A challenging book by Brady Boyd
Want to Be a Great Parent? Take time for yourself!
I am not sure why, (tongue in cheek), but one of my sons recently sent me a copy of a challenging yet encouraging book. In Addicted to Busy, author Brady Boyd talks about thriving by resting. At first I was a little put off because, as busy as I am, many years ago I made a conscious choice not to work on Sundays, thus verifying that fact that I couldn't possibly be "addicted to busy". We ask our staff to take time off during the week, to not eat at their desks, installed "take a break " software on at least one computer for work during the day etc. My husband and I have a weekly date night and we even try to "rest" our facilities, but Boyd gives new insight into the power of rest.
One of the most startling and challenging thoughts was Boyd's assertion that our society's addiction to busyness is often about trying to look good and thereby feel important. After all, don't we all struggle with the temptation (or let's be honest, give in to the temptation) to reply to an appointment request (or worse a personal time request) by mentioning (ever so casually) the litany of all the things we have to do that will make it hard to squeeze them in? We do this when really, we could have just said, "I am sorry I am not available at that time." To the extent that we WANT people to know how busy we are, we may just be addicted to it.
Or maybe our issue is "FOMO: The Fear of Missing Out," (John M. Grohol: PscyhCentral.com) or fear of obscurity or not being known or seen. The proliferation of social media may be as much about being seen as it is connecting socially.
At the end of each chapter, Boyd provides the reader with a couple "Breaking Busy" challenges that are both thought provoking and action-oriented to help readers put the chapter into practice
When we don't take rest, it comes to us whether we want it or not--and in ways we can often avoid. Whether it is a meltdown, a mental collapse (aka "fuzziness") or even a hospitalization, our lives crave rest for proper functioning. We must ask ourselves, "HOW CAN WE PARENT, IF WE DO NOT CARE FOR OURSELVES?" And yet, we drive ourselves FOR our kids, but often only end up teaching them that life should be at the fastest pace possible. I believe that really, they really just want us... in peaceful, deeply emotional connection and consistent affectionate physical contact.
Boyd also makes a strikingly strong assertion that...
"Ultimately , every problem I see in every person I know is a problem of moving too fast for too long in too many aspects of life."
One of my favorite parts of the book (and in fact a key theme) is the description of a weekly practice Boyd instituted called "Bedhead Days". Imagine allowing both your mind and body to restore like this:
"We would wake when our bodies were done sleeping, instead of being jolted by a blaring alarm. We'd ignore the hands on the clock and open our own hands to an unscheduled day. We'd eat when we got hungry, move when we got antsy, rest when we got weary and let the day come to us instead of maniacally chasing it down."
Seriously. As you read this, does it not create a kind of longing inside?
Favorite Quotes from the Book
"This one little conversation, this one extra phone call, this one quick meeting, what can it cost? But i does cost, it drains yet another drop of our life. Then at the end of days, weeks, months, years, we collapse, we burn out, and cannot see where it happened. It happened in a thousand unconscious events, tasks, and responsibilities that seemed easy and harmless on the surface, but that each, one after the other, used a small portion of our precious life." -- Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives (New York: Bantam, 1999) p.19
Boyd quotes another margin and rest guru, Dr. Archibald Hart. author of Adrenaline and Stress:
"People in a hurry don't allow time for their complex bodies and mind be revitalized. There is no time for contemplation or even meditation. Anxiety increase and they lose perspective on their problems because they don't have time to think constructively. This makes them even more stressed and less able to cope with the strains of life., thus exacerbating the stress of life....."
"In short, people of our time are showing signs of physiological and psychological disintegration because they are living at warp speed."
I remember early in my driven, type "A" life that I never felt more successful or important than when people said to me. "You are SO busy" In reality, I was the probably least "successful" during those seasons.
by Janice Morris, Director
Other hot topics in the book include:
- Suffering from the "And Then" Syndrome
- Calm or Chaos We Get to Choose
- Obscurity and Why We Abhor It
- The Spotlight as a Cunning Adulteress
- What do to On a Do Nothing Day
- Avoiding Pitfalls Along the Road to Rest
- Restless Bodies, Restless Minds
- Three Things I Wish I'd Known
Other resources on this subject:
- The Gift of Rest: Rediscovering the Beauty of the Sabbath by Senator Joseph Lieberman, New York: Howard Books 2011
- Abundant Simplicity: Discovering the Unhurried Rhythms of Grace by Jan Johnson (Downers Grove ILL: InterVarsity 2011)
- Waking the Dead: the Glory of a Heart Fully Alive by John Eldredge Nashville, Thomas Nelson, 2003
- The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard, (New York Harper Collins 1988
- Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives by Richard Swenson