Done calling myself “busy”

thIf a life is like a

Jar full of rocks,

My jar is objectively

Pretty full.

I’m married,

We have four kids

Ages two to fifteen.

My husband and I both

Work full-time.

I spend time every week with my

12-step program and my church.

I see friends frequently.

Exercise daily.

Have a blog, and am

Working on a novel.

And yet,

I made a decision at the

New year:

I’m going to stop calling myself

“Busy.”

A rich life?

Absolutely.

A busy one?

No thanks.

When people asked

How I was, I always answered,

“Good.

Busy,”

The “busy” somehow a

Qualifier to the “good.”

The busier I thought of myself

And the busier I told people I was,

The busier I felt.

Just saying the word

“Busy”

Tightens my chest like

Twisting a piece of cloth.

The panic of

Not enough time,

Feeling like I’m trying to do the

Impossible:

Fit more into this span of time

Than the limitations of our world

Allow for.

Or, to tack on to the

Rocks-in-jar metaphor,

To try to cram more rocks

Into the jar than

The jar can hold.

(Pushing down on rocks to

Compress them

Is a futile exercise,

A waste of time and energy,

And can break the fragile jar-vessel.)

There have been times when I’ve

Glimpsed the

Self-induced spin I’ve

Put myself into.

Sudden breaks in the action when,

Between this and that activity,

I have an unexpected blip of unplanned time,

And I’m at a loss.

I actually grasp for the

Next thing

(Or my

So-called

Smart

Phone)

Because I’m so

Unpracticed at just

Hanging out.

Being.

There’s also a

Self-importance to my

Busyness, and an

Implication that

I don’t really have time for

You,

So if I’m standing here

Talking to you,

You’re imposing on my

Precious

Time.

(Even if I have a smile on my face.)

In the last few months,

I started to suspect that,

Maybe I’m not as

Busy

As I think I am.

I’ve got a lot of rocks in my jar,

But there are

Spaces between the rocks.

And room at the top for

New rocks,

If I want there to be.

Thinking of myself as

Busy,

I cut myself off from the

Serendipitous.

I’m so focused on

The next thing to do that

I don’t even see all these

Cool things and

Cool people

Happening around me.

I catch myself now.

When people ask me how I am,

I don’t tack on the

“Busy”

Qualifier.

I’m trying to focus more on the

Spaces between the rocks,

The air in there,

The nothingness.

Those spaces,

That’s my paradise.

That’s my wandering without aim,

My earplug-quiet and darkness

Just before sleep,

My Sunday mornings when we

Skip church,

My clocklessness,

My finding myself with

Nothing to do,

And

Not reaching for my

Smart phone.

Paradise amongst the

Rocks.

 

 

 

 

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3 thoughts on “Done calling myself “busy”

  1. So very good. I read a story about someone who demonstrated something with a similar jar fill of rocks, apparently full, into which he then poured gravel, and then sandwich. Not full after all, was it. But I like your way of leaving the spaces between the rocks, which is fuller than full. Thank you Jen.

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