Dear Journal: Busy Is As Busy Does

BUSY-BEE-ON-BOARDDear Journal,

Why does it always seem like things happen in bunches? For instance, life might be quiet for an awfully long time (and I don’t appreciate the quiet as much as the noise), somehow lulling me into a sense that it will always be that way, and then once I’m in that place it EXPLODES and suddenly there are dozens of things that come at me all at once. And that’s not necessarily bad, just busy. Busy is as busy does, of course. So, as much as I rail against this idea of being constantly busy, the things I’m busy doing are generally productive, and it’s all good.

I tend to create my own busy-ness most times, scheduling several projects at the same time, but sometimes things come up that force me to squeeze them into my already jam-packed schedule. For instance, this novel that I’m suddenly writing. It came to me in pieces a couple of weeks ago, and I have to give it voice, so even though I’m in the midst of this interview project and I’m trying to get this poetry book off the ground I am giving the vast majority of my free time now to the novel. That’s just how it goes sometimes.

Then today is my oldest daughter’s birthday, and that means the past three days have been busy getting items and setting up for her party. That takes time and energy, and while I think we pulled it off well (the last of the stragglers left a couple of hours ago), it makes things busier and makes time go by faster. That’s another thing about being busy. I look up after I’ve been doing a myriad of things and the clock has gone bonkers. A whole day passes in the blink of an eye and I’m left wondering where it went. But then I look at the smile on my daughter’s face, or I look at the 20 pages I completed that day, and I remember.

Even then, though, I’m not one of those people who is “too busy.” You know the type, whenever you ask them to do something they claim they’re “too busy” and they couldn’t possibly find time in their schedule for you. Even when I’m at my busiest I try to carve out time for my friends, for my family, or for things that are important to me, regardless of how busy I am. Sometimes that means sacrificing some time working on a novel, but everyone needs those times to just relax with others, to take a timeout and enjoy the rest of what life has to offer. Busy is as busy does, but don’t get so busy that you can’t enjoy the journey.

I try to stop every once in a while even at my most hectic. It keeps me sane.

Sam

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