We have a box of table topics we open up at dinner. Each card has a different question. Some are mundane. Some are offbeat. They launch some pretty interesting conversations. Last night’s question was “are you too busy or not busy enough?” We all gave the same answer. I wonder why they even put that question in the box.
My husband challenged the dude’s answer. “Are you really so busy?” The dude gave him the look. “No really. Are you that busy? You have time with friends, you have time to text, you have time to shoot hoops. You aren’t desperately stressed, staying up all night working, or under the gun. Yes, you’re busy, but it’s nothing you can’t manage.”
The dude wasn’t pleased. While they bickered about whether my son was too busy or not, I thought about what my husband said.
When people ask me how I am, I generally say, “Good. Busy, but good.” Truth is, most of the time, I feel overwhelmed and constantly behind. But am I really that busy?
My hubby and I talked about it afterwards. Actually, I talked, he listened. Even the words came out in a rush, like I had to talk as fast as I could, otherwise I’d run out of time. It was something like, “I’m at loose ends because the dude doesn’t really need me anymore, but I will never finish the novel at this rate and I should be writing new material, but nothing is coming to me, and the house is a mess, and I hate cooking dinner, and the laundry is never finished and the cat had a fur ball today and maybe I should meditate because my mind won’t sit still in one place, and I haven’t signed the dude up for behind-the-wheel driving yet, I guess I’ll do that tomorrow, and what if I can never find anything to write about ever again? I have too much %*&# to do, but if I could get it done, then I could think straight.”
I took a deep breath. I needed to. He said, “Is all that %*&# ever done?”
He’s right. There is always more to do. Rather than being a really depressing thought, which it easily could have been, it was sort of freeing.
When I was young, the summer days stretched out forever. I didn’t have to accomplish anything, yet each morning was filled with the day’s potential energy. Playing is never “done.” There is always more to do, but I don’t think I ever had panic attacks as a child over how much sandbox playtime I got if I spent another fifteen minutes bike riding.
Granted, laundry is not as fun as playing on the swing set, but I have to wonder how much energy I waste with a constant-overload mindset. What do I gain by telling myself that I have too much to do? If I’m always thinking about what I should be doing next, I am never really present where I am. It’s like eating while wondering what my next meal with be.
So, the thought I will throw out this week is that I have too much to do. I have just enough to fill the hours available.
Each day has limitless potential. What will I fill it with?
What thought will you throw out this week?
Last week’s thrown-out thought – I am a writer