I often think about how, over the past few years, I’ve created this “busy” life and today I’m mulling it over—out loud, right here.
The affliction of “busyness” has been documented and is quite real.
According to doctors at CPS Research, a Glasgow-based clinical trials company, the syndrome is caused by hectic lives bombarded with information overload from mobile phones, BlackBerrys, TV, radio and the internet. In this increasingly frenetic world, the more things we do and see, the more likely we are to forget things.
I know people are busy. They have jobs. Children to raise. Mortgages to pay. As I get older I wonder how people manage it all.
But today I’m talking about ME. I am well past those hurdles. Theoretically I could sit on my butt eating chips and watching soap operas from morning ’til night. Now of course I don’t want to do that—I’m just sayin’.
So what do I want? Well, I’d like to walk around my garden and not think about how I’m going to photograph a flower.
I’d like to watch a sunrise/sunset without my camera in hand (but then how would I have taken this gorgeous moon photo??) I’m hopelessly addicted …
I’d like to snip some herbs to add to a delicious pasta sauce for supper and not think about posting the recipe.
I’d like to not have to come up with tutorial ideas all the time.
That pretty much sums it up.
I’ve created so many things that I feel I have to do. Here’s a quick overview (in no particular order):
blog, write posts, take photos, edit photos, administration tasks, read and comment on other blogs, participate in memes, host a meme, comment in several forums, check email, write tutorials on a strict deadline, take ten different classes at once, organize passwords and login pages in Outlook and One Note, computer, iPhone, iPad, iPod, organize apps, constantly upgrade and update programs, talk with tech support because Photoshop CC is giving me grief, update to Photoshop 2014—no wait! I think I’m going to switch to a Mac before I do anything … I wonder what kind of Mac I should get … why aren’t my photos syncing, what did you just say?
I’ve created a job for myself and it’s a job I love doing. But it’s always in my head. As a result I sometimes feel overwhelmed and discombobulated. I forget things and I find I cannot multi-task like I used to. Classic busyness syndrome symptoms.
The bottom line is that I can’t help myself. I love it all!
I just hope I don’t wake up some day and regret all the time I spent on this stuff. Perhaps I will, but then again, perhaps I won’t. Maybe I’m writing my story for others to read when I’m gone. I don’t know … is it important?
I lead an interesting life with my husband, children, and grandchildren. I spend as much time as I can with them and when I’m with them, I’m with them. I hardly take any photos any more when we’re together because it just feels so intrusive.
I garden, read, walk, and visit friends. My house is clean and organized and there’s always good food in the house. And lastly, hubby and I travel quite a bit and plan to travel more when he retires. All these things tell me that I’m not missing out (am I?) what do you think?
I’m off to find something to photograph for tomorrows post …
Smiling here at my Mac monitor as I read your post…funny, I was thinking some of the same things this weekend. Some days I say, I’m not photographing anything, I’m not editing any photos, I’m not……fill in the blank. Giving myself permission is what it comes down to, now that I’m retired. Every Sunday evening, hubby says “you know, it’s a ‘no alarm’ Monday. If you figure out “is this all worth it”, let me know Barb!! :) My guess is, we’ll continue doing it as long as we’re healthy. Love your sky and moon…a gentle scene.
Beverly, thank you so much for your insight, and support. Yes, I need to give myself permission on a few select things …
Sarah C says
I so agree. I’ve been thinking the same thing. I want to use my time well and I seem to gravitate to the same things as you. I think cherishing family time is wonderful. They would probably wonder if something was wrong if you didn’t have your camera in hand. Love the moon. Blessings to you.
Thank you so much for stopping by Sarah. It’s good to know others feel the same way.
i think cameras and blogging help us notice what’s around us more than we would otherwise. at least at first. but then, maybe it does get in the way of just living. :)
Life is meant to be lived. However … that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stop and catch our breath every now and again. I think that’s what wears us out, just not taking the time to breathe. Creativity is hard work, even though we love it. We just have to know when to walk away for a bit so that we can recharge. At least, that’s what I find in my life.
So true, Dotti. Yes, I do love to express my creativity and I need to remember that!
