11 May 2013

stopping the busy

I am busy. Too busy. Some can't be avoided as it is work-related, and there will always be an ebb and flow. But some can be avoided. It's just that I'm often too cowardly to say no. I do not like when people are unhappy with me. It's easier to say yes and avoid the disappointment of others. But then I find myself in a frenzy. I find myself frantic.

This busyness is overwhelming. Jumping from one thing to the next. Checklist after checklist made. Hoping not to let the balls drop from each project. Hoping that if I've missed something, I can cover and come up with a solution. And, more, hoping that those I must rely on will pull through on the important things. The things that won't be overlooked.

This busyness is frustrating. With too many balls in the air, if one is thrown just a little off, it can make me crumble. This week at work, the copier jammed. Tears spilled over. And then laughter because OH MY GOSH it's just a copier jam. I explained to my coworkers that it was a tough day. One demanded I get out of the office, and she would clear the jam and make my two copies. This is the busyness that is unavoidable. But it will pass. And until then, I have friends at work who take things from me when needed.

This busyness is consuming. I constantly think about all I need to get done. Ready for each day to be over so that it's one less day of busyness. Hoping to finally cross off an entire to do list. All the while keeping my house somewhat picked up and figuring out how to make the simplest meals, hoping we have leftovers in the refrigerator. I hate living life like that.

This busyness is annoying. I will not glorify this busyness. I try not to talk about it too much. My life is more than six weeks of busyness. But I recognize that once I get frantic, my relationships are strained. I'm not present like I should be.

Earlier in the week, a favorite author, Shauna Niequist, wrote for Storyline blog. And I wanted to give it a slow, standing ovation. She wrote about living a less-frantic life,
I’m adopting a ruthless anti-frantic policy. I’m done with frantic. The new baseline for me: will saying yes to this require me to live in a frantic way? I’m saying no more often than I’m saying yes. I’m asking hard questions about why I’ve kept myself so busy all these years. 
As summer approaches, I want to practice living a less frantic life. I want to be present in my relationships. I will have to be intentional in saying yes--or no. I want love well those around me. I want to have conversations that don't include a portion of my checklist. I want to have meals and jars of tea and dessert with those close to me. I want to be less frantic.


Christine said...

Amen and amen. I've loved that post of Shauna's. I'm not a good mom or wife at ALL when I'm too busy, or frantic. Let's kick busy to the curb :) I'm about to write a post about some things I'm learning about people-pleasing...I think you'll like it :)

Kristina said...

I'm anxious to read your thoughts and what you've learned about people-pleasing. Sometimes I think I need a recovery group. :)