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Being intentional with busyness

Focus, finish and turn in. Thoughts that twist and mold like clay inside the mind of a student, part-time worker, young adult or all of the above. Busy becomes a part of the job requirement as soon as high school ends, and it can quickly suffocate our capacity to be genuinely intentional.

We live in a time where it’s easy to move from tired to tired, and thing to thing. The cycle seems endless, until senior year creeps up like a shadow on a dark street, looming above every decision, reaction and choice, bringing the pressures of outside life into the moments of the present.
The life of an overwhelmed individual is puzzlingly ubiquitous, with the cares of everyday life dragging our hearts to a seemly inescapable place. Mindsets can be easily coaxed to look nervously at the week from a Monday, begging for the next Saturday.

And when that weekend does approach, we start looking to the next. The laundry, homework and gasoline repeat, and although it’s briefly freeing, the span between Friday and Sunday is not as refreshing as summer break, and we wish it were every time.

Sleepy, foggy eyes stare blankly at a computer screen, while fingers tap and twist to keep time moving forward. Our minds remain desperate to stay awake in lectures, as we aimlessly search social platforms to keep our pet, Busy, alive, and at ease. Nonetheless, busyness is not always a monster that seeks to devour our ability to be purposeful.

The loved ones in my life joke with me because whenever I take a road trip anywhere longer than an hour I fall asleep almost instantly, and I think it’s because, when I’m stuck in the car unable to move, my body withdraws into a state of sleep.

Rest and sleep are really different things, though. Rest is refreshing, life- giving and calm. Sleep is unconscious. This is why when we grasp desperately at the weekend, the next Monday is still ravenous.

The key to rest and intentionality inside the realities of sleepiness and busy schedules is balance. Take time to lick the spoon while cooking a big meal. Choose to smile at a store clerk. Shake hands with a stranger. Create community with kindness, regardless of the rest of the day ahead.

Learning to suffocate busyness with intentionality is the goal. In the face of authenticity, busy demanding schedules fall short to intentional and beautiful moments.