Stop a random Augustana student on the quad and ask how their day is going, and I guarantee you nine times out of ten the answer will be “Busy!” followed by a sigh. If prodded a little, the person can probably easily give you their schedule of events for the day, one right after another, probably with a meal forgotten here and there or a few scheduled blocks of multitasking (“…then I’ll study for my history exam while working out at Pepsico and calling my mom for our daily chat…”)
We Augie students are a group of do-ers. You would be hard pressed to find someone who just goes to class and the comes back home and then they’re done for the day. This is awesome, and I definitely encourage getting involved in activities, but sometimes I feel like the enjoyment of these things is lost in our crazy schedules. It’s like we’re not doing the things we do because we enjoy them and want to do them, but because we’re just struggling to make our to-do list longer than the next guy’s and then check all those things off before our alarm goes off the next morning. It is almost like our busy-ness has become a status symbol. The more things you have on your calendar that day, the more important and respected you should be. Down time becomes stressful because we feel like there is something else we should be doing.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of it– I will be sitting in class thinking of lesson plans for clinic or trying to figure out when I’m going to find time to practice before band rehearsal. I have been known to space out during a dinner with my friends because I’m thinking about all the homework I have to do or worrying about how I’m going to do on that paper I handed in today. I work on homework while watching a movie with friends on a Friday night because I’ve got three things going on Saturday that are taking away from potential studying time. I was missing out on those precious moments with people I care about because I was too caught up in how I was going to get the next thing crossed off my list.
But this year I realized that living that way just wasn’t doing it for me. I got sick of waking up every morning and hearing the shotgun go off for a race against myself, a race against time that I couldn’t ever seem to win. I decided to do something about it. The first one was figuring out my priorities. What were the things I really loved to do? What were the things I was doing just to do them? What things have I been wanting to do but could never find the time? I made some adjustments to my schedule, but more importantly, I made some adjustments to my attitude. Instead of waking up thinking of all the things I HAVE to do, I started trying to think of all the things I GET to do. I found a notepad in Texas this summer that sums it up pretty well. Instead of saying “Things To Do” at the top, it says, “Things I’d Love To Do.” Because honestly, if we are doing things we don’t love, why are we doing them in the first place? Life’s too precious, you know?
I can’t say I’ve gotten less busy. But I can say that I’ve gotten happier. I am doing things every day that I truly enjoy and am finding myself taking a little more time to really take it all in, live in the moment, and appreciate the opportunities I have been given. The other day I went from CSD clinic where I got to make a difference in the lives of kids with disabilities, to band where I got to bring a little more beauty to the earth, to a meeting on world hunger where I got to encourage other students to get involved in making a difference on our campus, in our community, and in the world. With this “blessings” mindset instead of my old “busy” mindset, I was able to feel a lot better about how I was spending my time. And I found myself walking home with a little grin on my face. When else in my life am I going to have the opportunity to do so many diverse, interesting things in one day and with such incredible people?
So the next time some stranger stops me in the middle of the quad and says, “Katrina, how are you doing today?” I’ll respond with a smile, “Busy. And loving it– I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Posted on October 6th, 2010 by katrina-jensen
Filed under: Katrina Jensen