Sherry Galey says
I think I know what you mean, Barb. It has taken me a while, but I’ve realized the secret is to always be asking myself — Am I doing this because I really want to, or because I think I “should”? — for whatever reason. When an action comes from delight it feels right and when it comes from internal pressure it doesn’t feel so good. Since we all still have to do some things, I will continue do them, but I’m tipping the balance a lot more in favour of what I really want to do these days (not caring so much about the opinions of others)…and that is making all the difference.
So very true Sherry. I have asked myself that and there are a few “shoulds” here, but I made commitments and will stick to those. However, I am scaling back on them. Thanks so much for dropping by!
i can so relate to all of this. By the way, before I forget, get a Mac. You will not regret it. Beautiful display and hassle-free, you will fall in love. I have the iMac, my daughter the MacBook. I wanted the large screen for photography.
We all need to assess and reevaluate from time to time. Once things I’m doing start to feel like drudgery or an obligation, I take a break.
oh! Meant to say that your view is stunning.
Oh can I ever relate to this. I create all of my own stress and wonder so often what I’m doing it all for?! I do love blogging, but my word…sometimes it’s all too much. :)
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! You really do work very hard, but you are contributing to your family income and in such a big way … that is meaningful, and to be doing something you love is so amazing, right? The problem is that it’s so personal you can’t walk away and leave it to the boss .. I struggle with it when I’m tired and have this guilt that I haven’t posted for a while … so silly …
Barb I can so agree with you . But you will love your mac it syncs and takes out all that windows hassle. We have 2 macs a laptop and iPhones and they all talk to one another. I agree with family time we must shut down sometimes…
Thanks Viv, I need that encouragement to continue on my “Mac” quest … :)
Donna Hopkins says
Barb, I agree with your friend Sherry. I ask myself, “Why am I doing this?” Sometimes, my busyness is simply a habit. I’m used to it – even comfortable with it – and I forget that doing nothing is really important, too. Like you, I’ve turned my photography and blogging into a “job” – though one that seldom pays me a salary. Sometimes I find myself drifting too far into work mode, and forgetting to put my family first – and then I pull back. It’s a give and take process, not all or none. Your beautiful image for today brings me to a place of quiet reflection – and renewed determination to live life fully.
Thank you for stopping by Donna. Yes, I’m going to ask myself that question and then write the answers down so I don’t forget them! Maybe that will help! I think when a person is making a salary, what we are doing seems much more important … too bad, but true …
I try hard guard my time ! It is so easy to get caught up in things that aren’t that important to ME, but after teaching full-time most of my life and raising children and doing it ALL- I’m being very careful to do what I want at this stage in life. From outside here in blog-land, I think you have a beautiful life! I like how you said that when you are with family, you are really there! But I think it is important to ask ourselves these questions from time to time so that we can maintain our focus on what is important. For me, photography has been my gateway to mindfulness and stillness (long before BeStill)- and I imagine it is that way for you too. If it was my JOB, I might feel differently. Love your photos and your blog!
Thank you so much, Melinda! Yes, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately … I love photography, I love to share my work, and I love to visit others and see their work too … there are just a few things that I wonder about and it’s usually when I’m tired and feel like I’m going to fall off my chair. I have cut back on one big thing, and opted right out of another so that’s a pretty good start. I stopped by your blog and just want to say that I absolutely love the ICM image of the tree – so artful! I need to try this technique. Again, thanks so much for your kind words … they mean a lot to me.
Gail O says
I look at my old blog now and wonder how I managed to write a daily post for as long as I did…and it wasn’t all that long! It does take a lot of work and time but if you are enjoying it that is what really is important isn’t it? Now I am more relaxed by just keeping up with a photo a day and taking some classes. Needs change, enjoyments change…
So true, Gail. Needs change, and so do enjoyments and I need to go with that. I’m glad I’ve learned about social media, but I really don’t like much of it …
Barbara Hurst says
So true what each one has said and I know i have been asking myself the same question. I thought it was because I am hitting a real milestone in my life next month and that was why? I know that social media has played a big part in my asking this question. I feel too much time has been spent there and I am not happy with that and plan to change it. We talked about that at Gather among 3 of my friends on the same thing so I know I am not the only one thinking this and from the replies it seems others are feeling this also. We each have to have a balance and balance is hard for me as I like to put my all into a project, so it is hard to step away but I need to do that more and plan on doing that more. I am looking forward to your return to the desert so we can get together. Let me know when you return and maybe we can get together with Melinda and have a day together maybe even with out our cameras, just being together and have a good talk. :)
Yes, I’ve been getting that feeling from you Barbara. I will say right here that I will not get sucked into Twitter, I’ve basically quit Google+ (now that is a WASTE of time), FB is creeping up on me especially with the private Gather forum so alas, I’m going to put the brakes on that real soon and only peek in once in a while. If I need to know something I’ll probably hear about it on Kim’s site. I do love taking photos, textures, LR, etc. I love blogging and sharing my stuff and seeing what others do. I love IG too much, but when I print my photos from there I absolutely love them … a little mini journal of my life. We’ll be back to AZ in the later part of January into February, and then again in late March. I would dearly love to get together – oh yes! let’s do make that happen when it’s convenient for everyone!!
