I thought at one point that I was not addicted to busyness, that it was only that my job forced me to work hours upon hours outside of my salaried schedule. I thought, that if I could, I would be happy to recline on the sofa and enjoy filling my days with books, cats, and gardens. I thought that I would gladly kiss busy goodbye and embrace quiet stillness.
I certainly do not like the pressure of juggling obligations and deadlines, but if I am being honest with myself, I turn into a basket case as soon as I sit down with a blank agenda. This is how I ended up with a job that filled my one precious empty morning each week last semester and how I very nearly ended up teaching every weekend. My partner is a gentle man who never tries to bend me into someone I am not, but every so often he will remind me of a wish I spoke aloud for simplicity and rest. And then I inevitably (if sheepishly) explain why it is that, despite everyone’s encouragement to grad students in my program to take winter break off, it is essential that I go into field on my free days.
Perhaps I am, like my father once suggested to my undoubtedly balking face, a workaholic. But maybe I’m a workaholic moving out of the contemplation stage and into the preparation stage for change. It is true that I am anxious without activity, but it is also true that I do deeply desire room in my days for mindfulness, wonder, and reflection. And I can’t obsessively chase every obligation and have the space for these things that I value.
This is where it starts: today, I seek wonder and peace. This is not a New Year’s Resolution.