Being Busy, The Modern Status Symbol


I believe my job to define me more than anything else right now. I'm never more than an arm's reach away from my phone, day or night; I write on weekends and spend most of my evenings thinking about the next steps to take. Always seeking more, doing more, trapped in over-scheduling my days to the brim because let's face it, 24 hours just aren't enough in a day. As a result, I spend less time with my friends, leaving the house, or doing the things I am passionate about outside of work. And there is one particular word that has dominated my vocabulary and become my excuse for everything lately: Busy. I started getting compliments on how I jiggle so much, and before I knew it I didn't do anything for myself. Whatever it was, I'd just be 'too busy' for it. 

Being busy in our culture seems to have become a status symbol, hasn't it? It makes outsiders believe you're in demand, and we wear that newly acquired status of ours proudly, just like a badge of honour, a sign of importance, of work ethic. It gives the impression that one has ambition and the competence to move, that we're 'having it all', or at least we're trying to. For most parts we even find ourselves in a constant race with colleagues, friends and family to be the most busy, and consequently, the most exhausting, driven by the expectations of what we can get done, and how well we can do it. But is that little secret of our 'always on' culture in fact nothing but an illusion? Maybe yes.

Cause let's face it; busyness and happiness are fare apart from each other. Like for many women, being 'always on' has become a huge addiction for me, and I subconsciously started persuading myself that I would fail in life if I wouldn't keep myself busy 24/7. But I also started feeling overwhelmed, even incompetent at times, exhausted by the idea of getting more and more work done. And with that came the stress, the number one side effect of busyness. I tied myself down with responsibilities and work and, ultimately, got stuck.

Looking closer, the reality of the modern and largely self-made disease of busyness means we're missing out on opportunities to actually enjoy a fulfilling life. Missing out on life passions. Missing out on that nap, that massage or that glass of wine that's sometimes all we want. So why can't we have both? Why let busyness define who we are, and who we should be? After all, our lives are what we make of it, and not how busy we are, right?


Wearing: Dress, Face earrings
Photography: Grace Robinson