The other night I read an interesting New York Times article (here) about our culture’s obsession with being “busy”, even when it’s largely self-imposed. Ask anyone how they’re doing and you’ll likely hear “busy!”, proudly stated, like an accomplishment, as they load the minivan with soccer balls.
The author noted, “everyone I know is busy”. I agreed at first. Then I realized, wait, I’m not “busy”. Sure, our farmhouse has an endless list of projects, and the snerds keep me moving all day, but our days are unstructured. My kids aren’t in school yet, they aren’t enrolled in activities, classes or camps. The only mad dash out of the house in the morning is if I want to attend an early yoga class (hurry to relax, ironic, I know.)
We wake up each morning with the day stretching before us like a blank canvas. A few days ago I was hoping to hit the gym for yoga, then get some painting done (on the outside of our house) or weed the garden with the munchkins. However, my son wasn’t feeling great so we skipped yoga and ended up creating a 3 act play, that we scripted, designed, practiced and then preformed for daddy at lunchtime. The snerd’s first play! It was awesome!
If spontaneity and creativity are the by-products of being “not busy”, what is the appeal for being “busy”? Rushing around? Stress? Being pulled in many directions at once? What is the obsession with “keeping busy”– and why do we want to? Our culture currently has opposing ideals of being busy, but yet simplifying our lives. I don’t understand how anyone can do both. Moving to our farm was also a move to simplify life for my family, and most days, not being busy is absolutely wonderful.