BUSY + SEEN = WORTHY.
Oh, the recipe for the life of a tired overachiever. A couple weeks ago, I quickly typed this at the bottom of a blog post after talking about tearing down walls, dismantling the machine, starting over.
I'm tackling this one in our conversation first because I feel like any combination of these three things are the root of many of the heart issues in my own life. Part of that is because of my personality--hello, Enneagram 1 and INFP=perfectionistic and task-oriented. Part of it also is my lack of faith. This is something I constantly battle in my time with the Lord--do I believe that God has true dominion over everything, even if I completely let go of my own control?
I don't remember a time when I haven't been busy. Even when I was a kid, I felt as though my time spent in my room, in front of my mirror, standing on my bed with brush-microphone in hand was productive time spent toward achieving my dreams. Not kidding. Not in the least!
Now, as an adult, I feel like a victim of busyness. The truth is, my busyness is a result of the choices I've made. If I want to be less busy, I have to take action and say "no," rather than just lamenting it as an inevitable circumstance.
Action Step: What is one thing you can say "no" to this week?
This has been my action step for most things I'm learning in the past few months. When you feel overwhelmed with busyness, it's helpful to remind yourself that you have the ability to decide how you spend your time. Sure, this comes with trade-off, but playing the victim will never result in anything but complaining.
Again, its hard for me to recognize that busy is a choice because I've been in the thick of it for so long. But as with any other self-inflicted wall between you and the life you're meant to live, you've gotta take it down brick-by-brick. This means starting small and throwing a wrench in the gears of what feels "normal" but debilitating.
But of course its not enough to be busy. People have to see that you are. You have to walk obviously fast, saying, "You want to walk with me so we can talk?" or peek at your phone as someone pours out their heart. They need to know you are taking time out of your busy schedule to spend with them, right?
This one is messy. And embarrassing.
I've been arriving to work between 6:15 and 6:30 am for the past three years. My first two years teaching I would also stay until around 4 or 4:30 pm. That's one hour before school starts and at least one hour after. I worked weekends. I also technically worked nights as I worried, planned in my head, and lamented over the perfect teachers I followed on Instagram. It was toxic.
When people noticed my dysfunction, I would light up. When they said, "I don't know how you do all this" a flash of satisfaction would cross through my worldly mind as I thought, "Man, at least someone is noticing. At least its worth something." And when they didn't notice, I was crushed. When something went undone, I would come undone because I AM THE ONE WHO GETS THINGS DONE. Cue the faulty-identity violins.
Listen to ME, friend. It doesn't matter what other people see if you are crushed inside. Stop putting on a face of efficiency and put-together-ness while you try to catch your breath in secret and hide the tears of overwork with waterproof mascara.
I'm here to tell you, you can stop, whether they see what you do with your time or not.
Action step: Do something small and productive in secret. Write down a big dream in your notebook. Take a step toward a goal that nobody knows. Send an anonymous note of encouragement to a coworker. Then, take a deep breath and know that our reward is not on this earth, and The One we are trying to impress sees it all. So, stop.
For some reason, society thinks this is some magical recipe for worth. We are only worth our own work-product, so we spout off our to-do list and ways to get more done.
I hate to say it, but Presley and I function underneath this weight all the time.
On Saturdays, Presley typically works in the morning. I write, workout, clean the house (kinda), etc. I have this habit, when he gets home around 1 pm that includes rattling off a list of what I did that day. Sometimes I even take him around the house--yes, like a 5-year-old--and show him my progress.
Then, I noticed he did it the other day, too! He showed me his to-do list and what he crossed off because his inspection was cancelled that day.
There seems to be this unspoken idea that if one of us is working hard all day and the other is resting or unproductive, we haven't reached our worth and held up our end of the bargain that day.
I blame the world. I'm running to Jesus for rest because I'm tired, and it doesn't have to be this way. Life is not a math equation that will hopefully add up to enough by the end of the day, the week, the year, or the end of our lives.
The price of worth has ALREADY been paid.
So, I'm begging you to join me: STOP. (Feel free to show me your progress by hashtagging #STOPTHESTRIVE.)
You don't have to be anything to be worthy but a child of the King. Rest in that today!