I Don’t Know How You do it, You’re Always so Busy and Other Pet Peeves
I have full days, as I always do, and at the end of each day, I feel accomplished and content. My life is intentionally and purposefully crafted to ensure it has spiritual, physical, emotional and soul balance. I put a plan into motion, nearly 10 years ago, assessing every aspect of my life. After breast cancer, I set specific goals, which were: 1) to discover my soul purpose and live it every day; 2) to achieve the highest version of my spiritual self during this lifetime, studying spiritual masters, enabling me to transcend my human mind and ego; 3) be a present mom to my daughter; 4) have a strong, healthy, fit body; 5) to control things I can and let go of those I can’t; 6) to live life on my own terms — play more, spend time with the people I love, doing things I love; 7) to live an impeccable life; and 8) in all I do, to love deeply. I put a lot of work into putting things into place to meet these goals. As Thomas Merton says, “We must make choices that enable us to fulfill the deepest capacities of our real selves.”
There were twists and turns along the way, but The universe is always on time, and now, I’m more in the driver’s seat than I’ve ever been. Amidst all of this wonderfulness, I often find myself looking into the face of someone whose mouth is moving, saying words that my brain can’t quite process, words that while seemingly meaningless, and might sound like complements, carry some bite. The kind of words that are said with a smile, but that can take the wind out of one’s sails. So, I thought I’d share some things well-meaning people say, hoping they reconsider before uttering the words again:
1) I don’t know how you do it! This is my favorite annoying phrase. On what planet could this phrase be empowering? Every time I hear it, I’m confused because:
- I’m living my life, so I don’t have time to comment on what others are doing. The fact that one is doing something is what matters. If your choices aren’t hurting anyone, they are not my business.
- I feel like saying — I don’t know how YOU do it, just existing from day to day, a slave to a job that’s unfulfilling, an unhappy love relationship, unfulfilling friendships, desiring joy you don’t make time for, and living in a body you’re uncomfortable in, yet you’d rather sit on the couch watching television and making other people rich than get up and hustling? Here’s the thing boo: if that’s your choice, leave me out of it.
- Lastly, how you speak to others reflects how you speak to yourself. “Speak kindly to yourself,” says Danielle LaPorte.
2) You’re always so busy. I get this all the time and again am left perplexed. High achievers and people who are changing the world have to get things done. I’m a planner, so I plan — everything. Time to take a short nap during the day and days to veg; time to work out, to make calls, time for meditation and prayer, time to get projects done, time with my daughter and time to just “do nothing”, it’s all on my calendar. So if I don’t answer your emails, phone calls text, tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts right away, it’s because I’m on task and busy living. If you don’t schedule your life’s priorities, someone will do it for you. I’m squeezing out all the juice of life and loving it. I let the Universe work its magic, but leave nothing to chance. Leonardo Da Vinci said, “time stays long enough for those who use it”. I hear people complain about time getting away from them. That’s not a true statement. Time doesn’t fly. People waste it. “Busyness” and “productiveness” are different things. Master your time.
3) You’re going to kill yourself! Um, no, not really. You might die of inertia, but I won’t! I’d prefer to be in the ring, taking chances for what I believe in. I’d rather risk it all, than sit on the sidelines talking about what the change makers are doing. There are many things to improve in the word. Change takes time, personal investment, and is not always convenient or easy. Great change can require a need to sacrifice creature comforts. Some have lost their lives standing up for what they believe in, yet their acts of grace and strength are what enable us to have “rights”. Ultimately, it’s more fulfilling to be exhausted from living a full life, than to be a Monday morning quarterback. Get up or shut up.
Our days aren’t promised, but our actions reverberate beyond our existence. Don’t be my pet peeve. Do something about things you care about. We all have the power to create unimaginable beauty in this word. As Thich Nhat Hanh said, “Because you are alive, everything is possible.”