One of the beautiful characteristics of small town living is how easy it is to become integrated into your community. With integration comes involvement, and with involvement comes commitment. I’ve really enjoyed becoming better integrated into Laurel, and some neat opportunities have presented themselves throughout my time here. But as my workload has slowly increased, so has my awareness of how necessary it is to set boundaries. It’s not only easy for me to become overcommitted, but it’s tempting. Why is that? I began examining the idea: why do I enjoy the business of busyness?
If you hadn’t noticed, it’s been two weeks since I’ve last blogged. My own personal goal when I began this blog was to be disciplined enough to write once a week. Sure, life happens and, unless it’s a priority, certain responsibilities will get pushed to the back burner. Last weekend, that responsibility happened to be my blog. Saturday was booked with an event that Choices Clinic put on, and Sunday was filled with church and product photo shoots with Erin. I hadn’t had a day off the entire week, and this past week was equally as busy. But today, I’m choosing to make blogging a requirement. Why? It’s a way I can process what’s been happening, keep my family updated, and choose to see the good in life.
When I was laying in bed this morning, I was struggling with what to blog about. “I haven’t’ written in two weeks, but I’m not feeling all that inspired because I’ve been so busy. In fact, I’ve been so busy that I don’t know what to write about because so much has happened.” Aha! Busyness. This brought me back to a sermon I listened to last week by Tim Keller titled “Work and Rest,” a powerful sermon on how western culture’s view of work is out of whack. I began asking myself: why have I been working so much lately? Nearly all of my busyness has been work related. A good bit is because of the responsibilities I’ve taken on with Choices. For instance, I represented Choices by teaching some classes at one of our local public high schools this past week. This isn’t a regular work day for me, it’s something that takes an incredible amount of thought and preparation. The event Choices hosted was on the weekend, so I was required to be there on a day I wouldn’t normally have worked for Choices. I’ve also been working on the social media account, as well as answering texts for the business. And that’s when I realized technology really is a beautiful and terrible thing. Why, you ask?
Having a smart phone at my fingertips means I have the ability to work anywhere. I can’t detach from it! I’m literally making myself accessible to take my work anywhere and everywhere. You can’t stop it from invading every nook and cranny of your life! It’s incredibly hard for me to break away from work because of technology. This is where boundaries and self-discipline play a role. I have yet to master either, but I believe there can be a balance. I just haven’t found it yet.
All of this to say, I believe, if I’m completely honest with myself, I enjoy working because 1) I’m passionate and 2) I feel this pressure to prove myself. I may have good intentions with the first point, but the second is pure pride. It’s formed from a lie that whispers I need to prove myself by my work. Our culture seems to celebrate the workaholics. Our identity appears to be tied with what we do. Therefore, if I’m not doing anything, who am I? There’s an underlying pressure that we must always be doing, because our culture celebrates the do-ers.
Here’s the thing: I will never be satisfied in myself. It just won’t happen. Sure, maybe I did alright today, but what about tomorrow? We are not perfect, and we will never truly rest in our work until we understand who our identity is in. This brings me back to one of my previous blog posts, when I was trying to unpack the phrase of what it means to have your identity in Christ. I believe this is one example: to understand he is who defines you, not your career. Only through Jesus can I be truly satisfied in my work, because it’s not by my own merit.
I think it’s time we learn to set boundaries and respect those boundaries, wouldn’t you agree?