What We Hitch Our Worth To

You’re really busy, she said. And you still make time…

The woman continued talking. But I had latched onto the word busy.

Yes! I am busy. Busy means IMPORTANT! Many, many people want and need my time. I schedule out many, many weeks in advance. I am unavailable for last-minute invites. Like CEOs, Executives, Captains of Industry! BUSY MEANS I MATTER.

I basked in the warm glow of my significance. But it was cut short.

You know that’s not true, a discerning part of me said. It’s the cult of busy. “Work! Do! Go! Stillness = Lazy, which is bad, bad, bad.” You really buy that snake oil?

Oh, shut UP, the basking part of me said. Must you rain on every parade?

Just this one, the discerning part said. It’s no parade; it’s a sham that robs you of yourself. Your worth will not be found in your busyness. But it can be recovered in your stillness. Recovered: your worth is innate, but you got unhooked from it in all your busy making. Don’t be so conventional. Risk stillness.

The woman wasn’t talking anymore. I’d listened to her with half a mind. The other half was coming to terms with how conventions around busy were doing nothing for me.

Thank you, I said to her.

With one word, she’d shown me how I can hitch a whole chunk of my worth to something that could never deliver on it.

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