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“The Too Busy Syndrome” by Bev Scott


Too much doing; not enough being

When I returned from my vacation in July, I vowed to hold on to the calm relaxed enjoyment of a slower pace that vacation had provided.  My partner and I took a road trip, mostly avoiding Interstate’s, exploring small towns, reading historical markers, searching out museums  and taking our time.  We refreshed our souls sitting lakeside beside still blue water, or listening to a river meandering over rocks and boulders, or staring at the majestic beauty of the Grand Tetons.  We took time to breathe fresh mountain air, climb to vista points and learn about history made in the settlement of the West.  I came home calm, peaceful and regenerated. 

I managed to hold onto the feeling for a couple of weeks but it required my intentional effort to focus on the moment, say “no” to both professional and personal invitations and carve out time each day for quiet reflection and just “being”.  This is what the 3rd Act is about!  But before long, I found myself back to my 2nd Act behavior or what Ellen DeGeneres has termed TBS, or Too-Busy Syndrome.   I was spending too much time on email, over-scheduling myself and feeling frustrated that my “To do List” was not getting shorter!

Now it is Labor Day Weekend, the time set aside to recognize all who labor and work hard to keep our country going.  In Scott Simon’s NPR poignant commentary  on Saturday, he reflects on the challenges of having no work, no labor to celebrate on this weekend.  I was touched by his words, rebuked myself for my frustration and silently expressed my appreciation and gratitude for a full, comfortable and satisfying life in my 3rd Act.  My angst and annoyance at my TBS are my own doing.  I can change that and I am very fortunate.  I am taking time this weekend in reflection to be grateful, to slow down again and to just “be” and not “do”. 

I hope you have found some peace, some time for relaxation, and some gratitude for your life, recently.  Let me know your experience in your comments below.

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3 comments to “The Too Busy Syndrome” by Bev Scott

  • Bev,

    Reading your wise words is like a balm for the soul–thanks for the reminder about the blessing of life and gratitude, even in the midst of our rampant busy-ness. As I approached this last weekend, I was struck by how unscheduled my calendar was, because we had been planning to go on vacation and changed our plans at the last minute. Then, of course, I get a cold, because it is the only time I’ll stop to recharge the batteries. Your post brings a sense of peace and calm on this day when I am trying to catch up with everything. Thanks!

  • Joyce R

    Thanks Bev for the reminder about TBS…and I too was moved when I heard Scott Simon’s commentary this past weekend.

  • James H

    Just a quick thank you for your blog.
    Maybe I was already reflective…maybe the land we have ‘waiting’ in Last Chance, ID in site of the Tetons contributed to my connecting to your words and thoughts. In any case, it touched me. We are consumed with growing our economy, business, wealth…TBS indeed!
    I’m probably further into my own 3rd Act than I am acknowledging…

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