First things first: I'm currently writing this blog while sitting on the couch in my apartment, watching an episode of Parenthood on Netflix and eating grain-free granola with almond milk. Someone please tell me how I can be a little more of a Millenial. *self-five* Glad we're all on the same page.
So, I've been having the same recurring conversations a lot lately. They go more or less like this:
"Hey! Sorry we haven't caught up in a while. I've been so busy! How are you?"
"I'm good, just so busy too! How are you?"
"Hey! I miss seeing you! Life is too busy. When can we get together?"
"I miss seeing you too! Things are just so busy. Once everything settles down, we definitely should get together!"
I feel like I have some variation of those conversations at least every other day for the past... several months. Maybe longer. And it's true. I'm super busy. To be sure, I make time for episodes of Parenthood and the occasional night out with friends; but overall? Busy busy busy. We're all busy.
Today I was seeking a few minutes of solace in some quiet prayer before the start of a busy weekend. Apparently St. Francis de Sales said, "Half an hour's meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed." To which I say: LOL. Maybe someday I'll be a baller like you, St. Francis, but today is not that day. I cut my prayer time short today because I have too much to do. And by today I mean for the past month. But I digress.
While I was there, I ran into a friend - someone I have been meaning to catch up with and get together with for, oh, months now. We both apologized to each other for not having gotten together yet, and recited the mantra: "Things have just been so crazy and busy!" And its true. Things have been crazy; we both lead very busy lives on somewhat bizarre schedules.
But it hit me right then: I'm getting really tired of answering questions like "how are you?" and "what's new?" with "I'm busy!" Sure, it's true that my life is very full. But since when did "busy" become a defining characteristic of me? If you just met me, you might start to think that the hierarchy of defining characteristics in my life goes something like this:
3. Beloved child of God
4. Daughter, sister, friend, etc.
I joked with my friend about it, but then I took it to prayer for a few minutes. It's true that I'm busy... we're all really busy. Part of it is just life - real life takes work, and this elusive, ambiguous time in the future where things will "settle down" does not exist. There will always be more to do on this side of Heaven. So, that much is true. Life is busy. But in addition to that, could there not be a part of us that likes being busy - maybe a bit too much?
"I'm so busy." I like to be busy. I don't really know how to not be busy. What do I do if I have nothing to do? It makes me anxious.
"I'm so busy." I cling to my busyness and keep it like a blanket around me. Being busy makes me feel useful; being useful makes me feel like I have worth. Can't let go of that. Busy is safe.
"I'm so busy." What if nobody needs me? Will they still want me around/like me/approve of me? Will I still have value? Am I doing enough things to be loved?
"I'm so busy." If I'm not busy, will I have to actually answer those questions? Will I have to be honest with myself and with God about where I'm finding my worth? Yikes. No, thanks. I'll stay busy.
I don't have the answer for you guys yet. Well, actually the answer is pretty clear. What I don't have is the solution. But anyway, that's what I'm chewing on these days. And I've been too busy to write a blog post for months now, so... there you have it.