The Busy Syndrome.

The Busy Syndrome.

For those of us who are accustomed to overbooked schedules...

The Busy Syndrome. Or shall we call it the 2017 syndrome? Oh, you know what I'm talking about. It's our favorite excuse to cancel on dinner plans. It's our go-to response to the question of how are you doing. We live in a fast-paced, technology-driven world, leaving us no time to breathe in between work, family, friends, exercise, and events.

At some point, we have added so much to our plates and become so spread thin that we forget to focus on the stuff that really matters. This game of life we are playing should not be treated like the board game. There is no cash prize or brownie points for successfully accomplishing your huge "to do" list for the day if you've left no time to actually LIVE.

I think it's time to wake up. Are you too busy to create some time to relax? Are you too busy to spend quality time with your kids? Too busy to drop your plans to help a friend in need? Or are you so busy that you can't even respond to a text?

Isn't life more than the mere tasks at hand for the day? No one likes feeling like the people they care about are too busy for them. You make time for what's important to you; it's called prioritizing. But what if our generation has their schedules so filled up, that we have forgotten to make time for WHO is important.

I am guilty of the "busy syndrome." I am utterly exhausted from running around from thing to thing trying to give 100% energy to each and I don't see how I can take something out right now.

But here's what everybody is forgetting: The 'busy syndrome' is a CHOICE. We choose to chain ourselves to the obligation after obligation after obligation… Busyness is not an inevitable condition; rather it’s our own decision to live a work consuming life.

Let’s face the facts. Most of what we do during the day doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. It’s time to go back and live life at a more relaxed pace.

But how is this possible when you’re completely booked hour to hour? I think perhaps the biggest misconception in terms of ‘busyness’ is that it is just a season of life. Oh, summer is around the corner, I’ll be less busy then. THINK AGAIN. Kids are out of school, there are summer internships and jobs, family vacations, bonfires, beach days, music festivals, etc. etc.

I don’t know about you, but I have been in busy season after busy season after busy season… Slowing my life down is not just going to happen overnight. Instead, it’s time for me to be intentional about enjoying my life.

This article is my vow to be intentional about making time for others. I am making the conscious decision to create time for the people I care about and slow down my life pace. I CHOOSE life.

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.


To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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This One’s For Africa


Read through to the end for an amazing Toto reference.


It's now been a week since I stepped foot on the African continent for the first time in my life. I first visited Johannesburg, where my dad and I spent a day on an 'apartheid tour.'

This tour consisted of visiting Shanty Town, one of the poorest communities in South Africa. The living conditions were indeed different. They had to steal electricity through homemade wires connected to the telephone poles. They had only a few porta potties for ten families to share. They had several spickets to obtain fresh water from. There was no heating in the houses, which were made from pieces of painted aluminum.

Such inconvenient circumstances have come from years of oppression towards black people in South Africa. It was incredibly sad to know that these problems still exist and that apartheid only ended so recently.

On the other hand, the people showed very little anger. Despite their living situations, the people of Shanty Town were so kind and welcoming. Everyone we passed smiled and waved, often even saying hello or asking about our wellbeing.

It brought some serious warmth to our hearts to see their sense of community. Everyone was in it together, and no man was left behind. They created jobs and opportunities for one another. They supported each other.

The next part of the day included a tour of Nelson Mandela's old house. We then made a trip to the Apartheid Museum.

Overall, Johannesburg did not disappoint. The city contains a rich history that human beings as a whole can learn a lot from. Johannesburg is a melting pot that still contains a multitude of issues concerning racism and oppression of certain cultures.

After two days in Johannesburg, my family made our way to Madikwe game reserve, where we stayed at Jaci's Lodge.

The safari experience was absolutely incredible. Quite cold (it's winter in Africa right now), but amazing enough to make up for the shivering. We saw all my favorite animals: giraffes galore, elephants, zebras, impalas, lions, hyenas, wildebeests, rhinos, you name it. While my favorite animal will always be the giraffe, I don't think any sighting could beat when two different herds of elephants passed through a watering hole to fuel up on a drink.

Finally on June 1st, I flew to George to start my program with Africa Media in Mossel Bay. On Sunday, we went on an 'elephant walk.'

The safari was certainly cool, but that makes the elephant walk ice cold. We got to walk alongside two male elephants - one was 25, the other 18. They were so cute!! We got to stroke their skin, trunk, and tusks. They had their own little personalities and were so excited to receive treats (fruits and vegetables) at the end of the journey.

My heart couldn't be more full. Africa, you have become my favorite continent. And it sure is going to take a lot to drag me away from you.

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