I hate the word busy. It indicates a certain level of snobbery. People are always trying to communicate their value and superiority with the buzz word “busy.” When someone tells you they are too busy to have been in touch or have called my feelings so often get hurt. Somehow this word denotes to me that in the important things in your life, my friend, I was not one of them. (!!) After I get over the initial slap to my ego the rational side of my mind reminds me that life does often go by in a blur. I guess “busy” could describe this. Sadly I must admit to doing this to several friends myself. I think the word I should be using is “unorganized” or a better descriptor might be (NO REALLY is) my “chaotic” lifestyle. Memo to myself… change my priorities (a future post no doubt!).
Don’t get me wrong I think I know a thing or two about “busy.” As most of you know I have 9 kids, a fulltime job (beyond the one my offspring thinks is spelt M-A-I-D!) not to mention being the chief protector of my home against the in-house home wreckers (…a 24/7 service)!
These days I get up in the morning, stiff, every bone aching and think if this is what I feel like in my forties I can hardly wait until my sixties.(!!) I attribute most of this to either being too busy or not busy enough. My grandfather was known to tell his children that the human body rusts out well before it wears out (words of encouragement no doubt to lounge-lizard teenagers). I am determined to prove the opposite. I swear there are body parts on me that if I was a car I would have been deemed “scrap metal” a long time ago (and no not “those” parts just ‘cause I have a bunch of kids…don’t even think it)!
As a child I had to be kept busy even if it meant I had to ask to do chores. In order to alleviate the anxiety caused by having nothing to do I would invent all sorts of wild activities much to the chagrin and horror of the parental team (babysitters included) charged with my care. My goal in life has always been to pack in about as much as can be squeezed into a day (something my husband has grown to loathe and detest about me). That worked well when I was younger. I was always “busy.”
Lately there just seems so much left to do after the day is done and my forty-year-something-old eyelids are closing in disbelief it is already midnight and “the day” is truly over. The good news to this is that I have absolutely NOTHING in common with those who toss and turn restlessly hoping that sleep will come and take them to slumber in oblivion. I can barely remember turning out the light, far less my head hitting the pillow. I used to tell everyone (those jealous insomniacs) that I was enjoying the sleep of “the just.” I have come to realize it is more likely to be just total exhaustion nothing to do with any righteousness on my part.(!!) As I lay flaked out on my bed the caption on such a sight should read “I am woman…hear me SNORE!” I seem to think some of my fatigue is due to being at least as busy as my fellow human.
In trying to raise (I use the term loosely) my kids the notion of organized sports has often come up. I have been most successful in keeping any of such commitments to a minimum. This has meant that I have managed to elude “hockey” up until the 7th child was well past his 8th birthday. (Not too bad.. eh? After all I do live in Canada).
We had a very dear friend whose son was in hockey (he actually ate, slept and breathed hockey) and this kid really influenced my son. Sadly the friends moved away I thought with them would go the desire my kid seemed to have to play hockey. Well not so much. Three years later still a burning relentless desire for hockey is alive in this kid.
So in spite of driving “a van” for years (no sports mom here! ) don’t you know I now have kid #7 in hockey. (!!)
Not sure what it is but as soon as anyone has heard that this kid is in hockey suddenly now I am being referred to as “busy.” Really? You mean 9 kids, laundry, groceries, (more laundry) chauffeuring, refereeing, supervising, diapers, more laundry, appointments (not to mention the school stuff times 7 kids), husband and a full-time job outside of home apparently does not count as ”busy.”
Put a kid out on the ice in a league and you are at once “presto” a “hockey mom” and recognized as legit “BUSY”!
Now to be fair to the other hockey moms out there “busy” can apply. Emails show up with practice times for whenever the team could get the ice time and then you have to scramble and shuffle the rest of the family’s itinerary to comply. Compounding this is that your arrival at practice could be for 5:30 am (bring it on… a “sleep in” for me usually is not past 6:30 am). Don’t forget one has to arrive 30 minutes early (to suit up) and there may be extra travelling time if the practice or game is in the next town or two. Then there are the fundraisers, the meetings, the pictures and the special events. Uh-huh…yep “BUSY” is right.
Being “busy” is definitely the superior position as it somehow denotes an innate value far above your average fellow-man. People nod and discuss others as being “busy” and suddenly the listeners are held captivated by the worth and integrity of the person being described. Then some people will talk about in spite of so-and-so’s “busy” schedule they made time to do such and such. More value. More nodding of heads in awe as we imagine that this “busy” person is kind of like superhuman and already floats above the rest of us lay about slackers.
We are so caught up with the word “busy” no one has stopped to think what “busy” really means. “Busy” could be cleaning out one’s basement, playing cards, alphabetizing the cans in the pantry…I don’t know…taking a bubble bath…who knows? “Busy” always sounds so legitimate boasting both integrity and discipline not to mention the inherent superiority factor.
Perhaps it is not so much about the word “busy” that makes one valued as it is the rampant fear that until we attain recognition as “busy” by our peers any one of us might be is vulnerable of being identified as the opposite …”LAZY!”
Definitely “busy” implies a distinct value of almost superhuman proportions…and now thanks to hockey I can now join this elitist club. I am now officially “BUSY”….only thing… I am left wondering what I was before. (??)
A verifiably “busy” Garden Goat
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