I’ve Left the Busy Life Behind

I’ve been working very hard at not comparing myself to others.  In fact, it was just over a year ago that I shared this journey of growth with you, and it’s not easy, but I’ve worked hard, and while I still slip up, I am happy to admit that I am much better about not judging myself!

Like most things, you don’t always notice what a difference is being made when you make it in small steps.  Because I have just been taking baby steps in my self improvement, and because I’ve been so focused on becoming a better Me, I hadn’t realized how far I have actually come…

I never look back darling the incredibles

…until the other day.  All of the sudden, every where I went I was hearing people talking to each other.

“Wow, that sounds like a lot”

“You look tired.”

“You look stressed”

“That sounds really busy.”

I even said some of those same things to others.

And the answers got me thinking.

Why doesn’t anyone say that to me? Why don’t I look tired?  Basically, from what I heard, they weren’t any busier than I was. It was all different things, but basically the same. Everyone I talked to, who told me how busy they were, I just smiled and nodded and walked away a bit perplexed.

If we are doing basically the same things, why don’t I look tired? Why aren’t people telling me ‘oh you poor soul, how do you keep up?’


As a side note – here is a prime example of my struggle not to compare.  I was walking a fine line between judging activities and wondering what was different in my life!  It’s not easy, but I really was trying to reflect on what was different!

I tried talking to Mr. T about it.

Then I remembered that he was a 16 year old boy.

That was about as helpful as windshield wipers on a goats butt.

(Is that too crass? I’ve been trying to find a way to work that into a conversation for about 3 years now!!)

Needless to say, as much as I love him, he wasn’t helpful!

So I called up a friend of mine and regurgitated all of these thoughts and feelings and not-that-I’m-comparing-but-what-is-wrong-with-me statements.

And she summed it up in one sentence.

I’ve left the busy behind.

In my efforts to not compare myself to others, I realized that I didn’t have to compete with how I spent my time. And if it’s not a competition, then I can do what I want.

nemo don't touch the boat

I have been able to fill my life doing things I love, things I want to do, things that bring me joy! Yes, I still have crap that fills my everyday life, but I get to balance that with fun.  When I stopped comparing what I was doing to what others were doing, I was able to take the “busy” out of my being busy.

I still have times that I go non-stop, but the difference is, I have given myself permission to have fun.  I have given myself permission to do what brings me joy and bliss and peace.

So, I’m happy to report that there is a massive unexpected side effect happening in my life, not only am I better at not comparing myself to others, I’ve discovered a new joy and unexpected balance in my life.


52 thoughts on “I’ve Left the Busy Life Behind

  1. What a great realization Kate! When we live at choice, and let go of judging and competing, life becomes so much easier. Welcome on board fellow traveler. I’m proud of you and the work you have done to get here 💕

  2. Windshield wipers on a goat’s butt… Lol!!

    I love this post. Our culture puts way too much emphasis and glorification on being busy. I love to focus on happiness and slowing down.

  3. Awesome Kate! Our culture exalts busy-ness. It is so stupid. People love to play the martyr…”oh poor me, look how busy I am”. I have certainly done it before. But then I realized what a waste of a life that is and learned to say no to what I don’t want to do and yes to what I do. What that meant was that my level of busy-ness hasn’t changed, but I am happier with what I am doing. I love my life and its fullness. I certainly wouldn’t want any “oh your poor thing” comments. Sounds like you are living the life you choose too! xo

    • This is it exactly Kerry!! This is what I couldn’t figure out how to put into words and yes, once I had to stop comparing myself to others, then I couldn’t play the martyr – and all of the sudden, I saw all of the waste in my life!
      And you are right, the level of busy-ness hasn’t changed (In fact, there are times that I think it has increased) but it doesn’t wear me out and drag me down anymore because I am doing what I love! 🙂 And, I’m so glad you are, too! I know that you’ve had your own change and growth that you’ve had to contend with and work on, so I’m happy to hear that you are living the life you choose!!! 🙂

    • Yay!!! I love to hear that! It’s not always an easy journey, but so worth it!! I’d always heard that comparison is the thief of joy – but until this challenge, I never really believed it – and once I started practicing not comparing myself – I really was surprised at how I could find joy in what I was doing!

