Several years ago, I read an essay that inspired me to stop describing my life as “busy”, even when it arguably is.
“Busy” suggests a certain mindlessness… perhaps a lack of autonomy – i.e., we’re at the mercy of our tasks and our schedules, without a choice in what we’re doing… and, for me, had been a way to hold other people at a distance, to suggest “I’m important”, and maybe even, “I don’t have time for you.”
Since then, I have been much more intentional, seeking words that are more adequate for the moment – and, I hope, more accurate. “There’s a lot going on, but it’s all meaningful.” “I regret that we don’t take time to prepare higher quality meals more often.” (Gosh, we’ve eaten terribly this week.) “I wish I could do everything that seems valuable and interesting!”
Sometimes – the busiest times – I settle for “full”. “Life is very full these days.”
And I know it’s a privilege to have so many choices, to feel that my work and my family and my leisure time are truly mine, and are meaningful enough that I want to do it all. Some people don’t have the luxury of choice. Or have limited options. Or are lonely. I will not, therefore, complain of busy-ness.
It’s also a privilege to be able to say, “no, not today” – as I have, today. I’m feeling atypically (for me) worn out today, and so I have chosen to miss a professional program that I’d been very much looking forward to attending. Instead, I’m going to do some writing and worship preparation and other catching-up – and perhaps I will take a nap in the afternoon.
I hope your life, too, is as full as you want it to be – and meaningful, too.