Is Exhaustion the New Status Quo?

 

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I listened to a podcast yesterday by Michael Hyatt (I was busy with the kids while I listened, but if you want to know the exact one, contact me and we can narrow it down) and Mr. Hyatt said that he read somewhere recently that exhaustion is considered to be the new status quo.  That basically, we prove our worth by proving how busy we are.

For some reason that statement ran over and over again in my head last night.  I couldn’t shake it.  It convicted me.

In my early morning before-kids-wake-up time, I googled “exhaustion status quo,” “are we exhausted,” and “is exhaustion new status quo?”  It brought up one article that was pertinent which I will share some exerts from.

Here is what jumped around in my mind last night:

Since the invention of social media (a.k.a. my college years- not to be confused with The College Years which are totally Saved by the Bell episodes – ;)).

We brag about how busy we are! It appears to establish us.

Remember Instant Messenger?

You’re away message was something like, “coffee, then 3 hour class, then internship, and back here to finish that thesis.  Some day there will be time for friends. Sad face.”

Now we call or text other moms and talk about how busy we are between Jr’s soccer games and exercise and loads of laundry.  We make an idol out of busy-ness because everyone is doing it and we might as well follow along.

The more I dwelt on this, I could see how I’ve done this to make myself feel less like “just a mom” and more like the other women I see that are working outside the house.  I know that Social Media at times has made me feel like I don’t do anything important because I’m too busy wiping snotty noses or reading Berenstein Bears.

An article in the Atlantic may sum it up better than I can:

“We do talk about how busy and overwhelmed we are all the time—think about how we talk to each other. “How are you?” “Fried. You?” “Same.” When was the last time someone said, “I’ve been doing absolutely nothing.” We usually launch into an exhausting laundry list of stuff…

We’re working more hours—more extreme hours at one job at the upper end of the socio-economic spectrum and cobbling together several jobs to try to make ends meet at the lower end. Our standards for what it takes to be a good parent, particularly a good mother, are insanely high and out of proportion to all reality.”

If you go read the entire article, I don’t agree with all of her premises, but I do think that we somehow need to stop being so busy – to prove to an employer or a co-worker or even our family that we have self-worth.

This doesn’t mean we decide to balk the status quo and become lazy.  Proverbs will show you otherwise.

As a last thought- before I opened Google this morning, I opened the Bible.  I’ve really been drawn to Ecclesiastes lately and this just jumped off the page at me-

“The fool folds his hands and ruins himself.  Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.”

I want to intentionally choose to be less busy so I can enjoy God’s greatest gifts.

I want to stop talking about being tired- because that conversation could probably go on for another 20 years…

I want to focus on those things that are important to my legacy.

 

What do you think- is exhaustion the new status quo?  Why is that?  Do you feel guilty if you don’t take on another project or enroll the kids in another educational or extracurricular activity?  Is this worse for men or women?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

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3 thoughts on “Is Exhaustion the New Status Quo?

  • February 28, 2015 at 2:23 pm
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    It’s ridiculous that we have trouble slowing down! I was just telling someone the other day that I had promised my husband that I’d be home 2 nights a week. Pretty crazy that all I can manage is 2 nights a week at home!

    Reply
    • February 28, 2015 at 3:55 pm
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      That is nuts! Do you think the things that keep you away are things you are obligated to do, or things you have just added to your plate for whatever reason? I guess what I’m trying to get to is: do we stay late at work, take on other tasks, to get a better job in the long run- or just to be busy because we feel pressured to be doing something?!?

      Reply
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