The Busy Badge

I love America.  I love being American.  I love the liberties & freedoms that we are granted in this great country.  I love the cultural melting pot in which we live and I love the varied differences across the regions of our country.  We are a country of many accomplishments, but we are also a flawed nation.

In my opinion, the greatest flaw of Americans is the glorification of busyness.  I once had a wise friend who gently told me that I wore my busyness like a badge of pride.  She was right, and I remind myself daily that my life’s goal is not to be busy, but to live. My husband is an expert at personal boundaries and I’ve learned a great deal from him in the past two years.  He’s taught me many things:  how to love selflessly, how to run a household, how to make a budget–but his best gift to me has been the ability to say no.

The key to ending the glorification of busyness is that magic word, two letters, one syllable:  no.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret:  the word no does not offend people.  It’s refreshing.  I now say no more than I say yes, and I’m a better person for it.

Don’t you want to coach cheerleading?  No.

We’d love to have you serve on this committee.  Are you interested?  No.

Can you make three dozen cupcakes for our meeting?  No.

Please believe me when I say that it goes against my nature to say no.  I’m not a people person, I enjoy my solitude, but I am a people pleaser.  The trick to using the word no is to be prepared to say it.  You’ll feel terribly rude and unapproachable at first, but when you build those personal boundaries up, you’ll realize that others around you are envious of your newfound ability.

After you’ve mastered the art of the word no, you can begin to explore what you really want.  For me, the word no has enabled me to toss my Busy Badge in the trash.  I linger over late dinners, light candles on my dinner table, and enjoy a second cup of hot tea on a wintry afternoon.  Instead of pushing books to the wayside, I read them.  Now that I’ve ended the glorification of busyness in my home, Josh and I journal to each other {instead of sending rushed text messages}.

During this holiday season, we as a nation are busier than ever.  My hope for you is that you can embrace the word no and build personal boundaries.  Embrace the simple pleasures in life:  love, food, and quality time.




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