The other day I shared a blog link titled Busy isn't respectable anymore, by Tyler Ward. For me it was so refreshing to hear him sum up what he had to say with this disclaimer at the end of his piece, Being busy, in this context, is not synonymous with being hard working or productive or effective. Also, this article is calling into question busyness for busyness sake. Busyness by necessity, at least for a season, is an entirely different conversation. His words served as a backup to what I've been trying, without being able to put an exact finger on it, to accomplish since school ended last June.
I. Want. To. Slow. Life. Down.
Zach is graduating this coming June. A mere six months from now I'll have a high school graduate. Lucas is eligible to get his learner's permit (God help us all) in May, actually exactly five months from today. Claire wears mascara now with more regularity than going without it, and she now plans her outfits for the week ~ there are now very few days with t-shirts and sweatpants as the uniform of her day. The kids are growing up right before my very eyes and I want to be fully immersed in them and what they want to do right now. Busyness be damned.
At the beginning of last summer, I realized I was tired of saying with a sigh and a shrug, "I'm so busy. Always running. Always going. Schedules. Schedules. And more schedules." It seemed to me like a vast competition started somewhere along the path of parenthood with moms and dads everywhere vying for the top spot of busiest parent. So this past summer I'm pretty sure I made a subconscious, and yes I said subconscious on purpose, decision to try and stop the madness. I wanted to get off the hamster wheel. I wanted to slow down, but I didn't really know how so I just kind of went into a vicious tailspin, Top Gun style. I just plopped down in the water after my parachute deployed and floated waiting to be rescued from the busyness of life. I stayed rooted in my spot until things got really weird. I started making excuses because I was embarrassed I wasn't, and didn't wan to be, on the "I'm so busy" train anymore.
Maybe some thought I fell off the damned busy train. But in hindsight, I actually I think I jumped. And I have to say now that this is quite a refreshing place to be. I'm more connected with my kids and Stan. Now, when they ask me to go somewhere or do something with them, I try my hardest to say not only, "yes," but "YESSIREE-BOB!! Let's go!" I think Claire feels the shift. I know Stan feels it. There's more time for them and less time of me saying, "Just a minute. I'm busy."
I'm not saying I'm doing this perfectly. I'm not even saying I'm doing it OK. Nor am I trying criticize others for being on the busy train. But I am saying, for me, busyness can be damned. My kids are growing up too doggone fast and I don't want to miss it. I don't want to have regrets. I don't want to look back on these next years as all of my kiddos prepare to fly the nest and say, "Oh, I wish I would have spent more time with them."
So maybe my books aren't churning out quite like I'd like them to. Maybe I haven't posted blogs or stayed on top of my author page as much as I should. But the blog ideas are churning and my books are here, being slowly and methodically worked on during the times when no one is around and the house is quiet. Like today. Today is a perfect writing day. It's Monday. I'm home, in a quiet house, with a fluffy white dog at my feet, and I'm doing exactly what I need to do at a time it can be done. I've connected with a little bit of idleness to allow my brain to create again. I've written two blog posts today and have one more in the works. I think reading Tyler Ward's blog gave me the freedom to know that it's OK to give up the busyness, and admit it. And with that freedom came a link back to my creative, writing side, instead of just my creative baking side (our waistlines will all be thankful). Now I know I don't have to be embarrassed by not being so busy. Don't get me wrong, there is still a certain amount of busyness to my life that won't be gone until Claire is, but now I know it's OK to not have to keep up with everyone and their sighs about their busy, busy lives. My afternoon will come fast and furious and I'll have to get back on the busy train for a little bit, but it's nothing like it was before. And I'm happy I finally figured out that it's OK to damn the busy train and focus on the people in my life. I'm happy I can say, "I'm not too busy for you. Let's spend some time together." In the end the important things in life, to me, are friends and family. Busyness, for the sake of busyness, and feeling important, only gets in the way of what I really want in life.
I hope this explains my absence from the blogosphere and the author-sphere. I hope you'll stick with me as I work in my new way...toward less busy and more life.
Oh, for the love of my children....