I’ve been so tired these past few weeks. So tired that I’m not even going to bother defending the fact this is the most overused statement in college. Period. Besides “I’m starving” or “I’m dying,” both of which I hear on the daily, sometimes out of my own mouth.
Here’s how it all started: a few weeks ago I started to notice the workload ramping up (or was it the first day back from break, it’s all a blur). I said to myself, wow this is rough, but just make it to Friday and everything will go back to normal again. Then I would blink my eyes and it would be Monday again and I still had 2 essays, 3 projects, and 5 meetings to get through by Friday.
I’ve come to the conclusion that this constant state of tiredness and task lists to complete is just the new normal. I’m tired because I’m busy.
But I hate saying that because it sounds so hollow. Like oh really, you’re busy? A non-STEM major, non-student athlete, non-double major person who lives the closest to the cafeteria is busy? I can just hear the hysterical laughing and see the bulging eyes in my mind. But yeah, I am. Sorry.
Someone- either a teacher or a pastor or a book– once told me that the word “busy” stands for “being under Satan’s yoke.” Get it, like the acronym device? My middle school self was like, wow, enlightenment, must write in Bible now! Current me would qualify the statement as an expression meant to encapsulate the kernel of the argument but one which hyperbolizes a reality of life for the sake of the argument’s impact.
What I mean to say is that the statement has a clarifying power, sort of like someone yanking your head up from staring at the ground to look at the world around you. But just because you’re busy doesn’t mean the devil is possessing you. Being busy is VALID in today’s world. Technology ups our productivity, but also the amount of things we’re expected to do in the same amount of time.
I think where busyness gets to be a danger is when we’re stuck looking at a crack in the pavement and missing seeing the world around us- the bigger picture, if you will, of what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. For example, am I going to class because I need the attendance grade, or because I believe it will equip me to become better prepared for my future? As long as you are sure of your purpose, you’re going to be ok. There’s a good busy whose opposite is slothfulness, and there’s a bad busy whose opposite is productivity without useless worry and fretting. Pro tip: if I could picture Christ shaking his head patiently at me, saying “Martha, Martha…”, it’s time for me to reevaluate.
We’re all busy. Most of us are tired. I’m not special in that way, but it also doesn’t mean my busyness is invalid. I’m hoping to get better at validating others’ busyness, as well as my own, and not discriminating based on such surface level categorizations, such as major or extracurriculars. Also, to make sure my busyness is warranted and filled with God-given purpose, not the petty, busy-work, bad kind.