a mouth full of starbursts

June 28th, 2012   |   LifeThink About It


As I’ve mentioned recently, I have just been through a season of extreme stress and busyness.

The good news is that my Summer Hours and Not Gonna Try list have substantially melted that anxiety and overbearing schedule. I’ve returned back to my normal, fun, goofy self rather than the tense, uptight, and edgy Jess I was for a few weeks.

It has been nice to be happy and more relaxed again.

As things continue to unfold the rest of this summer, some of the events I thought I would be preparing for very soon are delayed (our apartment isn’t going to be ready until October and our puppy probably won’t be in our home until November).

And I’ll admit, though I was extremely stressed out less than a month ago, it’s hard not to be disappointed that we won’t get our new home and puppy sooner. Even if that meant more stress on my plate now.

But as I’ve reflected on how things have evolved over the past few months, I’ve realized something pretty important:

I had become addicted to having an overwhelming schedule. 

From the moment that I started doing the workshops, my workload increased by 30% in February. Which was exhilarating at the start. But on top of the MML, Jess LC, and BWI juggle, soon rested my engagement, impending move, social engagements, and puppy preparations.

It was all too much.

I went from thrill junky to strung out stress-ball.

It was like eating a handful of Starbursts all at once. Eating one Starburst at a time is pleasant. I can enjoy the flavor of each candy individually as it melts on my tongue. But if I crammed 12 Starbursts in my mouth the experience would be stressful, disgusting, and could crack a tooth.

My packed schedule was very close to landing me in the metaphorical dentist’s office.

So now my new intention is to re-frame how I feel about busyness and what it represents to me. I want to stop seeing other people’s extreme busyness as a attribute (or indication) of their success. I want to stop feeling self-important just because I might have a busy schedule. I want to look at my life as qualitative, not quantitative.

It’s not about how much I do, it’s about doing what I do well.

If I choose to cut back and do “less,” I want to see higher dividends from those actions that I take.

I think I’m finally re-learning the essence of making under in a whole new way: I had been adding more to my schedule, thinking that I would be happier and more successful. But the truth is the happiness I sought was waiting for me underneath the mountain of obligation I had created.


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  • That is so true! It is addicting and I think we all go through withdrawl, thinking we don’t do enough. It’s kind of sad. But I think you’re on the right track of doing some things well. That’s definitely what I want my life to be like, we just get caught up in “stuff.” I think I’ll try making under my schedule!

  • AMEN to all of this 🙂

  • So true. Busyness is addicting. I went from working two jobs (one that I hated) and running a business to just running a business (that I love) and felt like my life wasn’t full filling as my friends because I wasn’t running around as much as they were!

  • Mary

    “Tis better to be Great at one thing thank to be “Ok” at many things”

  • CB

    This is a good realization, Jess. I like the starburst analogy 🙂

  • Jess

    I’m so glad you guys are with me on the schedule thing!

    What a hard addiction to break.