By PLA Emily
The consensus right now is that being “busy” is unhealthy. Workaholism is seen as a disease and I’m counting down the days until a “Workaholics Anonymous” group pops up on campus. I figure Queen’s will have one of the first chapters. Western? The last.
Long-standing rivalries aside, I’ve been dubbed a workaholic by a number of acquaintances. Each of whom reminded me that I was going to “work myself to death” if I kept up the pace I was flying at. Honestly, if I had a dime for each time someone said, “Take a break” I wouldn’t have to work in the first place.
Since University is supposed to be a time when we’re open to new ideas, I thought I’d bite the bullet and give this “relaxation” stuff a try. Immediately after I secured full-time employment, I thought I would set myself on cruise control into the rest of the semester and enjoy not working.
My first Saturday being un-busy was the most stressful thing I have done. It started innocently enough. I went to the gym, read the paper at Starbucks. Browsed Indigo. Then boredom set in. I was out of things to do! Paranoia followed shortly thereafter – why was I trying to be someone who I wasn’t? Why was not doing anything so difficult? Why wasn’t there an agenda to finding bliss? Why was I wasting time trying to do something I don’t enjoy? In an effort to persevere, I pushed through and headed home to clean out the fridge, reorganize the cookbook shelf, and dust where no Swiffer had gone before.
That’s when it clicked that maybe I had missed the point of the whole ‘do nothing’ exercise. I wasn’t having fun. Then I started to wonder, if I enjoy being busy, is that such a bad thing? If I enjoy have a rigorous schedule that fits in an 80% average, going home once a month, seeing friends at least five times a week, and launching four start-ups, what’s the problem? Just because the rest of the world enjoys free time, do I have to too? If the point of having free time is to have fun, and I can have fun without free-time, why not just stay the course?
I’ll admit, my high-speed agenda has not been without a few near crashes. But as long as I take myself into the shop everyone once in a while for a tune-up, am I cleared for take off down the runway again?
Busy doesn’t have to be a bad word, as long as you are enjoying yourself.