Elusion: Why do we keep so busy?


The act of escaping.

– The act of continuously hiding.

There was the focus of seeking pleasure, and the numbing effect once they are finished, removing all specific thoughts from her brain. It ushered in the solid, dreamless sleep that otherwise eluded her.

-Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland

Something that made me look back at my life and the things I have been doing in the last couple of years. On scanning, I could definitely say that this was the time when I spent most of it doing the things I wanted to or living the way I wanted to. Some introspection and self-love helped me discover my favorite things or the ones that brought me joy.

But some close observance, I felt that whatever I was doing, I kind of overdid it. In a way, I was keeping myself too busy.

I wondered when was the last time I just did nothing. It’s always great to kill our time with the things we like doing. For me when not working, it could be exploring a new place, reading/writing, or listening to my favorite music or watching my kind of movies/Netflix etc. But then I asked myself some questions:

Why can’t I just relax or rest for a while?

Do I need to slow down a little?

Why am I overdoing everything; too much traveling, too much reading…?

On doing some research, I was able to get to the two sides of the discussion here.

The first one throws light on the idle mind and says that if we are idle it’s not only boring but leads to unhappiness. As we are humans who can think and feel the need of keeping ourselves busy, unlike the animals who mostly prefer to idle out their time and go around being lazy. However the point is we can’t keep busy just for the sake of being busy, but we need a reason, even if it’s a shaky one. Now that’s the catch here: A reason

I found the second view of this topic challenging enough to keep me mulling over it. Any day when we find ourselves not doing any of our favorite things we think that we wasted our day or call it unproductive. Because having more of downtime means we would be facing more of ourselves or our own lives which is not that easy.

Am I comfortable with the feelings of boredom?

Why do I feel unworthy and unlovable unless I’m overachieving?Β 

Am I happy being just an Ordinary person?

All these questions conclude to “Elusion“, some kind of hiding that people tend to do. There is, of course, no doubt that when we keep ourselves busy in the things we love, it brings us sheer pleasure. It’s again correct that the time we spent doing the passionate things is meaningful for us, but not most of the time. Β They are easy means to hide and escape.

Our daily life is nothing more than a long list of To-do lists which never seems to end. At our workplaces, we keep on contemplating with our targets, try to overachieve our boss’s expectations or at least try to match up with them. Same thing goes with our personal lives. We hardly can manage to save time to think about the day just passed on, rather we are always brooding on how will be our next day or future.Β 

Why are we so entangled with this so called “busy life”? We forget that we need to relax or we just don’t have to be “so busy” all the time.

Author Brene in her book “Daring Greatly”, tells us to ask ourselves the following questions:

Are my choices comforting and nourishing my spirit, or are they temporary reprieves from vulnerability and difficult emotions ultimately diminishing my spirit? Are my choices leading my wholeheartedness, or do they leave me feeling empty and searching?”

Your take?

I end up listening to one of my favorite tracks by Coldplay which goes like this:

When you try your best but you don’t succeed

When you get what you want but not what you need

When you feel so tired but you can’t sleep
Stuck in reverse

When the tears come streaming down your face

When you lose something you can’t replace

When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home

And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

High up above or down below
When you’re too in love to let it go

If you never try you’ll never know
Just what you’re worth

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones

And I will try to fix you

Some insights from

Are You Addicted to Being Busy?

The Need to Be Busy

Coldplay Lyrics and Song Fix You

Cover Page Source

32 thoughts on “Elusion: Why do we keep so busy?

  1. There are people who believe that slowing down or wiling time away is a waste. Hence this obsession to keep doing. For us we see it as investing time in building mental good health – ie free of stress and pressure to complete something every other minute. We wrote about being overworked like the serfs but in reality we are overstressed!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! Mind and Body goes together, if one goes wrong, you just cant be good enough to do anything.
      And well I have been one of them who thought slowing down was wasting. But its good to discover this side.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Truly narrated.
    It’s been said “beware the barrenness of busy life”.

    Yeah, some people likes to be busy, why? Because they can’t digest calmness, they are little bit of shaky we can say, they feel like they are wasting time while doing nothing as you said Polomi. They have a long list of todo, they want to do all. I used to fill same from my childhood, I remember once upon a time I was not liking Sundays and holidays but as I grow old I got to know at the end of the day we are humans and definitely needs rest, relief, Break and peace. So don’t get trap out of it and relax. life is happening at it’s speed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg. Thank you much for reading all this madam and agreeing to my thoughts. We match up most of the times. Hehe.
      And very correctly said, “Life will happen at its speed.”


  3. Very interesting post! I find myself having a hard time with keep a good balance as well as when I have quiet time with nothing planned I truly feel like I am being lazy or unproductive yet when I am super busy with things I’m kinda wishing I could have just 5 minutes alone. It’s weird how the mind makes us think we need certain things, usually the opposite of what situation we are in at that moment!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what I feel like sometimes, that we should just stop thinking but that doesn’t happens.
      In doing everything or not doing anything the hardest task is to pacify the mind.


  4. Wonderfully written and insightful post, Polomi. These days it seems society more & more pushes us to “do and achieve” at all costs. Where a busy lifestyle is an assurance to us all that we are living a meaningful life. The “busy mind” versus the “idle mind” ~ and I do think there is nothing worse than an idle mind. While I love being active, my favorite hobby is to find a place to rest & relax. To ponder. To get lost in insights, rather than out in the world.

    It is a bit of a contradiction with me, I suppose – and this contradiction seems to be beautifully explained when I match it with your post and Elusion. My running around the globe which is fueled by the work I do, I could probably trace back to a time when I was younger and wanted to elude all the expectations in my life (to achieve the success others envisioned for me)…and running away on adventures seemed to be the perfect cover. Still is, I suppose πŸ™‚

    My mind loves to spin, and doing what I want to do, whether it is exercise/hike/run or the exact opposite when I am truly lazy, doing nothing, I feel most at ease when my mind is active. Conversely, it seems when I am flying around, busy with mindless work/life issues trying to meet expectations that I begin to feel miserable and my mind seems to say “enough” and shuts down. And it is all a battle. The lyrics of your chosen song (one of my favorites) says it best: “If you never try you’ll never know, Just what you’re worth” And that alone keeps my mind churning, the quest to answer the question just what could happen…
    Cheers to a great weekend ahead πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You have hit on a widespread disease and a dangerous one. Get out the snakes and ladders throw the dice ; game can bring relief from real action, but remember the dividing line between the real and the unreal is often not discernible.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We tend to be creatures of habit and like to have things mapped out ; even on holiday people plan activities. Most of us work and that shapes us for routine so from the cradle to the grave we are told we must be organised. It is why adventure films are so popular they show us an exciting break in routine.

    Liked by 1 person

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