Health

Are you happy when you're busy?

It has been a head-shaking couple of weeks around my house. Full-time job aside, my extra-curricular tasks have piled up recently: let’s start with the renovation that’s currently going on at my home. I work at home, so that means I had to get comfortable with a parade of contractors going in and out all day long and balance my workload with shopping for vanities, shower fixtures and towel bars. Add in a five-day visit from my very lovely mother-in-law — again, not taxing by any means. But certainly I want to put on the best show possible, right? That generally means a clean house and home-cooked meals, my friends.

Busy woman

It has been a head-shaking couple of weeks around my house. Full-time job aside, my extra-curricular tasks have piled up recently: let’s start with the renovation that’s currently going on at my home. I work at home, so that means I had to get comfortable with a parade of contractors going in and out all day long and balance my workload with shopping for vanities, shower fixtures and towel bars. Add in a five-day visit from my very lovely mother-in-law — again, not taxing by any means. But certainly I want to put on the best show possible, right? That generally means a clean house and home-cooked meals, my friends.  

Then there are my children’s extra-curricular activities — namely swimming ending, two dance classes ending with two separate recitals, and my daughter’s soccer starting two nights a week. School is also coming to an end, which means my end-of-the-school-year commitments have been called on as well: helping out with a science program in my daughter’s class, accompanying them on a field trip to the local fire hall, handing out pizza on pizza lunch day.

On top of all of that, how about throwing in two runners’ schedules, both of which are in ramp-up mode. My husband’s got a five-times-a-week schedule — he’s training for the New York marathon, so he’s generally going over an hour a run. Plus there’s my own half-marathon training schedule, namely running four times a week. To execute nine runs in our household weekly, some serious tag-team parenting is called for — as in, he comes home and takes over the kids while I tag out to get a run in.

And maybe, just for effect, let’s throw in the fact that I’m planning a baby shower for my sister,  my writing workload is spilling into the evenings lately, and I need to keep the house in some sort of presentable order. Really, I think I’m tired from just writing this.  

Tired, but happy. Am I just wired to enjoy and thrive on being constantly on the move?  If it’s not my wiring, is it the fact that I live in a city — Toronto — that’s also always on the go? Sure, there have been some hair-pulling moments, and I tend to collapse on the couch at 10pm, taking in an old Seinfeld before I drag my body to bed.

But I’m happy because I’m accomplishing things — from becoming a better runner to becoming closer with my daughter as I help out in her class. I’m happy to have demands on my time because it says to me that I live a full life, full of activities I like to do, people I love and more.

What about you — are you a happier person when you’re busy?

Want more happiness news? Follow me on Twitter @AstridVanDenB

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