Busy, busy, busy!

in General Discussion edited January 2014

"I know perfectly well that I don't want to do anything; to do something is to create existence - and there's quite enough existence as it is." - Jean-Paul Sartre

While I'm not terribly concerned about the quantity of existence that's been left lying about, I certainly can relate to not wanting to do much of anything.

It seems to me that a lot of people feel the need to fill their lives with constant, bustling activity. Even vacations consist of tightly packed itineraries -- do this, see that, tour the other thing.

A weekend without a weekend trip is unthinkable -- unless of course, there's some major project to do at home, or four sporting events that the two kids have scheduled.

From the fact that the TV networks haven't completely collapsed, and guessing that at least half of all of the DVD rentals and purchases eventually get watched, some time must be being spent passively lounging in front of the tube. Apart from that, however, evenings are filled with household chores, classes, exercise, going out to clubs or restaurants or bars, taking kids to soccer practice, shopping, etc.

A few people thrive on this kind of frenetic activity, but then again, a lot of people complain about stress and lack of time to truly relax. For myself, I'd hate to be so busy. I'd sooner kill myself that have the kind of life some people lead where they get up early, go to bed late, and have everything else in between mapped out in 15-minute blocks on their PDA.

I probably waste too much time. I could stand to be a little more motivated, to use my time more productively. I definitely need to get back to exercising diligently like I used to do. But I wouldn't want to do much more than I do. My software engineering job sometimes calls for extra effort beyond a 40 hour week... and I'm geeky enough to actually enjoy that sometimes. Once it's time to go home, however, I'm mostly content with slacking off.

It's not like I sleep 16 hours a day or veg out in front of the TV. I spend an awful lot of time in front of the computer, reading or writing something, doing some personal software projects. But it's mostly nothing organized, nothing scheduled, nothing hurried or frenzied, no weight of obligation or commitment or tight scheduling.

For instance, I'm taking this week off for Thanksgiving, using three vacation days to make it a full week off. On Wednesday night, my EWWLWM* and I will be driving about 300 miles to see my sister in NJ, and coming back Friday morning.

Apart from that, I'm quite content to have absolutely nothing else planned. My impression is that puts me well outside the American norm. Good thing I never worry about normality or fitting in very much.

*EWWLWM: Ex-Wife Who Lives With Me. There is no good word in English, or I suspect any other language, to properly express this concept. I'm thinking that EWWLWM should be pronounced "OO-luhm".


  • Reply 1 of 2
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    And occasionally "Ahh Lum" I'm guessing. Seriously, I can relate to your comments.

    One of my best friends picked this habit up from his Dad (who does it as a means of validating his existence somehow). It's like they think "If I do enough of the things on this list, and do them in a certain way, I've made my being here / life during this period worthwhile. I haven't wasted anything!" It's a little bit different (a lot o bit actually) from simply not wanting to be idle though.

    It's almost like a mania. It's like if these people only do 6 of 10 recommended activities, then the day has been a total waste to them because "they didn't do it all." And that is especially true during "leisure" times when they're supposed to be on holiday.

    My two best friends and I get together once or twice a year for a long weekend, to play some golf, drink a few beers, etc. And without fail, one of my friends becomes almost obsessed with making sure "we've done everything". We have to practically calm him down a little and say "HEY! Home-boy! By the time we part again, we'll have played three rounds of golf, gone fishing, hit two bars and a casino, and a couple nice restaurants... that's not only enough, it's almost too much!"

    You have to remind them that the point is simply to be together and have some laughs / catch up on the time between visits. While I definitely like going and doing *something* each day, I don't get down if it's raining outside and we end up drinking beer and watching football or something inside... because I'm still hanging out with my two best friends. This guy OTOH, just gets totally wound up when stuff like that happens. Don't know why, but he just feels like it's become a "total waste".

    Differences in personality type and upbringing I guess. Probably some people become this way from the habits forced upon them at work as well. It's a pretty sad side-effect of the "get everything, do everything, be-all-things-to-all-people NOW" part of our culture.
  • Reply 2 of 2
    shetline interesting thread. I can relate to it My pastor actually did a service on this very issue this year. I believe large families have this problem of busy busy busy worse than single people in most cases. All the activities of the kids. As far as myself I could produce more with what I have but I will also tell you this, my grandfather recently built a new home in a nice suburb just west of Fort Worth and the guy who developed the lots in the neighborhood was a go- go- go kind of busy guy. My grandad was to live next door to him when my grandad's home was to be completed. The developer / builder died of a heart attact at age 50. My point is that for so many "business" people they have too much stress in the pursuit of "wealth". My best friends dad also had a heart attack at a young age the dad is a vice president of a large company. He lived through his. Sure diet, genetics, and activity level also contribute to why one could get heart attacks but sometimes all one needs is too much stress. I think there is more to life than being busy. I am not trying to impress anyone by being busy.

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