These have been my same thoughts lately too. I for sure feel regrets already when I think about the time I feel I’ve wasted on the computer. I know my hubby hates it. Thinking about unplugging for a bit. I have a long list of things to do that are much more important, at least for the next few months.
Roxi, I get the feeling you are a bit burned out … and I know that feeling. Take some time, but don’t leave us!!!!
amy of four corners design says
just hopped over here from Roxi’s blog since she mentioned you (and on an aside, for some reason I don’t get your feed so I forget to stop in…mmm…another busyness symptom?) Anyway – good that everyone has these discussions with themselves about what they are doing rather than just going through the motions…and I’ve struggled with the whole Mac idea as well…so when you figure it out, let me know because I’m not convinced I should change but I know that this old computer of mine may die soon! Happy Friday Barb!
Hi Amy! glad to have you back, and I’ll let you know about my Mac adventure …
Such a lovely post, I can hear your hear beating and can relate so well to your thoughts!
In January I chose the word Unhurried for my 2014 … and it has helped me to focus and try to prioritise my time. Yes – time. If I have 2 hours, what would be important for me to spent these 2 hours with . . . and also – how much time do I have for by blog or Instagram. My top priorities have been the daily walks, besides my family … and that has cost something to other things – that are important and that I would love to spend more time with … Yet, there will be time for everything, and I guess I have needed the slow life year (well, many things have been rumbling up and down – new work, heath issues and other things – that take time and energy) …
And you and other wonderful people, I have gotten to know via the fellowship on the blogsphere, and a source of joy and empowerment, sharing and learning to me – so I wouldn’t imagine giving up – I may miss a post every now and then, and post more photos on Instagram that on my blog at the time being … yet the enrichment and inspiration getting from all you wonderful people is special and priceless :)
Happy weekend & inspiring photo walks to you, Barb!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nina! People do need to stop and think… think about what they are spending their time (life) on. I too have been enriched by my on-line friends and that has been a blessing for sure, so I can’t see letting all that go. IG is my happy place, simple, inspiring, fun, quick, and artful. Thanks again, Nina!
Cindy Swainson says
Spot-on Barb. This computer/technology/social media ‘thing’ can be truly seductive. It is indeed so easy to slide into over-doing it…just a few keyboard strokes and I’m off and running in yet another direction. UNLESS I stop and rein myself in, ask the necessary questions and prioritize my life: God. Family. Friends.
cheryl crotty says
Ha Barb…I could have written this…I have those same thoughts and some days…I say “why am I killing myself with this stuff.” I guess the answer would be because I love it…but it does take an unhealthy toll sometimes and we need to put it in perspective..I think you do that quite nicely in your second paragraph…that’s what I need to do in the New Year…time for some reflection…keep the good, lose the old and weary waste of time…you’ve given me a reason to look more closely at this….but I won’t stray to far from my camera…chocolates and tv just don’t do it for me..LOL
Happy Thanksgiving Barb…
Linda Vincent says
Loved reading this Barb…….and can relate to it all (apart from having a Mac – thats a long way off for me ;-) ).
I haven’t blogged for over four months because I’ve felt so overwhelmed with everything. Too many ideas, not feeling happy health-wise, taking on too many things and not really being able to do anything properly.
But you seem to have everything under control and you totally inspire me.
Fabulous photo of your view BTW…… you’re a lucky lady.