I’m not sure how or why or when it happened, but somewhere along the way our society decided that busy-ness is the new black. When people can squeeze each other in for a quick cup of coffee or a hurried dinner, the conversation often turns to the laundry list of tasks that have been done, need to be done, want to be done. Although all this busy-ness is presented as a complaint, it really comes across more like bragging rights. The busier one is the better they must be, surely crowned as the more important one, the one who is winning.
But not me, I’ve decided. Maybe I am getting old. Well not maybe – I guess I actually am. At the end of a day where I was decidedly homebound and happily so, I wondered if I would someday do a life review and feel like I had squandered my time on these lazy Sundays. Days like today that are made of decadence like fresh linens, the smell of banana bread wafting through the air, hours sorting through future travel options, naps and thoughtfully planned dinners. This is not about busy-ness or what needs to be done, other than needing to tend to my soul. I just can’t imagine I could ever regret it. Has it furthered my progress, made me a better person? Got me closer to any of my goals? Not really. Do I care? Not really.
My friend described it perfectly recently and I’ve clung to her words, taken them on as my own. She said, “I have a really full life, a life that I love. But part of that fullness includes pockets of emptiness that I must fiercely protect.” Yes, yes, yes. That is beautiful. The space and time created by pockets of emptiness matter a whole lot, too. There is no need to overthink it. I’m keeping them.
This is wonderful. Busy has come to mean important. One of times I was retired, people would ask me, are you keeping busy? And reading, doing things with family and naps did not count.