcy. Its actually a different side of the same coin. I would love to be a writer, business owner, traveler, wife, home owner (those mortgage rates though…), mother to the coolest kids, and everything in between but, I don’t want to be any of those things if the habits I create to get and maintain them them are unhealthy.
So how can we combat the ever rising pressure to be busy? For me, it started with a 5 minute break at the busiest point of my day, right around 11:45am. I call it my Daily Compass. Its a daily reminder to reorient myself. I set a reminder on my calendar every work day and have committed that no matter what, I must stop what I’m doing (even if I’m a work groove). Usually around that time, I pull out a small brown, leather bound, daily devotional called Streams in the Desert and read at my desk.
I sit there and read.
Honestly, sometimes it’s hard to slow down my thoughts and sometimes I find myself rushing to finish so I can get back to work. But I intentionally slow down, re-read the paragraph I previously skimmed through, and reflect for a full 5 minutes. Some days that routine is like a breath of fresh air. On other days it feels like those 5 minutes take forever. Over time, I’ve noticed he pressures I once felt, have slowly subsided. I’m reminded that I’m human. This routine in the midst of a (sometimes) adventurous job has no Instagram value. It will never be hashtagged or posted. It’s an ordinary moment that compels me to appreciate the extraordinary moments.
I will eternally have a visionary heart and will always strive for the passions of my heart personally and professionally. I encourage you to pursue yours. But I also hope you see your moments of routine this week in a new light.