The Notion of Busyness


As a creative, a nice status symbol is busyness. The busier you are, the more successful you appear. While it may hold some truth, it’s important to take a step back and realize rest, relaxation, and play are equal indicators of success. I mean, when I hear of a friend taking three weeks off to travel, I applaud him for running such a healthy business he can afford to do such a thing (okay, and I’m also jealous…obvs). I ran across this quote from Brene Brown yesterday…

It’s taken me almost nine years to understand the value of taking time to just be, as well as investing in friendship, memories, and mental health…if I could go back and tell the Jasmine Star of 2006 something, I’d say, Email will always be there…go walk on the beach…watch the sunset from your backyard…plan a decadent trip for no reason…eat a cupcake. Definitely eat a cupcake.

As I’m finding balance between a very busy work schedule, sweet friends have come along to ensure I stay on track. Speaking of tracks, I photographed a wedding last Saturday and though we were downright exhausted, we spent Sunday at Santa Anita Racetrack with friends, followed by a backyard BBQ. The sun set and cast shadows against our guacamole…and it was perfect.

Yesterday my best friends treated me to a cooking class at Sur La Table. We learned how to make some fancy lamb dish (to be honest, as a vegetarian, I was more concerned with refilling champagne glasses) and spent the evening catching up and laughing much too loudly.

These are the moments I want to cherish, the moments I need to keep as sacred. Sure, it’s lovely being busy…but being truly present in life’s simple moments are the most rewarding.

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  1. Marki

    April 15th, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks for the reality check. I love the photos but I think the one I like best is the back yard BBQ because it isn’t perfect. You have such a great eye and your work is great but I love that one because it is just some good ol fun! Thanks again.

  2. Sherri

    April 15th, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    It’s almost creepy how timely your blogs are…how oddly relevant to my ‘right now’. (I MIGHT have fallen asleep in a chair editing and slept there last night for a few brief hours…)

  3. Amy Cheshire

    April 15th, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Amen Jasmine!! This is so true!

  4. Bobbie Brown

    April 15th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    This post hits home with me. It took me a long time to not feel bad about saying I am not super busy. When asked, I wanted to say "I am booked up till ______!" But, finally, finally(!) I realized that it is okay to not be busy, busy, busy all the time. So now, my answer sounds something like this: "No, I am not crazy busy, but that is okay with me. I am first a Mom and then a photographer, so I like the amount of work that I am doing… plus, I feel more inspired not shooting SO much!" And truly, that is ME. It may not be that way for everyone. But that is me. And I love that I have finally figured out – and work towards all the time! – what works for me.
    Thanks for sharing … and letting me share! 😉

  5. Rebecca Nash

    April 15th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    It’s funny how reading this today caused a pang of guilt. Like the J* of 2009, I don’t know how to just be.
    I struggle everyday because the business is not busy enough but my day job teaching kindergarten is too busy to let me do all the ‘stuff’ I need to do for my photography business with very few clients. Add on top of that planning our Oct wedding, taking care of my daughter & running her to activities, training for a charity bike ride (200km :S), and the day to day business of life (eating, sleeping, bathing, laundry and the rest of the stuff that gets in the way of life).
    I need to slow down, I need to take time for my relationship, my daughter, and myself but I don’t know how.
    Thank you for putting this back in my face once more and saying, "so, what are you going to do about it?"

  6. Tina

    April 15th, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Love this post! I was the same way for so long – just wanting to be busy for sake of saying "I’m busy". If I didn’t have a wedding every weekend it made me feel bad, like I SHOULD be working more. This year I’m trying to change that. My weddings are nicely spaced out this year so I typically have 1 weekend off a month (even in the height of wedding season!), and I’m trying to embrace that and feel GOOD about the down time. Good for you!

  7. Alexis

    April 16th, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Savoring the moments of everyday life, sweet! 🙂

  8. Norma Skinner

    April 16th, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Good reminder to check our balance.

  9. Kate

    April 17th, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Hi Jasmine,

    Thanks for writing this post. I hate the thought that exhaustion is somehow a badge of honour and being busy is the only barometer of success. Working hard is important but I agree with you that working smart is best.

    Kate x

  10. Ashley Rogers

    April 17th, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Man, I needed this reminder! Thanks J! <3

  11. Courtney

    April 18th, 2014 at 2:06 am

    This is such a refreshing and relateable (is that a word?) post. Thanks for writing 🙂

  12. Marisa

    April 18th, 2014 at 2:42 am

    I just finished taking a biblical counseling class at church and we had to watch a short video of brene brown – LOVED it! need to get me some more of that wisdom stat! glad you’re keeping – or being forced to keep – more life in your work!

  13. Ruben Nunez

    May 5th, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    The concept of "play" is all but lost in our culture. its a real shame though. Our ancestors valued it very highly and saw it as an important part of their lives. I love Mark Sisson’s (daily apple) take on it, and the benefits to mental and physical health.

  14. Di

    June 26th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    As a photographer running my own business who is also employed full time and currently remodeling my home…I definitely need to follow your lead!! At least learn to let the laundry sit right? 😛