Break Free from Busyness and Uncover the Magic of Life

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~John Lennon

For as long as I can remember, I have been living in a never-ending to-do list. I was constantly thinking about what needed to get done, how I could multitask, or how I could be even more productive. Even on the weekends, I loved planning out my entire day, usually focusing on chores and other not-so-exciting things.

To be honest, I thought this was a perfectly normal way of operating. I would pride myself on my productivity and my ability to stay on top of everything. Never mind the fact that I was always tired and stressed out—at least things were getting done! Well, that’s what I told myself, anyway.

Being in that mode every day just became a habit. I would think of what my next meal was while eating the current one. I would plan out my Saturday and fill it with errands and chores before even getting to the end of the week. To me, that felt like an enjoyable weekend because I could stay in my planning comfort zone and not have to stray from my habits.

When I was in this “planning mode,” it was very hard to snap me out of it. It’s like I am wired that way, and doing anything different would feel uncomfortable. Even while my body was screaming for rest, I persisted. I never even questioned why I was like this until I met my husband.

He caught on very quickly to my planning ways and one day asked, “Do you ever plan fun into your day?” That question took me aback because my first reaction was: Of course I plan fun! This is fun! And then he asked me the same question about planning rest as well, to which I had no answer.

My husband was the first one to make me question my ways and take a hard look in the mirror. While I loved feeling accomplished, my body was having a hard time keeping up. At that point, I fully realized that the to-do lists never stopped, and if I didn’t slow down to enjoy my life, it would be over before I knew it. Memories buried under errands and chores.

Once I had awareness of my habits, I wanted to investigate why I was this way. Why was my brain constantly planning? Why was I always trying to multitask and rush through things? Why did I never allow myself to take breaks and rest? What was I running from?

I never took the time to ask myself these questions, and maybe you can relate to this. It seems that most humans have a “busy” problem. Too busy to see friends, too busy to exercise, too busy to vacation, and the list goes on. But what is underneath all this busyness?

Well, to change my ways, I knew I needed a full reset. I had to get to the deeper meaning of why I operated this way. I didn’t want life to keep passing me by as I checked items off to-do lists and felt productive. I wanted to truly savor the small moments because right now is all that exists.

To make these changes, I used my favorite self-reflection tool, journaling! Writing out my thoughts and just letting the words out of me always allows me to go deep within myself. It’s what allows me to discover the things that I am trying to avoid.

When I asked myself why I preferred to be distracted and busy, I realized that it wasn’t to feel more productive . It was because I didn’t want to face some very hard truths. Truths such as:

  • Time is passing by, and it seems to go faster the older I get.
  • My loved ones are growing older and one day won’t be here.
  • Memories that were once crystal clear in my mind are now barely visible.
  • I am reaching an age that I once thought was so far in the future. I am here now.
  • I still don’t fully know what I want out of life, yet I am not getting younger.
  • I am entering a new chapter in my life (new job, new home), and everything feels chaotic.
  • I constantly struggle to find the balance between adventure and stability.

 When I looked back and saw these words on the page, I was speechless. All my deepest fears and worries were right there in front of me. These were realities I was running from because, truthfully, they are not easy to accept. All my efforts to distract myself were a way for me to freeze the moment and time forever. To stay this age forever so that the people around me didn’t age either.

And that’s the beauty and pain of being alive. None of this is forever, yet the time we do have is nothing short of a miracle. So, while facing the truth is painful, not running from it is the best superpower you can possess. Because once you don’t fear anything, life will truly feel like magic.

In the same journaling process I asked myself what beauty I could find in these truths that I was running from. How could I reframe them to support me and make me feel even more alive while I still get this one chance on Earth? Here’s what I discovered:

  • My loved ones are healthy and happy in this moment, and that’s all that matters.
  • Age does not mean anything. I honor how my soul feels.
  • The past and future do not exist, only this moment.
  • Some memories are fading, but that makes room for new ones.
  • Change is exciting and pushes me to evolve into a better version of myself.
  • I can have adventure and There are no rules for how I need to live.
  • Life is a miracle I get to experience daily; no moment is wasted.

Just by doing this one reframing exercise, everything changed for me. I saw that there was nothing to run from. That being busy was doing more harm than good. And if I only concerned myself with daily tasks, I’d miss the beauty of the moment I was in.

I love the life I’ve created and the people in it. The only thing that matters to me is my relationships, with myself and others. People are what make life special. So instead of always planning, I can sometimes leave the tasks for another time, because I’ll never get this moment back.

I also learned that rest is an active practice on its own. Taking a day to do nothing is a practice. Sitting down for an hour to give your body a break is crucial. Incorporating more time for presence, reflection, and inner connection is the best gift I can give myself.

Instead of making new lists and finding tasks to do, I now allow myself to get lost in a new book. Instead of cleaning the kitchen right now, I can go on a long walk with my dogs, who bring me so much joy. Errands can be put on hold right now; I’d rather sit and talk to someone I love.

This year, I am giving myself the permission to rest and be an active participant in my life. To make new memories and look forward to new adventures. Nothing is more important than experiencing life in all its glory.

If you can relate to what I shared, I promise you that when you slow down, it’s not at all scary. You just might uncover some beautiful lessons that can change your life.

About Annie Das

Annie Das is a writer focusing on self-growth, happiness, and finding purpose. She shares practical ways that everyday people can infuse more spirituality into their lives. Come and join the journey at wordsbyannie.com.

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