Friday, May 27, 2005

Too Busy To Live

That's the title of a book.

Picked it up today in the course of my job...reading through it while at the doctor's office -- to make the most of the wait, you know. Heaven forbid that I spend those few minutes doing nothing, contemplating anything other than work and clients and making the "best use of my time." Must redeem the time...

I doubt that it was coincidence that I was visiting the doctor because my blood pressure is off the charts high again...and there I sit with a book in my hands describing a culture that has us so consumed with busy-ness that we are not living. We equate "motion & activity" with "productivity & fulfillment"...and it couldn't be further from the truth.

As I sat there in the doctor's waiting room, waiting to go outline my list of afflictions & maladies that are interfering with my "busy-ness," I realized that my health wasn't actually interfering with my life...but that my life was interfering with my health.

My name was called not too long after getting through the first few pages, and I weighed & had my BP checked (incredibly high, I might add), and as the nurse left...I picked back up the book. Must redeem the time...

So as I scanned through the pages (of course, I'm not really reading the book, just scanning it so that I can understand its premise and suggested solutions) I realized that this book is not FOR my is ABOUT my life.

That's as far as I got...the doctor came in and I unrolled the never-ending list of all the things that don't function as they should...the things that make my life uncomfortable...the things that keep me from being more productive and fulfilled...

Must redeem the time...

I've come back to work to finish up my tasks for the afternoon...confirming that I will in fact be leaving early Tuesday morning for a whirlwind trip to the Northeast...which means an early morning trip to the dry cleaners tomorrow. That doesn't sound like THAT big of a deal, unless you realize that we have had tomorrow marked on the calendar for is the first morning we've had to sleep in...turn off the alarm clock...have nowhere to go, and nothing to do. Oh yes, except get the clothes to the dry cleaners by 8am so that they will be ready tomorrow afternoon.

Let me stop here and plainly say that this is not a complaint, but merely an observation...a narrative of the day.

There is nothing wrong with rising early and getting stuff done...there is a certain excitement about going on a trip to a new place and meeting new people...I enjoy being a contributor to my office and being called upon to help out with projects...I am thankful for a husband who supports and encourages what I do, and is happy that I am happy doing what I do.

But I have to wonder...thinking about the events of the day...what can I cut out? What is under MY control to phase out and simplify my life? With a husband, and two kids, and a full time job, much of what I do is either for my job...or in response to my husband's job...or taking my kids to their activities. So really, I am not just keeping one person's schedule, I am keeping the schedule of 4 people!

So when time is available, I try to fit in the other things that have been pushed to the side. The things that didn't make the 'first cut' of the schedule...

Must redeem the time...

So at what point do all the activities we engage in provide us sanctuary? And at what point do we simply become too busy to live?

In the long run, what does it really mean to redeem the time?


At 11:53 PM, Blogger BarbaraFromCalifornia said...

Hi there Whit,

Good to see you posting again.

You raise an intersting question.
As a working mother, I remember people telling me, 'oh you have it all. But just because I was 'doing' it all, did not necessary mean I had it all. I would juggle, run, have to adjust and drive myself mad most of the time, coming up for air, but ultimately what mattered is that my children were raised in a good, loving environment. The house was not always clean, and something I would be mean, but those were the payoffs. Now, I think about it, there were times I did not have to breathe.

Watch your blood pressure, woman! That can be scary. And you want to be healthy and there for those children! Most important factor, I have learned.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger dayna said...

Enjoyed reading your thoughts this morning. Its nice to read posts that are honest and introspective.


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