I have always LOVED to be busy. At one point in my 20's during summer break at University, I had seven jobs, and worked 90 hours per week. I would finish a shift at 2 in the morning at a busy nightclub, ride my bike home, sleep for a couple hours, and then ride back to open the downtown Starbucks location at 5:30am. Not to suggest this was a healthy practice (I ended up with ulcers and a nervous breakdown at 22!), but during those hectic months I found a great thrill in being that consumed, that overscheduled.
In retrospect, I know that I liked the busyness because it allowed me to not only NOT feel the emotions that were difficult for me to process or experience fully (self doubt, anxiety, sadness..) but because it validated me as a person to be so 'in demand'. I could believe, momentarily, that I was an essential person! I was needed everywhere!
Most of us run about chasing our egoic sense of self in this way in modern life. The feeling that if we just DO something more we will find meaning in ourselves; we will find purpose and confirmation and connection. And if we then talk about how 'busy' we are to each other it will suggest that we are important and wanted. (This article from Tim Kreider is so good, if you haven't read it already):
Movement and action is wonderful and essential to a fulfilling life, but so is rest. Quiet. Downtime. Mental and emotional NOTHINGness. It is in those spaces--those 'liminal' spaces-- where we are able to contact both our inner world AND something far bigger than ourselves; something magical brought through us as the divine vehicles of universal creativity.
Modern culture is sick, friends. And we are sick as we go along with it. Luckily, should you desire change and to be a bit anarchistic within this world we have created you need not take drastic or violent forms: change will be found in the conscious creation of a mere 20 minutes laying on the grass. Or 5 minutes focusing on your breath. Or even 1 minute contemplating the movement of the clouds. THAT is where we find ourselves and our meaning, and where we place ourselves back into balance and inspiration with the system of things.
A great read/think: