Last week a friend of mine sent the above image to me and our other girl friends, with the message ‘saw this and immediately wanted to send it to all of you!’.
It’s a funny cartoon and one that I think a lot of us can identify with. At first I laughed and then I thought about it more, and it actually made me feel a bit sad
When did stress become a sign of success, when did being busy become a measure of our worth?
The stock response to ‘how are you?’ seems to be ‘urgh, busy!’ and we find ourselves constantly apologising for our absence; ‘sorry I haven’t seen you for so long, it’s been manic’.
I’m guilty of it; there is a weird sort of pride in being busy, not getting enough sleep because you’re working too hard, working weekends and generally feeling like you’re indispensable.
We would never think of not turning up to work, going MIA, or absconding on our duties to our managers but I know I am guilty of doing that with friends and family; putting them further down on the to-do list than I should.
Of course, everyone has a life and you can’t see people every night otherwise you’d suffer a different sort of burn out, but I want to make the cartoon less of a reality than it is now.
I put an immense amount of effort into my job, and because I’m self-employed I’ll admit I find it hard to scale back for fear of not earning enough, but part of freeing my life from clutter was about making room for better things, not more work.
I realise that, so far, I have unconsciously filled the space with more work and that needs to change. Yes, I’ll continue to work hard but not all-consuming hard, and instead focus on maintaining a better work-life balance.