Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Enough Time/ Slow Living

I read a New Yorker article about being busy, about how overwhelmed our society is, by and large. One of the ideas mentioned is that busyness is equated to importance. If you are important, you are busy.

I guess I'm not very important, because, I am not that busy, by nature and by design.

I don't cart my kids to dozens of practices and rehearsals. I prefer our evenings to be occupied with playing in the yard and family dinners, our weekends to be spent on the beach or around a bonfire. I like to spend time with my family and my friends, rather than driving around in our beloved minivan and then being forced to make small talk with other parents as our kids do all the things we think that they are supposed to be doing.

And as I was writing this post, I realize that this risks turning into nothing more than a humble brag, just me waxing philosophical  about how I have figured out how to live a slow, purposeful life. The truth is, I do feel pretty good about the pace of my life and the lives I'm helping to shape. But it does come at a cost. I frequently have to disparage myself. I have to brand myself lazy, apologize for all the things I don't do, for all the things I do badly.

I don't like to be busy. So that means I don't get involved. I don't spend time working on fundraisers or organizing events. And when people ask me to do things, which honestly doesn't happen that often, I don't have the handy excuse of being busy because... I'm not. And I don't want to be. So I say no so that I can remain that way. When I don't do the things that I really should do-- send care packages, volunteer at church, drop off boxes full of things to be donated, work-out-- I have no reasons to fall back on.

For instance, what did I do this weekend? I hung out. I spent about 10 hours on the beach. I folded some laundry. I made some food. I wrote a blog post. I looked over the new nature workbooks I bought for Sena and Gus. I watched three movies. I felt like I pretty good mother, but not the least bit productive. I am not, generally, very productive.

And I don't want to be. And I hope that's okay. I hope that the busy people will forgive me for not lightening their loads. I secretly suspect that their loads don't need to be so heavy anyway and that even if I did bear some of the weight, they would just find more things to pile on their poor, over-worked backs. But I hope they will forgive me all the same.

And with all my time spent not being busy, I'll just keep reading New Yorker articles and figuring out how to make them all about me.


12 comments:

  1. So nice to see you writing a post about me!!!
    Because you kind of did.

    I want to enjoy my life, friends, food, days on the beach and so on.
    I choose the same life as you do. Cause those are the things that give me joy, and makes me feel happy.
    So I don't mind being lazy.

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    1. Yeah, I'm pretty okay with it. Lazy moms unite, or don't, if that's too much work:)

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  2. this is me! everyone is always talking about how busy they are and sometimes it leads me to wondering what i'm doing wrong. i don't feel busy most days and i have 5 children. how can this be? anyway, i'm happy to see i'm not alone :)

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    1. I'm happy to know that I can keep knocking out kids and possibly maintain my level of not-busyness. This is very good news.

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  3. I love you and as a busy person, I can say it's totally ok. We're all different and that's the beauty of it all. We each choose whatever path and pace we are comfortable with. I am busy as far as accomplishing things within my home but lazy when it comes to things like social things. I just don't care. I get together with people when it works but I'm not going out of my way to make something happen, nor do I expect anyone to go out of their way for me. I'm not into trying to make new friends or complete some circle of friends. Sometimes I feel bad for this but then I think, no I shouldn't. It's me and that's ok. Again, we are all different and that's a pretty rad thing. ;)

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    1. Comfort level is really the key. Some people (my brother and mom, for instance), aren't comfortable sitting. They seem like they thrive on movement. For me, if I start to get too busy, and I get anxious, freaking out over when I'll get to sleep next. Weirdly, the only thing I like to be "busy" with is social engagements, preferably at my house. It's pretty much the only thing I make happen. And that is why my house will never be as nice as yours.

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  4. Piggy-backing off your other comment, "For me, if I start to get too busy, and I get anxious, freaking out over when I'll get to sleep next. Weirdly, the only thing I like to be "busy" with is social engagements, preferably at my house."

    That sentence so perfectly sums me up. I'm finally starting to accept that I enjoy having activities to look forward to but I do not like feeling busy. I used to think that career success was the only way to be successful, and that to be successful you have to be busy. I'm coming around to the idea that maybe I'm just fine with a job that pays the bills and a quiet life at home. That sounds just about perfect, actually.

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    1. The balance between enough activities to look forward to and not so many that I have no breathing room is one I finally feel like I've figured out.

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  5. Hell, I love this. I am always amazed at how busy I *feel* doing pretty much nothing. I have to list off in my mind things like, got the laundry hung up, started another load, rinsed the breakfast dishes, etc to make me feel better about say, still being in my pajamas at noon. I need copious amounts of sunlight lingering to maintain my happiness. And like you, I love my social life to take place right here in my own space although it's preferable that someone else do the cooking!

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    1. I also realize being busy is really a state of mind, since I asked Tom if he thinks we are busy, and he said yes, we are.

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  6. I think i'm the only person that comments on your blog posts who doesn't have a blog, etsy store, twitter, etc. ....I suspect that's because those things sound like things that busy people do ;) Will you please come and be super duper profoundly unbusy with me next weekend? Also, not being busy at your house is the BEST!

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    1. I enjoy not busy hangs outs the most.

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