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Do We Have To Look Busy?

Do you ever just look around you and do nothing special?

There I was, sipping McDonald’s cappuccino (not much of a choice, I know), and looking around me. It was somewhat early, so there was no crowd. Some teens were surfing the Internet — some people come to McDonald’s for free Internet alone. A middle-aged gentleman has finished reading his papers and was going through his phone. Two young women were talking and laughing.

Then I remembered other times, and not just in McDonald’s. Folks sit in such places, eat and/or drink, read newspapers, go through their phones, some have their laptops with them, some talk to other people (and check their laptops or phones at the same time)… They are all either engaged in a conversation (which is perfectly fine) or otherwise busy. It’s quite rare to see someone just eating or drinking and being idle, looking around, thinking their thoughts… It’s like everyone must do something, like it’s a crime not being busy. I caught myself thinking about tweeting, even though I had nothing to tweet about. Or thinking about reading a book, except that I had none with me.

It made me wonder: what is it that makes us believe we have to be busy at all times? Sometimes we do have to check our phones or mail or whatever even while grabbing something to eat, or prepare ourselves for some business task, but all the time? Why? Why can’t we just sit, look around ourselves, watch people, birds, cats, dogs, sunshine, think our thoughts without thinking about grocery lists or jobs?

How about you? Do you ever just sit alone with a cup of coffee or a snack and allow yourself to get lost in thoughts, or to just look around you, without the need to take a picture of it?


A writer, a reader, a dreamer. Dreaming myself into existence.

5 thoughts on “Do We Have To Look Busy?

  1. I suppose it's a nervous tic on my part–I worry that, because I have so much to do, anytime I spend simply staring into space is time that could be better-spent!I'm coming around, though, and you make a great point. Sometimes it's good for your mental well-being to just stop and look around you.


  2. Well, I'm OCD, so just sitting and not DOING anything is foreign to me. Sad, I know, but one of my greatest pleasures is to take a great book to the beach and get lost in it. To me, that's busy-ness at its best 😉


  3. I try to not feel guilty when I'm not doing anything but breathing. There's always so much – too much – I am "supposed to be doing", but getting a chance to just shut everything out for a little while is calming.Good topic.


  4. Kelly, you're welcome!Kiersi, I understand, it's similar with me, too.Daniel, it's one of the greatest pleasures indeed!Lynn, I try not to feel guilty too, although it doesn't always work.


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