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.
Having a fabulously un-busy day,