The Busyness of Life

10 Apr

Recently I read something about being busy. The writer was unhappy about people using busy as an excuse, and I understand that. When I was PTA president years ago, I remember a stay at home mom with one child telling me she couldn’t possibly work a shift at our school carnival because she was much too busy. At the time, I had three children in elementary school in two different schools. All three of my boys played soccer, and my two older children were on Lego robotics teams as well. I was PTA president in a school that generated $20,000-$35,000 in annual revenues, and I was volunteering in classrooms too. Busy, indeed!! I wanted to smack her.

Today I have a different perspective on busy because I realize that busy is a choice. Busy is what we do so we don’t have to stop and think and actually live our lives. Busy absolves us from responsibility, missed appointments and deadlines and messy houses. Busy, in the United States, is our “go-to” excuse for everything. It’s why we say we don’t keep in touch with friends, send birthday cards or have beautiful gardens, but in the final analysis, it is a choice.

Each of us has twenty four hours in a day, and on most days, we get to choose how we live it. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard “I have to” or “I’m too busy to”, my husband and I would never have to work again. When it comes down to it, we don’t really “have to” do anything. We can even choose not to eat, drink or breathe. It will end our life, but we can choose to do that.

I have spent the last couple of years separating myself from the excuse of busy. I’ve weaned myself off of over-commitment, and focused on what I want to do instead of piling on more “have to”. I began to take an hour every day to meditate, do yoga and write. In the beginning, I really felt guilty because maybe that was being selfish. I worried that I should be doing something important like laundry, housework or volunteer work, but I kept at it. In the eight months I’ve been working to consistently take that time for myself, I’ve become calmer and more centered. I’ve lost weight. I’ve had several lunches with friends and truly enjoyed myself instead of worrying about what else I should be doing, and most amazingly, I’ve realized that the time I take for myself every day is the most important work I do. It makes me a better wife, mom, friend, writer and human being. I feel more connected to the Divine and to all of humanity. I feel more connected to me; the true me, not the busy “look at me world, I’m so busy” me.

Just recently, I realized that I had let busy take over my life again. When that happens for me, busy usually brings his two friends overwhelm and procrastination to the party I call life. They have been regular visitors until the big deadline is staring me in the face and I have to act. There’s that “have to” again. So today I choose to act because I want the jobs done. I want to do a good job, but I want them out of my house. I want to be free. Today, I choose to be CEO of my life so I can live my life fully, the way I want to. Today, I choose to evict overwhelm and procrastination from my life party, to remember the calmer and more centered person I have become and to know that this too shall pass, so that my life can return to the joyful one I’ve created. Today, and for the next few days, I choose to be busy and happy. I hope you’ll choose to be happy with me. Thanks for being you and have a great day!

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