I used to wear my “busyness” as a badge of honor. I took pride in showing people my color-coordinated, completely full calendar. People would shake their heads and say, “I don’t know how you do it.” I wasn’t sure how I did it either, but I was proud that I did. There was something for me that equated being busy with being efficient, being productive, being organized, and having it all together. The sad part is I was far from any of those things, but the busyness allowed me to avoid facing the real me.
The truth is, I was using being busy as an excuse.
As long as I was busy and could prove my busyness with my overflowing schedule, I had an excuse. An excuse for not being an attentive wife or playful mother. An excuse for not being a supportive friend or mindful volunteer. An excuse for not taking care of myself, both physically and mentally. An excuse for never being in the moment, because I was always coordinating my next day’s worth of busyness.
When a weekend would come upon me that was completely clear, I would feel a bit of anxiety. Being busy had become such a huge part of my identity, I wasn’t sure who I was without a list of activities that needed me. I was never quite sure what to do with myself.
As I sit here today, my calendar is just as full, but my attitude about being busy is completely different. Here’s the thing…
We are ALL busy!!! Whether we are a stay-at-home mom with young children or a working mom with no children, we are busy! Whether we are volunteering our time or being a caregiver to our parents, we are busy! Whether we are working at a job we love or watching our kids play sports, we are busy! Whether we are writing a blog or preparing a garden for food for our family, we are busy!
And here’s the other thing…
We ALL make time for things that are a priority for us, no matter how busy we are. Some of us make time to go to the gym or make a healthy dinner. Others make time to walk our dog or call our mom. We make time to be at our son’s soccer game or spend a few minutes with our granddaughter. Some of us make time to meet our friend for a drink or volunteer in our child’s class. While others make time to read a book or watch our favorite TV show. We make time to have dinner with our kids or go shopping for that special outfit for the weekend!
I’m not saying it’s easy, I’m just saying it’s not an excuse.
And I’m not saying we can do everything we want to do.
There are times I have to say no to spending time with friends because of my kids sports or because I’m at the gym, but there are also times I need to say no to the gym or skip a game because I miss my friends. Sometimes I forgo a healthy dinner so I can read a book in my hammock. Other times I don’t get to walk my dog because I meet my husband out for a quick catch up. And the times I don’t say no or I try to do it all, leads to all kinds of stress.
It’s about finding balance.
I mentioned in a previous post that our school was focusing on the The 7 Habits of Happy Kids this year. The seventh habit is Sharpen the Saw. This habit reminds us that just as a car needs four tires to run properly, we also have four parts that need equal attention in order to be healthy and happy human beings…our body, heart, mind, and soul. It’s with taking care of all four areas that we find that peaceful balance. I would challenge you that if you find yourself “too busy” for something or someone in your life, one of these four parts is consuming too much of your time.
I now cherish my down time as much as I cherish my busy time. I’m being intentional in making sure all four of my tires are pumped with air and ready to go! For example, on Easter I used my heart when I spent time with family celebrating over a delicious meal. I used my body when I went for a long walk in the sunshine. I used my mind when I spent time reading a book in my hammock, and I used my soul when I heard the wonderful sermon at church. Obviously, every day can’t be like that, but I’m determined to find a little heart, mind, body, and soul in as many days as I can!
So let’s quit using busy as an excuse and let us never be too busy sawing to take time to sharpen the saw!!
image by careergirlnetwork.com