My to-do list has been running through my head all day. One key item fighting for a place at the top of the list is this blog. My plan was to edit a new story for the blog this evening after returning home from a long-planned get together with friends. Unfortunately, work ran late and I arrived at the gathering two hours late. My friends were gracious, but I was stressed. In fact, I’ve been stressed a lot lately and the cause of the stress boils down to an overwhelming sense that I lack having enough time.
Before you get bored with my personal struggles, please bear with me.
When Amelia and I launched this blog, we promised ourselves we wouldn’t make it a diary of our personal entries. Not that there is anything wrong with personal blogs (we are both regular readers of many!). We, however, wanted to make sure that with every post we stayed true to the specific purpose behind the Twenties Blog.
As we’ve built the blog we’ve connected with a diverse range of twentysomethings.
- Married twentysomethings
- Single twentysomethings
- Twentysomethings building their own businesses
- Twentysomethings working in corporate
- Twentysomethings growing non-profits
- You get the idea
In all of this, I’ve discovered that one common thread we twentysomethings share besides our age is the glorification of busy. We are SO busy.
Think about it. How many times do we find ourselves in this type of conversation…
“Hey, how’s it going?”
“Oh, I’m just staying busy.”
“Hey, how are you doing?”
What strikes me is that until starting this blog, I never followed up the “busy” response. I never asked, “Busy with what?”
So, tonight I found myself (after trying to nail down a date for a month!) at dinner with two friends with my to-do list screaming in my head. One of the most pressing items on the to-do list is the blog. I’m very aware that it’s about to be midweek and I haven’t posted a new story. I tune out of the conversation and begin to flip through the Rolodex of unedited interviews in my head trying to decide which story I can write and post when I get home.
Then it hits me what I am actually doing. I’m wasting time. No, not by gathering with friends. I’m wasting time by not being present. This gathering took a month of coordinating schedules to make happen. It’s rare and precious, and I’m just blowing through it so I can check it off my list.
Even if the gathering was a spontaneous one that took 5 minutes to plan, I would be wasting the time because I was not savoring the moment. In fact, whether it be work or play, often I find myself wasting time by being somewhere else in my head.
Upon this revelation, I immediately put my never-ending to-do list away. I let go. Then, I listened, I talked, I laughed and I connected. The restaurant closed, and we moved to the parking lot and talked for an extra hour. It felt so good to just be.
Now it’s midnight, I’m home and my mind is still wide-awake. You know the kind — just enough awake to not be able to fall asleep, but not enough awake to do anything productive. But instead of Googling “Is Chai caffeinated?” or scrolling through my Instagram feed, I’ve decided to write my thoughts down. Because I sense that my story tonight may be someone else’s story tomorrow, and if that is the case, I hope that he or she chooses to not waste the time.