  4. Giving yourself permission to have fun, noticing what is happening and being an observer who make choices …
    Is HUGE Kate. 🙂
    Note for future … Love the 16 year old to pieces but his life lessons and growth are at a different plane…. He needs to experience the earlier lessons … Which involve dealing with struggles and challenges in a more independent world. Your role now is to be there to support.
    Val xo

  5. Well done! Congratulations Kate 🙂 I never really thought of you as someone who compared yourself to others… you’ve always (at least to me) have seemed (and is still) a very well-rounded, well-balanced and one of the nicest people I’ve ever met whether offline or online 🙂 When I grow up, I want to be like you. Oh wait, I am a year older than you, what on earth am I saying? 😉 xx

    • That’s one of the nicest things any one has said 🙂 Thank you! And I’d like to think that I’m well-rounded – but there is always something to be improved upon! And yes, I was very bad about comparing myself to others! I still have my moments – but I’m getting better!

  6. Don’t you love those “Aha” moments?!?! They are such a a gift, aren’t they? Obviously, the “goat line” was such a hit- if you have any more lines such as this, I would just bypass waiting for the right time/blog to insert them. I would just put them in the blog title, hit “publish” and call it a day.

  7. Inspiring! Truly a wonderful place you are in: JOY and PEACE! Is there anything better? Not to mention “Windshield wipers on a goats butt”! I will have to save that for my own use sometime. Brilliant!
    2015 is going to be one heck of a year for you!
    This has to be one of the best posts I’ve read in a long time (anywhere).

  8. People look busy and tired because of how they handle life emotionally. Some look at life as though it is a constant work, while others look at each experience and take joy in them. It’s all about our perspective, and this case you have a great one! Keep it up. It makes a considerable difference.

    • It does make a considerable difference! I’m all for a good wallow and pity party, but I couldn’t imagine a life that I looked at as work, so I’ll continue to take joy from each experience! No matter how silly it makes me look to others! 🙂 Thank you Mewhoami!

  9. This morning someone said something to me along the lines of, “We are way behind you! No decorations or tree yet.”

    I replied, “It’s not a race.” 😛

    When we know WHO we are, we know HOW to live. Go you! So glad you left the busy behind.

  10. This was written so well friend. You truly inspire. So funny my word this year is balance but I never put it with the comparing thing, I can see your point though, trying to keep up with other mom’s may have us being torn in different directions which makes so much sense. See there you go again with your wisdom mixed with wit. I love this post very much and the little bits of quotes and illustrations you found to go with it.

    • I’m so very glad you enjoyed it Tracie!! I honestly never expected to find my balance on this journey – I really was working towards something totally different – it was a complete Aha! moment. And, I know that your word for 2015 is Balance, so I was excited to be able to share this with you!

  11. I love the humor . . . Poor goat 😉 HA! But what an awesome aHa! moment 🙂 You know, I had one of those a few months ago during DV Awareness month, when all of a sudden I realized I didn’t want to rob myself of joy by dragging myself backwards. I hadn’t even realized I’d come so far 🎉 When it hit me, I was like, “Hmmm…I did NOT see THAT coming!” 🙈🔮🐒

  12. When you give yourself permission to have fun and not take everything to heart, you allow yourself the freedom to fail. We all do it but man, when I do fail, I feel like the only one!! I love your perspective and I enjoyed this post.

    On another note, I think the 3 years of waiting to use your vivid line was totally worth it!! It’s now implanted in my brain and I’m sure the image will pop up again when my boys are half children/half men (teenagers) ;-)!!

    • hehehehehe! I’m so not kidding, that’s been written on a post it note, shoved in the back of my desk for years – just waiting for the right moment! 🙂
      And, thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and perspective! Plus, I can’t tell you how many times I exclaim “Oh thank goodness I’m not the only one!” LOL

  13. LOL – I was caught very delightfully off guard with that “windshield wipers on a goat’s butt” line! Thank you for that!!! (Side note: loving the holiday theme you have going on here!)

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