Are you an I-hole, Social Tool or a busy ‘aholic?’


“I’m so busy, I’m too busy, Sorry, I’m busy. I’m booked. I can’t possibly, make it. I’m so busy.”

Busy is the new social status. The Jaguar, Prada, Tiffany of our times. A person’s calendar, social postings, social transactions, friends ( they’ve never met or engaged with) are the new capital. We’ve evolved, reached the next stage of enlightenment; thrown out our materialistic possessions for a life of doing and staying busy.

I agree with Ryan Meeks, ( his wife termed the word I-hole; don’t you love it) I’m sick of busyness. For years I’ve suffered from what I’ll admit has been an addiction to busyness, doing, and constant action. I always dismissed my addiction as nothing more than high energy, small business, an entrepreneurial life style and my extroverted personality. But no, it was much more than that, it was a cover up, makeup concealing my need for attention, approval, to validate my existence and prove my self worth and dare I admit my weak attempt at looking for love in work.

I’ve come to see my addiction to busyness, my being a social tool, and an I-hole ( someone who takes phone calls, checks emails, engages on their mobile apps while with other human beings) like all addictions. Deadly.

Any activity I engage in repeatedly, that gives me a short term ‘high’ AND harms me emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially or mentally in the long term, is nothing more than an addiction, compulsion; a form of ‘aholism.’ Let’s be real; activities and behaviors that are beneficial in the short term and in the long term dangerous, in-congruent with who we are or who we want to be are just ways of filling the void in our lives, of making up for something we crave, long for, or that is missing!

Derivatives were a form of banking ‘aholism.’ Second mortgages are a form of mortgage ‘aholism.’ If botox and breast augmentation are found to shorten women’s lives then these activities will fall into the ‘vanity’ aholism category. Food addictions are foodholism. Shopping yourself into debt is shopoholism. Over scheduling, being too busy, and socially over- leveraging myself is emotional, physical and relational ‘aholism.’

Don’t buy into the lie. More food, clothes, bigger lips, more friends on face book or a busier schedule is not the answer to a happier more meaningful life. You can’t buy meaning. You can’t schedule happiness. You can’t earn something you already have. Yes, already have. You don’t have to find or earn your value and neither do I. Social capital might be all that and more but believe you me it’s not the answer to meaning and purpose. You and I need to get comfortable with ‘being’ valuable not merely ‘doing’ or chasing value.

Life is full of choices. I have a limited amount of resources and energy. So before I race ahead, pull out my phone in front of another incredible, miraculous human being, schedule myself like a social tool, pursue social capital as makeup to cover up what is missing in my life; it’s time to ask a few questions.

Are you addicted to work? Busyness?

Are you happy, fulfilled?

How is the pace of your life impacting the quality of your your relationships?

What are the quality of your decisions?

Are you making short term decisions that are unhealthy for you financially, emotionally, spiritually, physically or mentally?

Do you have a sense of apathy or excitement about life, your business?

What makes you say yes? And what do you say no to?

What do you really want? And why?

How much solitude and rest do you get; why?

Is what you’re investing your time, emotions, finances, intellect and talents into; congruent with what you value?

Are your relationships fatigued?

Is your spirit soaring or running on empty?

I’ve been addicted to speed. I’ve lived life as a 100 yard dash. I’ve falsely believed life was a race to prove, earn, become and achieve. I was deceived. I’ve been an I-hole, a social tool and an achievement, doing ‘aholic.’ It sucked the marrow out of me, I nearly didn’t make it out alive.

Call me recovering, but call me changing.

I’m waving the white flag. I’ve come out of the social tool, I-hole, busyness aholic closet because what I really, really want is a deeply meaningful life that allows me to invest deeply, to engage meaningfully in purposeful and profitable relationships and activities that make my heart soar, are congruent with what I believe and that positively impact those I love and serve.

I want a life of relationships not transactions.

I want to live a life of being not just doing.

I don’t need anymore social makeup to conceal what I truly desire.

I want to embrace the concept of Sabbath as a way of life not a mere day.

You see we get to choose….

I don’t want to be a social tool, an I-hole or a busy ‘aholic’

Pam Hoelzle

425 218 5864

9 Responses to “Are you an I-hole, Social Tool or a busy ‘aholic?’”

    • Pam Hoelzle

      Yes and more- I struggle with the work life balance thing – I think it might be life clarity – that then informs all investments; those in work and play – but I think there is a real pull to be busy right now and perhaps more is not always more- perhaps at some level more becomes less…

  1. Patrick Byers

    Balance is key. We all say it. We seldom do it.

