Full of busy – it’s a good Northern phrase. And it describes how I feel right now at work, in my family life and my ‘spare’ time (ha). I feel like there’s very little space left that isn’t occupied by something (and usually several things) vying for my attention. Something always needs doing – household jobs, teaching my children how to read (pesky kids), remembering to shower, you know, all the usual stuff.
And yet I have a love/hate relationship with busyness. It makes me think of coffee. Takeout coffee specifically (stay with me..)
the most excitement I had last week was when my youngest son pooped in the bath
Whenever I see someone carrying a takeout coffee, I feel its pull and appeal. To me, it’s symbolic of a fast-paced, metropolitan life, rich with excitement. (Pretty far removed from how it feels parenting small children a lot of the time – the most excitement I had last week was when my youngest son pooped in the bath. Now THAT was an adrenaline rush..) By contrast, the takeout coffee people are too high-powered, interesting & busy to even sit down for a drink – these people clearly have things to do and people to see! They must be important and desirable in some way; their time is in demand and precious, and they’re not going to waste it on ‘drinking in’.
I generally end up with; burns, coffee stains and indigestion..
Predictably and prophetically though, on the rare occasion that I do get takeout coffee, it’s actually a pretty unpleasant experience where I generally end up with; burns, coffee stains and indigestion..
And, so, reality jolts me out of my caffeine-induced dream sequence, reminding me what happens when I find myself in the busyness I crave. I’m grateful for my job, family and home but too much busyness always leads to me feeling; burnt out, an emotional mess and generally discontent.
on my better days, I hop off the merry-go-round of app-checking & information overload
Every once in a while (though still not often enough) I remember to hit the reset button. I remind myself that I’m not a victim of circumstance and that thankfully one of the benefits of being a grown-up is I can actually choose how to spend my time! And, so, on my better days, I hop off the merry-go-round of app-checking & information overload and carve out some time to rest.
On my BEST days, this doesn’t even require booze.
Weekends are a helpful time for me to check my diary, check my priorities and make sure everything’s still on an even keel (whilst drinking coffee in a comfortable, seated position). It’s extremely rare that all the spinning plates are cosmically aligned but it’s a good reminder that it’s my responsibility alone to cancel/make plans until life feels more manageable.
How do you stop busyness overwhelming you?
By Si Cook
Ps. until the weekend, there’s always this: