Thursday, August 30, 2012

The "B" Word

I'm beginning to really hate the word "BUSY". Everyone I talk to is busy, busy, busy. It's like the new buzz word.

When you politely ask a friend, "How are you?", the archaic responses of "fine" and "good" have now been replaced with the dreaded "busy".

The reason this word is at the top of my cringe list is because of the message it sends.  Like it or not, when you scrape down to the true meaning of the word, it conveys one or more of the following things to other people:

- Activities A,B, and C are more important than you.
- I choose not to make time for you.
- I am a slave to the schedule.
- I don't want to volunteer for that.
- I have a problem saying the word "NO" and subsequently, have too many commitments.
- Activities A-Z make me feel important.
- I have many things on my plate, but don't have time to do any of them really well.

Please don't misunderstand me. There are many seasons in our lives that require an extra measure of our time and energy. I'm not speaking of those times. I'm talking about habitually over-scheduling our lives with activities that really don't matter in the grand scheme of things.

I write this purely from a place of conviction because I'm the chief of busyness. The word has spewed forth from my lips on far too many occasions. Unfortunately, it is true. Our family is often far too....for lack of a better word....busy.

Thankfully my husband, the fearless leader of this family, came to the rescue.  He recognized the subtle unrest within our home; discord, fatigue, disconnectedness, and an overwhelming schedule. He acted swiftly and made an executive decision to put the kibosh on a few of our biggest time suckers. We yanked our kids out of soccer and football this fall for the very first time. It was a tough decision because our kids love sports, and they are good at them. It's only for a season, but it will provide a much needed rest for our family.

We were at the point that we were never together. My husband took one child to one practice and I would take the others to another at a field on the other end of town. We spent hours traveling on the road, and ate dinner out of a sack. Communication involved lots of text messages, and we were burning the midnight oil to ensure that all of our other obligations were taken care of. We were in a vicious cycle of frenzied activity and exhaustion. That, my friends, is a recipe for disaster!

Now that my husband has thinned out our schedule significantly, we have time for the good stuff! And by "good stuff" I mean: eating together every night at the kitchen table, re-connecting with friends, going for spontaneous evening  walks, saddling up for a leisurely ride until the sun sets, playing in the backyard, snuggling on the couch for an old movie, and spending our Saturdays out in the pasture as a family.

I look forward to an autumn filled with more of the people we love: time spent cutting wood with our families a midst the changing leaves, having more friends over for dinner, and sipping on Chai Tea with my favorite pals while our kids play together. I want to send a message to my friends that says that they are treasured, and loved.  Most of all, I look forward to not being a slave to the schedule.

Because of the society that we live in, I'm sure that my family will always be at war with that dreaded "busyness" we hate so much. We'll constantly have to go through the process of weeding out the good things in life to save room for the best things.  Our family time is precious and worthy of being closely guarded.

So the next time someone asks me how I'm doing, I hope I'm able to respond with anything other than  the word "BUSY."

Having a fabulously un-busy day,



  1. This hit home so much that it gave me chills. I completely know where you are coming from and I could not have posted this any better. I just posted about being "busy" and I think the "busyness" that we have been dealing with lately has been on my heart too. Granted our kids dont have to be at different places, as of yet, but I think just being gone from our "home" 3-4 nights a week takes a toll on us. I can't imagine what it will be like if/when both of our littles want to play sports and we are going to have to be split up like that :( Amen to family time! That warms the heart and fills me with joy so much more than the "busy" times that are unnecessary!
    Thank you so much for posting!!!

    P.S. Love your sunflower pic's....

  2. I enjoyed reading this post. A friend of ours knows we do horseback riding, piano lessons and we bike/run. We have done other things in the past as well - soccer,too! She said, "What happens when they all have different things they want to be involved in? Will you be running here and there?" I thought a minute wondering where she was coming from and said carefully because I am not very opened with my what we do, "We have made the decission that if we can't do the activity together as a family than that activity will not be included in our schedule until they are out of the house. " She smiled. I guess she was pleased with the answer?! I have to remind myself often our stipulations because I have a problem saying, "no!"


    I feel like some folks almost lord that word above your head, like, we are so busy! Why aren't you? Like they work harder or something. I know that is not the case for everyone---and I know this is not what you are overall meaning, but gosh darn, we do need to slow it down one zillion notches to fit in WHAT'S IMPORTANT. Guaranteed when we are looking at our last minutes on the clock our relationships are the only thing that are coming with us. Nothing else really matters.

    As always---just love your blog. I'm not sure why it doesn't pop up in my reader (I've been followin for awhile...) but am always thrilled to bits when I wander in here and there is a new post.

  4. I felt like I was reading my own mind!
    I try so hard not to use the word "busy" but it's virtually impossible. I hate being busy. Good for you to stop the craziness and enjoy the small have inspired me!
    Have a wonderful, not so busy, long weekend friend! We plan to do the same...quiet and laid back weekend with friends at the lake!

  5. WOW - i so needed to read that! My son just started football for the first time ever, and middle school at the same time - 3 weeks in and i am exhausted!! But for now.... i will handle busy and let him explore what brings him happiness - but knowing that sometimes you just have to bring the family back together above all else.... is the reminder i needed to hear today!! Lisa from Atlanta :)

  6. I love this!! So true.
    We are usually only busy with what goes on around the ranches. But, it's really nice to say---that'll wait til Monday---and take the weekend off. I hope to never really get so involved in extra activities that we can't breath for all the running. Course if we did we'd prolly go broke from buying the fuel to run into town for such things. I do want the boys to be able to to things that interest them, but it will have to be limited.

    Hope y'all have had a great start to your fun filled weekend! :)