Why are we so busy? Why am I so busy that it feels like I can never catch my breath? Why is it that busyness has come to define a lot of folks lives. Many of my friends are always talking about how to find balance in their lives. We’ve all been told that it’s okay to say no, however what happens when your interests and passions demand so much of you? This question was posed on social media a few days ago. It made me stop and think about easy it is to be consumed by busyness.
A perfect example is Thanksgiving Day- I awoke, got the kids and myself dressed, picked up their friend and my friend. We all headed down to the annual Thanksgiving Day parade. I packed a Thermos with hot cocoa and snacks for the boys. First off, I was behind schedule, which is not unusual, however it is amplified with kids, raced in and out of traffic to get downtown to see my husband walk in the parade with his company. We had TV Zone seating. I had a few dollars on me and my bank card. Of course, parking was more than the usual fee because it was a holiday and special event. $30. I whipped out my bank card only to learn that the automated machine was down. There was $27 in my wallet. I expressed my dismay and informed the attendant that I’d have to back out despite the long line of cars because I didn’t have three dollars. The stress was building and secretly I just wanted to walk away. The attendant took pity on me and allowed us in. I gave him my $27 and said Thank You. I rushed everyone to their seats and my girlfriend turned to me and she said, “Breathe.” I told her this is why I don’t like to come out because it always seems like something is going on. The stress of making sure everyone was where we were supposed to be and had what they needed sapped all of the fun out it. Notwithstanding the fact, that my three year old decided to fall asleep in my arms because he was tired. I navigated requests for hot cocoa, snacks and blankets. I took a couple of pictures, however many of mine were taken by my girlfriend. Needless to say I watched the parade with the thought is it over? I’m tired and ready to go home.
Now as far as my community interests go there is literacy, education, mentoring and family stability. I support each of these causes through a wide variety of organizations. Meetings, events and other engagements clog my calendar. I’m not complaining at all about the personal choice that I made to be committed, however it takes more energy than it did before to complete the tasks. I recently attended a dinner with my husband and my oldest son-we had fun, but it sure was stressful trying to get there.
Recently, I was in a big box store and a woman struck up a conversation with me over a piece of furniture. She lamented how she wished her three adult sons were my sons ages again and that although she had nothing to complain about, things were very different. Her sons are all married. I nodded and said yes, I know I should be grateful, but its just so darn frustrating and tiring chasing two little boys around all day. She acknowledged my frustration and I acknowledged hers and for several minutes I allowed her an opportunity to vent. As mothers we are all faced with different struggles and challenges. At the end of the day we all want the same thing- our children to be safe and happy.
So to answer the question, why are we so busy? I think for some of us we are defined by what we do. I know that is true for me. I’m challenging myself this year to stop being so busy and just be in the moment. I want to be able to see the world through my kids eyes rather than always trying to make sure they have a perfect moment that they’ll remember.