Just be: two words a productive, overachiever hates

17 Jan

Do you like to be productive? Do you find it difficult to simply be? Well, join the club.

I’ve been really sick this past week and a half, and I couldn’t do very much. I’ve been stuck in bed and coughing up a storm. It’s not the Ab Ripper X, but I’ve definitely been getting quite the ab workout!

I was frustrated at my lack of productivity and fatigue, and was reminded of those two simple words – “just be.”  They also seemed to light up more than usual on my favourite mug I made at the Mud Oven a few years ago. As you can see, my artistic ability is limited.

Just be

A few reminders to “just be.” (Jenna Tenn-Yuk)

When I made that mug, I was really struggling to “just be.” I saw my worth and value in being an overachiever and being productive. I’ve always had a high capacity to get things done and would thrive off my many activities, but I was running myself into the ground.

I realized I wasn’t taking time for myself to reflect, slow down and simply be. I was no longer finding worth in my accomplishments and being an overachiever. I was burnt out and I could feel it.

Why do we work so hard when it doesn’t make us happy?

That’s why I like hanging out with my little cousins. When I’m around them, they don’t care about my successes, failures or getting things done. They simply want me to hang out with them and go out for SuperKid ice cream.

The last time I saw them, we had so much fun playing in the snow, and making igloos and snow angels. My cousins just wanted me to be present with them.

When you’re so caught up in being productive, driven and busy, you may lose being present. 

Maybe you’re someone who likes to get things done and you find your worth in accomplishments and overachieving. There’s nothing wrong with being productive and doing well in life. However, when your activities get in the way of relationships and your own well-being, it may be time to stop and reflect on why you’re pushing yourself so hard.

I’m feeling better and slowly getting back into my routine. I’ve been resting up for a show tomorrow called, Euphoria. I’ll be performing with some talented spoken word poets, JustJamaal and Prufrock, as well as the Tribal Threat DJs. It’s a night of food, poetry and Afrocentric Jazz, so it should be a good time!

When I’m sick, I’m reminded of my limitations. I just hope it doesn’t take another cold or something drastic to remind me it’s okay to simply be.

Why is it so hard to “just be?”

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2 Responses to “Just be: two words a productive, overachiever hates”

  1. Allison Jane Smith (@asmithb) February 8, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I had someone once tell me that they had to remember they were a human being, not a human doing. That stuck with me because my tendency is also to make sure I am always doing, and I forget about just being.

    • Jenna Tenn-Yuk February 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      That’s great advice, Allison. It’s a good reminder that we’re human beings, not human doings.

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