    I’ve been learning to let go lately and the universe seems to have noticed. I told my pastor as much this morning and he reminded me of the saying, “let go and let God.” He’s pretty hip and realizes God manifests himself in different ways for different people.

    Nature. The Universe. Karma. Whatever. The harder you push, the harder is pushes back.

    Thanks for this post.

    • Pam Hoelzle

      You are welcome. Or perhaps it’s harmony. It doesn’t appear that this teeter totter of life stays exactly balanced, except for when we go flat line and take off for the etherial plane): So maybe if we feel we are over busy and over rushed and out of sync and off balance it’s a time for re-envisioning, a sort of continual monitoring for re calibration and evaluation. I like you even if you are an I- hole! And I love you can admit it! Smile

  2. Pam Hoelzle

    I’m checking out that link now. Thanks for adding to the convo. Yes I love your IRL: in real life. You also have some strong feelings about this whole work life balance subject-care to share with everyone? I guess us A types might need some reminding that designing a life is as important as a business or a job and that any thing done to the detriment of our selves or others might be something we want to consider. Also, I think it’s important to think about how we impact others as we use social tools and as we connect. The other day I got entirely ghost busters social slimed by a fellow connector who didn’t even ask me about my life or business but rather handed me a 5 by 7 flier and went into a 5-10 minute advertisement about his business after interrupting me and a past client. That’s an example of being a social tool): We keep our eyes open and dialog about all of this so we can each keep learning and growing and becoming who we want to be….

  3. Mark Nakagawa

    Yes, these are the questions, or at least some of them, that I ask myself everyday. I am not what I do but who I am called to be. That calling comes from the place where my greatest desires meets the world’s greatest needs. My busy-aholism is trying so very hard to meet some need, some desire, that it only glances at it. It misses the mark because it’s all about me. It’s all about me, not you. Answering these questions let’s me know where I am in relation to the world. World = family, friends, city, state, nation, planet. The chef at The Herbfarm regularly goes foraging for wild foods, Japanese knotweed, bull kelp, purselane. He tweets about it with pics. He has some idea of what he wants but doesn’t know if he will find it until he gets out into that wild world to harvest. Where others see weeds, he sees his menu. If it’s all about me, my needs, my desires, I see only the weeds. If my desires bring me to the nexus where I meet the world’s greatest needs, I see what I can harvest to feed the world.

    • Pam Hoelzle

      Mark thanks for joining the conversation. I just checked out your blog too and friended you on Face Book- still don’t know if that is how this all works but want to stay connected. Love your input that is Frederick Buechner’s quote right- ? I agree that key to this is getting out from the ego and being the center of our own world. You seem to be speaking of perspective and boy isn’t that a loaded term; one man’s garbage is treasure to another. I love also that you mention serendipity, that not knowing and staying open to what we might experience if we show up fully engaged, present. Thanks for adding to the conversation! I hope to connect with you again- !

  4. Tom Dealy


    Talk about hitting the nail on the head and waking me up.

    Life is easy to let it happen, and thus the issues you speak of. Best to be in control of life, act not react to things that come our way.

    You mention “Sabbath” mind expanding on this thought a tad more?

    My name is Tom and I’m a recovering ———
    time to get off this social media tool and so be social with my wife and friends, sailing for the afternoon.

    Pam, thanks for being a new friend. Let’s not let it end at that stage.

    Cheers to you and your life


    • Pam Hoelzle

      It is really a cultural thing. Today I hiked with a friend who was on her I-phone the last 1/3 of the hike. I love her to death. It’s just that all of us are so use to being so connected I think it’s gotten a tad bit confusing when to disconnect and when to connect.

      In regards to Sabbath, most see it as a ‘day’ of rest and worship of God. Last weekend at East Lake Church Ryan Meeks was referring to the Sabbath as a way of living and I wrote, ‘a way of life not a day.’ I’ve struggled most of my life to truly rest, to shut it all off in my mind and body and to trust, worship and not work. I’ve had plenty of experiences of running on empty because of my inability to incorporate Sabbath practices to keep my spirit, soul and energy stores full and healthy.

      I’m learning how to ‘be’ and not just ‘do.’ And I’m pressing into my false beliefs- the ones that have me acting and behaving as if life is a giant race, that work itself is life’s highest purpose.