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27 June, 2021

Busy enough without admitting it!

BUSY. It’s like a modern-day scourge on our life- style; and I used to find myself saying it – A LOT!!!

By Meredith Papas

How often do you find yourself in conversa- tion with friends / family / colleagues and what starts as a genuine enquiry into how you’re all going suddenly degenerates into a spiralling race to the bottom, punctuated by words like chaos, madness, a whirl, batsh*t crazy and, you know, just soooooooo busy!

I have really tried to stop myself from using that word – with various (and sometimes not so great) measures of success.

Think about it! It’s such a default thing to say, and it is just so lazy in the conversational sense! Which is kinda funny, when the word is supposed to mean the opposite.

It also drives me to drink!

Never EVER am I too busy for that!

Oh, but wait there. I am.

We spend so much time working, running around after kids, trying to catch up with friends and family, feeling guilty for not catching up with said friends and family enough, and then trying desperately to wedge in the stuff that life demands we do – like the house- work, the mowing, the washing and cooking.

Three weekends in a row I bought cream to make scones. Three Wednesdays in a row I threw the cream out because it had expired and I was left dejected and muttering hurtful com- ments to myself about not having cooked the scones – AND I had wasted the cream!

My drier works night shift.

My computer is never off.

I plan. I replan. I plan for contingency.

I then scrap the plan.

Sound familiar?

I have come to a conclusion, after 45 and a bit laps around the sun, that I can read all I like about pressure cookers that save your life, being a member of the 5am club or knowing how to lose friends and infuriate people (although that last one I have somehow mastered in various degrees over the years), but the only way I am going to un-busy my life is to do me and do it well.

My 16-almost-17-year-old son and I discussed the possibility of getting up and 5am to go to the gym together.

And then we laughed. Hard.

I find I am at my most ‘busy’ and least productive when I am trying to fulfill the expectations of others.

For me – and for us as a family – knowing what we are not has been just as important as knowing what we are.

We are not morning people. We are not overly social. We are not super organised and we are absolutely not perfect. There is almost nothing that could motivate me to get to a gym at stupid-o’clock in the morning and we have found that being just in time for school actually means missing most of the awful traffic (we live in the Northern Beaches; enough said??).

We. Are. Us.

Yes, life gets hectic and as a dance / footy / etc mum, I feel like there are some days where my backside is glued to the driver’s seat of my car!

But I am not alone there!

However, I refuse to fall in a heap of pitiful busy-ness and bemoan the plight I share with so many others – others who are often doing it a whole lot tougher than I am.

It’s not the time you have – or don’t have. It’s what you do with it.

Quality over quantity.

Time spent, not killed.

Time managed by being you and running your own race at your own pace.

It’s up to you whether you are busy or not. No books will help.

It’s all a state of mind. And, a fabulous one, at that!


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