I’d like to take some time to reflect on an aspect of my life that has been characteristic of me for at least the past 10 years. That characteristic is that my life for the past decade has been BUSY. I mean, I know that sounds almost cliché, and everyone has a different definition of what “busy” really constitutes. But from a personal standpoint, I find my normal disposition to be one of being busy most of the time.
So, given that I just mentioned the definitional fluidity of the term “busy,” it would be disingenuous of me to move on without providing some clarification. I don’t consider myself in a hurried state of being. My version of “busy” is really more of a description of the surplus of activities and projects that I always have available. This isn’t really a “to-do” list, so much as it is a seemingly never-ending series of projects I look forward to.
An important aspect of my busyness is that it is mostly voluntary. I’m not swamped with tasks I have to complete. I take on projects and activities that are only ones that I find rewarding and enjoy. By most people’s standards, though, it probably looks like I’m a workaholic or putting myself under unnecessary amounts of stress. But what others may see as an unpleasant experience that I worked myself into, it’s quite the opposite: I very much enjoy being busy with meaningful and challenging tasks.
Back as an undergrad at BGSU, I was heavily involved in a Learning Community called IMPACT (which stood for Integrating Moral Principles And Critical Thinking). Now, my very involvement with such a group was by itself an unnecessary investment of time and energy that was not at all necessary to getting my bachelor’s degree. On top of that was the fact that I probably devoted at least as much time and energy to IMPACT as I did to my other coursework in college.
Was I busy because of that involvement? Definitely! But the educational and intellectual value I received from that involvement was well worth the time. I received a bachelor’s degree in physics from BGSU. I currently work with computers, doing nothing really related to physics. But the intellectual maturation that (I at least hope) I have benefited from through my involvement with IMPACT has applicability to a much wider range of human experience than calculating particle velocities, or other skills of a physicist. So by investing time in meaningful “fox-like” behavior (more on this in a future post), I prevented my four years of academics in college from being a “waste.”
There’s also another important point about “being busy.” I do not seek to be busy simply for the sake of being busy. Video games, television, and spending copious amounts of time just “hanging out” are also available to let me “stay busy,” or perhaps more accurately, “stay occupied.” The activities I engage in that keep me busy are (at least I try to make them) meaningful, enjoyable, or intellectually/ academically/ educationally rewarding. The fact that I am busy so often is a result of that passion for learning, not the other way around.
Until next time, bonnes pensées.