The Holidays and the Cult of Busy-ness

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you’re enjoying your respite (and hopefully you do get one) with family and friends. I’m back home in NYC and enjoying time with loved ones. While all of this is wonderful and happy-making and I am truly grateful for this time of year…

…Do you ever feel like the holidays can bring some sense of angst? Or that somehow you’re not “doing the holidays right”? I do. There’s this expectation that because it’s holiday time, you must be so incredibly dizzyingly busy that you’re close to burn out. We’re bombarded by that message on TV, in magazines, online, etc. But, I find that I am not exceedingly “busy” and I feel worried that somehow I’m missing out on something great because I’m not so busy. Do I not have enough friends to entertain, not enough invites to holiday parties, not enough presents to buy? Am I missing out on something? Specifically, I think there’s this idea that women in particular must be exceptionally busy to be considered successful – that a woman must be balancing a thousand relationships and obligations at once. But, I’m an introvert and I treasure doing things slowly, savoring time with friends where I’m not distracted and not overextending myself.

Is this “cult of busy-ness” something that begins to happen in your thirties? I’ve found that this idea of being superwoman – managing a career, relationships, children, a home – seems to have become more omnipresent in my thirties.

As a dramatic writer, I often think about the silence in between moments between characters – that space where much is expressed without words. Silence does not mean inaction in a screenplay or stage play. I think this is true in life as well. Being busy and running around fulfilling to-do list check-off items isn’t necessarily more fulfilling than quiet moments of reflection.

So, I wish to you a holiday full of family, friends, and good food – but also, moments of quiet gratitude where you can take in all around you and rejoice.

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