I’m not one of those people who prides themselves on being busy, or who loves to dramatize about how I’m so busy all the time. I fight really hard against being busy. I have a job that has regular hours and I’m working hard to keep them. I try very hard not to take on too many commitments. However, between my work with the bar association and my desire for a new job sometime in the next year, I seem to have gotten quite busy.
Our ordinarily scheduled events have been interrupted by a last-minute networking event; my regularly scheduled networking events run over into a post-event drink with a friend who gives me cover letter advice. I’m still not good enough at networking to have made anything come out of these encounters, much to my chagrin, and I get home late and apologize to my spouse who has made his own dinner and done the dishes.
I have been so busy that I have missed deadlines for jobs that I wanted, that I have been late to see friends, that I have been lax about keeping in touch with people. I think, frequently, about how to intentionally slow down my life so that I’m not so busy all the time, so that I’m not missing my friends or stressed out, but I can’t seem to make it happen. Instead, I try to schedule weeks or months ahead of an event so that we know it’s coming and on the calendar. I try to keep in touch with friends in other ways – my best friend from law school and I simply write each other long, newsy emails to keep in touch, because otherwise we see each other for an hour at an event and don’t get to talk. If I do get an unexpected evening off or have a free Friday night, I try not to “waste it” if I don’t need the downtime. I start calling friends to see what they might be up to. If they are free, we go out. If they aren’t, I see my husband.
I have realized recently that the people who are involved in everything, active members of everything, are people who are spread so thin they are unable to make a contribution to those things. I do not want to be that person. I want to be able to fulfill my commitments, instead of having to juggle six meetings on the same day. I am already stretched thin enough to feel as if I do not have time to do everything that I want to do. I want to scale back, but I’m not sure how without insulting my friends, letting my career suffer, or not getting to do all of the fun things I want to do.