Too Busy to Live


Collage art card by Maria Gatling

I attended a Tuesday “Restoring Balance” Luncheon at Seton Cove yesterday and found it worthy of sharing this bit of information with you. The email announcement is what caught my attention and told me to just drop whatever I thought I had to do that day and be there.

Overwhelmed: Our Modern Malady of Confusing Busyness with Purposefulness

 “At night I wake up in a panic about all the things I need to do or didn’t get done. I worry that I’ll face my death and realize that my life got lost in this frantic flotsam of daily stuff.”  Brigid Schulte, from Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time

To be busy beyond our capabilities is the “red badge of courage’ for our times. The universal answer to the question “How are you?’” now seems to be “I am busy—super busy. Too busy.” We answer with a wry grin. But there is just a tiny point of pride in our answer. It’s as if by announcing our busyness, we are justifying our place in the universe. “I’m unbelievably busy so therefore I must be important!” “Right?”  Our hearts, souls, and bodies might beg to disagree!

Patty Speier, Executive Director of the Seton Cove lead us through an informative discussion of the causes of our sense of overwhelm as we looked at how busyness is robbing us of meaning and purpose and damaging our relationships. In the process we discovered and discussed antidotes to this frantic busyness and began to calm our sense of overwhelm.

These are just a few of the quotes she shared with us:

“You have slept for millions and millions of years. Why not wake up this morning?” Kabir

“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” Mary Oliver

“The way you live your days is the way you live your life.” Annie Dillard

“Time is the coin of your life. You spend it. Do not allow others to spend it for you.” Carl Sandberg

I hope this has inspired you to think about how you spend your time and who you value enough to spend that face to face time with. I find that I need to say “no” to more and more, including social media, so I can spend my time living a more purposeful life. This photo below was taken this morning while taking my walk among nature….one of my most favorite things to do….every day.

IMG_0079_SnapseedUntil next time, may you be inspired to create something every day! ~Maria



  1. Thanks for sharing this. I am working to take time each day for myself and enjoy life because I am very aware how quickly it can be gone in one breath. I love the nature photo. See ya soon!

  2. Another great post Maria. I too am saying no a whole lot more. I am finding that if I allow it, life runs me instead of the other way around.

    In a lot of ways, I’ve lived a life that was being dictated by someone else and someone else’s priorities. Only in the last couple of years have I decided to take that power back and regain control and started prioritizing what is important to me, how I spend my time and ultimately what I want to focusing on. It’s a constant battle but I’ve become exceptionally good at doing battle on a daily. Fortunately I win more than I lose these days.

    Thanks for the quotes. Really, really appreciate you sharing them and so grateful for the insightful post and the nuggets you took away from Patty’s talk.

  3. This post is very timely – for me personally and I think for the world as a whole. We are quite rightly often too busy to live. And, yes, being busy has become a mantra for many of us giving our lives a purpose – apparently. I need to say more “no” – and do more often what I love to do, although I have over the years become better at it. Thanks for a great post.

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