Those of you who read my blog regularly are probably familiar with my stance on the modern “busy-ness” plague that has sucked up most of the world recently. If you don’t read my blog regularly, or you aren’t familiar with my stance on the “busy-ness” plague, I think it’s one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard of. Lot’s of people in the business world are “too busy” to spend time with their families, to learn a new skill, or do anything that isn’t “work.” Despite all the studies that say overworked people work less affectively, that people who multitask actually can’t pay much attention to any of the multiple things they are doing, or the suicide and divorce rates among business people, people still think that it’s so important to be “busy” doing something. These people get their kids busy from a young age. First they put them in whatever summer camps they can find so they don’t have to take care of their kids as much, then they get the kids working at school so that they can get into the best college, and once they’re in the best college they have to get the best grades while doing internships, and after that they have to get into the best graduate school and get the best jobs. Why?
My opinion on the matter is that the best job is the job that you’ll enjoy doing the most. What is the point of money if you don’t enjoy making or spending it? There is none. However, I’m at an earlier stage of the problem. Lots of people, or so I hear, at university give up their lives to study. I know it may be shocking to hear, but it happens. I’m guilty of this sometimes, if not frequently. And I think it’s stupid. University is about learning. It’s about learning a new skill, or learning about something that interests you, or answering questions that you’ve always wanted to answer. It’s not about getting plugged into the matrix so it can suck the life out of your frail human body. Maybe I’m not the best example of a “socialite,” but for God’s sake, people, live a little!
When University takes over your life, it’s a very sad thing. I for one intend to live when I’m not in school, and if I spend my free time doing something educational, it’s going to be because I want to, not because I feel I need to keep busy. There’s no race to finish school, and there’s no prize for finishing early. So if going out with friends and building projects and taking violin lessons means that I have to take a year or two more to finish my education, I really couldn’t care less. There’s a not so well defined cliche that warns to work first so you can play later; we’ve gotten so hooked up on the “work first” bit that we’re forgetting to play. Once I’ve finished the work I need to do now, I’m not going to make more work for myself, I’m going to take that time and do what I want with it.
The problem with always thinking about the future is that you never get to enjoy the present, so the future you’re working for never arrives. There has to be a combination of enjoying what time you have now, and not screwing yourself over 10 years from now. I know I’ll mess up a few times, and maybe I won’t manage my time correctly and I’ll get stuck once in a while. But I’ll recover, and at least I’ll be happy in the meantime.
My message, to those of you in school, is that “I have too much work” is a damned poor excuse for turning down something thing that you really want to do. Sometimes you really do have too much work, and that’s ok, but when we always have too much work, there’s a problem somewhere. Take some time for yourself once in a while. After all, you have to spend the rest of your life with yourself.