Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Busy Bee

A few days ago, one of my friends was cribbing about how she has no free time and is always busy doing something or the other. I was being the good listener and trying to empathize with her when, suddenly, she commented, "If only my life was as free as yours is...It would be so wonderful to have all the time in the world to do all that you wanted!" I was really irked by these statements but I remained quiet.
She continued, "I only get one day off...I have to sit in my office from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sometimes, I have to stay back if the work is not complete...These days I reach home by 8:30 p.m. and my parents are really irritated...You are so lucky you don't have to work so much!"
I was royally ticked off and I was bursting with indignation and irritation. I felt like retorting, "I have to be at work at 9:00 a.m. sharp which means I wake up before 7:00 a.m. almost everyday. Unlike you, I do not live with my parents - therefore, I do not have the luxury of simply waking up in the morning and taking off...I need to take care of some household chores as well! I stay at work till 4:30  p.m. While you sit at your desk, I am running behind hyperactive children, trying to observe and manage different classrooms, and doing remedial work with a few children. I agree I do not generally need to stay over-time but try spending fifteen minutes in the fifth grade classroom and you will not tell me that my job is not a stressful one! Moreover, I return home and then I need to give tuition and work on some other projects that come up on a freelancing basis. " Nevertheless, I did not say all this. I simply replied, "My job is not as easy as it looks and I am not as free as I seem to be!"
"Of course you are! You have time to do so many things...And you are in touch with most of us! You have a lot of time to spare!"

I shut my mouth and merely changed the topic. These days I feel that being busy has become a fashion! Children in school are busy juggling academics, tuition, and extra-curricular activities - they are as busy as grownups! In college, one is busy with assignments and, therefore, has a "genuine" reason of keeping away from family functions...And let's not even get started on what happens when one enters the world of work! You meet deadlines instead of meeting friends...Your social life takes a backseat and you are, forever, juggling between your household and work responsibilities.

I often converse with a friend of mine named Su. She always complains, "I get bored! I have nothing to do! You are so lucky! You have so many things to keep you busy!"
Looking back at these dialogues, I realize that there are certain people who appreciate those who are always busy. There have been times when I wished I could be one of those people but no matter how hard I try, I am never successful! Even if I am working from 9:00 a.m. in the morning to 8:00 p.m. at a continuous stretch, I still make it a point to regularly stay in touch with my near and dear ones. I meet them as frequently as I can - even if it means getting less time to relax after a hectic day of work! I agree with people when they tell me that they have no time to do the things they wish to do. There is never enough time to do all the things one wants to do. But you need to make time! I enjoy my work and have fun at the work-place but that does not mean that my work does not tire me out! Even I can just go back home, eat dinner and fall off to sleep. I choose not to do just that! I do not want to be a machine who has a mechanical, mundane existence and goes about leading life by merely  following routines and doing what society thinks I should do. There are friends who wonder why I use up my casual leaves for simple events like meeting an old friend or watching a movie.I know in the short term, spending time reading, sightseeing or being with my close friends will make me happy but in the long term, it would benefit me to focus more on work and become successful. However, I know that in the very long run, what will make better memories...When I die I do not think I will regret the fact that I could not complete some report on time. I might regret the fact that I did not get a chance to spend enough time doing the things I wanted to do or being with the people I wanted to be around...I wish to live a life without regrets and, therefore, I balance my social life and work life extremely well.

Life is too short for one to be busy! I feel people keep evaluating their life from an economical lens and do not invest time and energy doing things that interest them or being around people they like because the returns one may get from doing all that is not tangible!
The only time I immerse myself in work is when I am upset and I do not want to think about my current situation. I wonder if getting engrossed in work is everyone's path to existential escapism from the sordid realities engulfing their world...If that is the case, we, indeed, have a reason to worry about where the world is going!

28 comments:

  1. very nice! I like that and your thoughts.

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  2. Like they say, 'Busyness' is a state of mind. But you make an interesting point in saying that, keeping oneself busy in doing the things one really likes. Maybe that is something most of us don't focus on. Perhaps the perception of busy is to be engrossed in the chores of the workplace or running around. Busy is never construed as fun or meaningful.

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    1. So true...The word 'busy' is used to indicate that you are doing something productive - if you are having fun and engrossed in it, that is not an acceptable definition of being busy! Strange, isn't it?

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  3. wow thats really nice. opens many doors and truly keeping yourself busy is an escapism from the reality

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    1. Yeah :) Being busy in work is people's way of evading troubling matters in their personal sphere...Most people who are 'workaholics' are not so because they like their work..they unhealthily engross themselves in work to get rid of stressors in their personal lives...There are very few people who are healthy workaholics who genuinely love the work they do and therefore do not see the need of socializing and getting away from work!

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  4. completely get what you say. For many, the notion of not having something productive to do (read tried and tested activities) means wasting the time or having a lot of idle time. Same reason the stay at home mothers are asked the question "what do you do all day???"

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    1. True :) And home-makers have so much going on - they are, probably, loaded with more work than those who are outside working!

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  5. Nice read,
    A person's life would be so boring if he/she is not busy.
    It's nice managing time specially when u are really busy.

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    1. Managing time is crucial but I do not think it is boring to not be busy - it is alright to spend time doing nothing! You don't need to always be busy!

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  6. I have to say Divya that i m falling in love with your writings :) And this one touched me the most because even I come across people who have his notion that staying busy sounds really cool when one is with friends. Simply loved it!

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    1. :) :) Thanks Sanchita :) :) Glad you could relate to this one :)

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  7. I could relate to what you have written Divya, because I've been in both camps. When I was working, for money, I had a full life and was busy but not happy fulfilled busy. Now that I am a stay-at-home mother, yes, there are regrets re career but I am happily busy and thankful I can spend time with my daughters. And that matters more than anything else.

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    1. I think I constantly shuffle between the 2 camps - there are days when even I feel guilty about not giving so much attention to work but I do feel thankful that I am getting to be around near and dear ones and yes, I agree - that matters more than anything else :)

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  8. I forgot to mention that I always found time for my friends and near and dear ones even then. It is today when I write a mail to someone and they don't acknowledge under the guise of being busy that makes me wonder at their 'busyness'.

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    1. :) Yes I have faced that too! I do not like it when people are out of touch because they simply have no time! It is really exasperating!

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  9. The problem is very few people in this world know what they truly want .. I have even met people who do not exactly know what they like or what their hobbies are.. If I say I love reading, they'd say 'Yes, I love reading too', just to be in sync!
    The truth is that we would always find the time to do what is important to us and what we really love irrespective of schedules and constraints .. You were totally right in saying that ..

    And even I take random casual leaves to take time out with sis and nephew or go shopping ;)
    While at college, I used to take a nice book from the library and take the next day off to read it in spite of an 80% attendance mandate :)

    And you have taken a very different career path(followed your heart's calling am sure :)) .. Really appreciate that ..

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    1. I completely agree with that part - if you know what you truly want, you will find the time to do it! I have also come across people who are totally clueless about their passion and about what they want to do :)

      In college, we had to have 85% attendance mandatory and I used to sit in the very beginning and at least finalize where I would be using up 20% of those leaves I could take (5% I spared in case I fell sick or for emergencies)....

      Yes, I have taken a very different career path but I am happy because I get to do what I have always wanted to do :)

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  10. A busy person always finds time to do things whereas those who pretend to be busy are more often less likely to achieve much! Nice writing Divya:)

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    1. True that! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  11. I'm now in a phase when I myself desire to be a busy bee sometime. I'm bored of being bored.
    But the onus to spare tym for ur social circle is only on us. Nobody is going to give u an extra day off to complete ur social responsibilities. Its all in the mind. If u want to meet ur frnds, u'll somehow take out time to do so, no matter what. As rightly pointed out, u need to balance it.

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    1. True :) I know that you cannot get a day off to meet your social responsibilities :D I simply make excuses of falling sick :P

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  12. What u said is true, as said where there is a will there is a way. I m in one just like u that i take time to talk to friends etc inspite of normal work. But i m finding hardly any one these days to talk as all are very busy. It has become a truly commercial world. U have time to upload pics and coment on some but dont have time atleast once a week to respond. I got ftustrated one time so much that i deactivated all my accounts in social networking sites for about 3 months and felt happy too. I believe that when u accept as a friend u need to fullfil it too.

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    1. I enjoy social networking - I think it is a good way of being in touch with friends :) :) But yes, it is essential to maintain that balance between going out and meeting friends and commenting on their pictures on Facebook!

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