“No such thing as spare time, no such thing as free time, no such thing as down time. All you get is life time. Go.” ~ Henry Rollins
I keep reading posts about busy.
Busy is a sickness.
We wear it like a badge of honor.
We say it to get people to feel sorry for us, admire us, envy us.
I get it.
But I don’t necessarily agree with it.
I think it’s like anything in life – depends on your personality and your perspective.
For me, busy is a good thing.
It’s the hustle and bustle of a well-oiled routine as the kids and I share the same space and all manage to eat breakfast, pack snacks and lunches, and get ready for school. Throw in a little attention for the dog, a quick rundown of the day for Tim, and we’re all out the door with quick good-byes and I love yous.
[I love that start to my day because I know it won’t be this way for long – S starts high school in the fall, and those years will fly by, and I’ll miss the busy-ness of our mornings.]
Then I have a short car ride of just me time – time to listen to what I want on the radio (currently classic vinyl on Sirius XM) before the busy-ness of work kicks in.
[I love that time, but there’s a part of me that misses the drive with a toddler or two buckled in the back seat and the Wiggles CD in place of classic rock. And the questions they asked – a different kind of busy time.]
I love the work kind of busy. I don’t think you can stay in education as long as I have and not appreciate the beauty of busy. No two days are the same, and that challenges me to keep a schedule, use a to-do list (Remember the Milk is my go-to on this), and rely on my Google calendar to remind me where I need to be.
[But that doesn’t mean I don’t have time to chat with a friend, talk with a student about their weekend, or to drop everything and write a recommendation letter for one who realized the scholarship deadline was today.]
And after school? Sometimes there are meetings. Sometimes I teach graduate classes. Sometimes I stay at school and work on my dissertation because my office has fewer distractions than my house. Often, though, I leave to pick up one kid or the other from practice or go to a game.
[Classes and committees are choice busy – I love to be part of those kinds of education experiences. The dissertation is bucket list busy. I know a lot of people don’t get my drive to do this and I have read often enough that on my deathbed I won’t be clutching that diploma, but it’s a brain kind of busy that I do just for me. And youth sports? I have never made either of them sign up for a sport they weren’t into, but I have encouraged them to try lots of different things, and then to choose the ones they love. And the busy of running S to her AAU practices? That hour+ car ride may keep us busy, but it also gives us the time to just talk, her and me.]
Eventually, I find my way home.
The dog greets me at the door – howling like I’ve been gone for weeks, not mere hours. One kid or the other needs something signed or help with a homework question. Both want to know what I’m making for dinner. Most nights a load of laundry needs to be washed or sorted and put away. Dinner gets made and eaten (usually with a compliment or two from C). The dishes usually get washed but sometimes they sit in the sink til the kids are in bed.
[I have things to do – an article to read or another few pages to write on the dissertation – but when C says, “Do you want to watch an episode of Psych?” I say yes, and he goes to the next episode on Netflix, and even though it goes past his bedtime, he curls up next to me on the couch, and we watch it til the end.]
Backpacks get repacked. Teeth get brushed. Both kids still get tucked in. Good night kisses and I love yous are said.
Lights out upstairs.
Back down to finish the dishes or the laundry or both. An uninterrupted conversation with Tim who sometimes is just getting in from the barn.
[I should probably sweep or mop or dust, too, but busy lets me be okay with a house that’s clean, not spotless.]
Papers out – to read, to write just a little more.
Let the dog out one last time.
Check the doors.
Set the alarm.
Turn out the rest of the lights.
Go to bed satisfied with the day -knowing I was busy in the right kind of ways.