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Why We're So Impressed by Busyness

“What is a ‘weekend?'” Violet Crawley, the dowager countess of Grantham, famously asked during the first season of “Downton Abbey,” set in 1912. The joke, of course, is that the dowager countess is too aristocratic to even recognize the concept of a week divided between work and leisure. In her world, if you are very wealthy, you can afford as much leisure as you wish.

Fast-forward to the 21st century. Today, complaining about being busy and working all the time is so commonplace that most of us do it without thinking. If someone asks “How are you?” we no longer say “Fine” or “I’m well, thank you.” We often simply reply, “Busy!”..

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