Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Thoughts on Busyness
I used to lament when looking at my calendar and seeing how empty it was. It didn't feel like I was very important. Now, I'm thankful for those empty squares. Busyness is a good way to hide. To hide from the dailyness of life. Life is wrought with problems, and annoyances, and, especially for the woman at home, repetitiveness that can become mind numbingly boring. But is filling up our calendar with one commitment after another the answer to making life more interesting or less daily? Might it just be that this leads to ever more dissatisfaction as our homes and relationships spiral into chaos? Is a better answer found in carving out solitude? Time to be, time to pray, time to read a good book, time to journal, time to get to the heart of who we are. I now take pride in keeping some breathing room in my calendar. I'm getting better at saying no to some things (working the school carnival) and yes to others (dear husband taking the kids to the pool on Sunday afternoons) without feeling guilty. I see the evidence all around me of kids who are too busy, of moms who are too busy, of dads who are too busy. The kids can't concentrate on school work because they are so tired from running around to "enrichement" activities every afternoon. The moms can't even begin to think of having friends in because their houses are so chaotic (who do you think is doing the shuttling for the kids activities). The dads are missing out on their kid's childhoods as they travel 20+ days a month or work 10-hour days. Sadly we carry busyness around as a status symbol these days. The harm this does to our family relationships and our children's long-term emotional health is becoming more and more apparent every day. I, for one, have found giving up the busyness badge of success to be a blessing.