Author of women's southern fiction

The Busyness of Being Busy

The Busyness of Being Busy

     Winter is wrapping up, so we’re unwrapping ourselves from thick winter coats, gloves and knitted caps.  We’re sweeping out fireplaces, throwing open windows to refreshing spring breezes, and hanging faux flower wreaths on front doors.  And we do all of this in great expectation of what the warm weather months ahead will bring in their usual busyness.  We plan vacations, pull out the grills in readiness for BBQs with the neighbors, and start ordering seed packets for spring planting.  It’s a renewing time of year, a time of rebirth, and a time to let out that pent up breath we seem to hold all winter; Ahhhhhh… To me, however, the busy months ahead can be a bit daunting, too.  I think about all that I need to get done, and my calendar is getting covered up like a plate of food left unattended by an ant mound at a picnic.  (See, spring really is on my mind!)

Why is it that we are always so ready to look ahead?  Is it because we’re afraid we won’t be ready?  Or are we afraid we’ll miss out on something if we don’t plan for tomorrow today?  I looked through my calendar and every month has dates already written in through the end of the year.  Crazy.  I always hear people talking about how fast time flies, but maybe we help it pick up momentum by looking so far ahead.  Just maybe we’re propelling ourselves forward much faster than we otherwise would if we just enjoyed the day at hand; not the days to come, but the day at hand.    But, no; we have to plan today what we’ll do ten weeks from tomorrow, and on that date, we’ll be planning what we’ll be doing ten weeks from then.

My niece is coming in for a few days’ visit next week, and I already have the dinners planned and activities scheduled.  How do I know that the night I’m planning on having blackened chicken salad we might prefer to have pizza?  Or the day we’re scheduled to take a hike, we might not feel like being couch potatoes and watching some old black and white movie classic?  Now I know where the expression, “the best-laid plans go awry” comes from.  It’d be an interesting thing to see how much plans change from those we scheduled in advance.  I think we should put a bright blue dot on every day on our calendar where we had something planned but ended up doing something else entirely different.  My guess is that a great percentage of those long ago scheduled plans end up being changed after all.

Now, don’t get me wrong; in this fast-paced world, I know it’s necessary to schedule things so that we’re all in sync, all on the same page with plans, all end up at the designated place at the designated time so as not to waste each other’s time.  But, I think we waste a lot of time trying to ensure that we won’t waste any of it.  All things considered, I think we might just be missing some pretty cool things in the here and now when we’re so busy looking ahead.