Whew long time no post. I actually wrote this post a week ago but didn’t have time to edit it- how apropos to the topic of this post! —
Kevin, my husband, and I were chatting recently and he said something that made me think.
“When I talk with people I rarely ever tell them anymore that I’ve been busy because it seems like everyone is busy and my being busy isn’t more important than there busy ”
Well…wow – that’s true I thought to myself. Then I began to do a self check as I do when someone says something very smart -do I push my business out there in convos I asked myself-and by goodness gosh I do. Because I’m freaking busy. Like so busy that I forget all the stuff I did in a day and sometimes even become paralyzed with all the stuff I need to do. I’m so busy that I’m taking time to write this in the car in a traffic jam inYork PA as we drive back from helping my mom because when I get home I’ll be too busy or tired to write. But Kevin’s is right we are ALL busy and my busy does not trump your busy.
I need to stop putting my busy in other people’s face. Unless I want to vent a little. Venting feels good.
So now I wonder am I busier or has middle age just made me more aware and less resilient than when I was young?
When I was young I could get up and head to work after being out late the night before – I could work a full day and then go home walk my dog and head to the gym and maybe even go out again to meet some friends.I used to drive back and forth to the beach in a day -I baked in the sun in-between. I took night classes for my MBA after work. I never got an MBA -I got married and then things got super busy.
Why do I feel so much more busy now? Perhaps it’s because I have others to worry about -kids, husband, aging parents. I manage their schedules, I worry about their health, their grades,college possibilities(I have a whole other post just about that), I drive people around. And I work. It’s insane and maybe my menopausal brain can’t process it all as well as my younger brain could.
I’m in the the middle of life- middle age. Nobody warns you that being in the middle isn’t only the sagging body and wrinkles that seem to come overnight. We are often caring for growing children and caring for aging parents. We often work full time while juggling the other stuff. Nobody warns you how that can keep you up at night and super busy during the day.
But isn’t our world just busier overall? Or is just my view of it that has changed?
Middle age, oldster, youngster. We are all busy. My own daughter works two afternoons a week and one day on the weekend while going to cosmetology school while she still taking her high school courses. She is busy. I don’t remember being that busy as a teen.
Sometimes I think the technology that I love so much makes us that much busier BC we have so many things that can be done right at our fingertips. Just take the app Yelp. Awesome app. But if I want to find a restaurant near where I am or going I can just look on the app but lo and behold the app shows me lots of restaurant choices and then I need to read all the reviews. In the olden days I may have asked a friend for a recommendation or I may have just stopped at a place that looked good. Now I get out the app and check how many stars a place has. I leave nothing to chance and I spend lots more time making sure I choose just the right restaurant. I love (many emoji hearts) my smartphone but you get what I am saying -yes?
Let’s face it, we all are on the busy train going somewhere. Until we aren’t.
Sometime in our lives we might actually miss the busy because we can’t physically get on that train anymore. I have been derailed a time or two temporarily. When I had cancer and was getting treatment life as I knew it kind of stopped. I had to limit my focus on my health and my family and my recovery. Other stuff had to take the back seat. I began to miss the things that I had fretted about before. I saw things in a different way. That being busy may be stressful but being unable to be busy is also stressful. As I recovered I was so happy that I began to have the endurance to be busy. I thought I would be able to temper my busy with my new look on life that having a serious illness can give a person. But no – I seemed to have jumped back on that busy train – it can suck us in so fast.
There needs to be a balance – I suppose- and I look hard to find it. I do know that when I get overloaded with things my mind sometimes goes inert. I become unable to do anything unless I break each thing down into smaller tasks. Or I delegate something to someone else. Maybe this is a good thing. This inertia. It at least gets me to realize I need a break.
Busy isn’t going to stop I am afraid. So maybe there is a way to enjoy it whilst in the middle of it.
All of us need to take some time to unplug and breathe. Spend time with the family if you aren’t so sick of them BC you’ve been driving them all over or picking up after their messy selves. Read a good book. Or binge watch a show. I know that is not unplugged in its true sense but for me it’s a distraction from my own crowded mind. And there are so many great shows to watch- yes?
I even try to meditate but thats a work in progress for me. I have read how good that is for cancer survivors and I maybe a good way to still my mind. Oddly, for the months that after I completed my cancer treatments I was able to sit still for long periods and just be. Maybe this is as close to good meditation that I will ever get. Time would go by and I would just be sitting…sometimes at the end of the bed and other times at my desk. I would lose track of time and an hour would be gone. It was rather strange. Unfortunately this was during a time that i was frustrated that I could not tolerate busy at all. I was tired out from the treatments and I became depressed as well. Which is not uncommon after cancer treatments I have since found out. I would become tired and overwhelmed after doing just a few things. So my ability to just drift into some zone wasn’t as much as a blessing to me as a curse back then. Sometimes now if I am tired i can get into that zone- but again I lament about wasting time and not getting things done.
I am sure some of this sounds familiar especially to women. We want balance and when we go to take a breather – we often feel guilty. I am trying to learn my limits and allow myself to take some time out of the busy. I actually appreciate the busy more when I give myself that break. Right now I am finishing this post sitting in my mothers sunroom. Its so quiet. I hear the faint sound of traffic outside and my golden’s soft snores. I came for an overnight with my husband to check on my mom but these visits have also become a welcome break from the home-front for a day. I can get a moment to breathe and then go back recharged to my busy life.
I really want to appreciate my moments even the busy ones because I have the opportunity to be busy.
So I’ll try not to tell you how busy I’ve been unless I need to vent once in a while.
My busy doesn’t trump your busy and really now that I’ve written all this stuff about busy – I realize busy isn’t bad at all. Being busy can be a gift. We just need some balance.