Being Busy

Easy RiderLast week I wrote…”Life is certainly one thing: uncertain.” – well, it’s certainly one other thing: busy! So forgive me for being late on the Movie Quote Thursday. But, what a topic to explore for just a minute – we all only have just about that much free time anyway.

I often find myself daydreaming about a simpler time in my life; one in which each day and week and month and year didn’t seem like a fast-paced, blurry race taking place on an 8-lane highway full of constant frenzied traffic. My days are full of all manner of obligations. I keep the refrigerator full, cook meals, do laundry, drive for hours in traffic most days, work, support my kid’s extracurricular activities, write, train for endurance events, keep the house clean, help prepare college applications, attempt to stay in touch with friends, run errands, blah, blah, blah…And each moment of “down time” has me stressing about all things I didn’t get to yet. I’m stressed about the people that haven’t called me and the ones I haven’t had a chance to get back to. When did life get so hectic and busy?

Then I stopped to listen to a few friends. One was telling me how tired they are after working their two jobs, another from preparing to move to another state, another completely wiped from being busy traveling between two homes in different states with multiple time demands in both, another from travels for work across the country and away from family for weeks at a time. I stopped to watch my kids. They get up before 6:00 – race to school, study, play their sports, volunteer, study more, help out (with a little whip-cracking) around the house, study more, give up their weekends for debates and tournaments, and finish studying sometimes not until past midnight.

I want to complain about being busy, but everybody is busy. We are all stretched. Life is lived in the fast-lane – and all the other lanes at the same time – so we need to accept that and move on. When we get stuck in line, the person behind us is just as busy. When the doctor makes you wait an hour it’s because she’s seeing a lot of patients. When you’re waiting on a call back from a client or your boss, don’t take it personal – they’re probably busy as hell.

We live our lives mainly as a result of the choices we make and it’s probably disingenuous to complain about being busy. Instead, let yourself daydream, make different choices if you must, cut people a break, and stop to smell the roses from time to time. Me, I’ll keep my mouth shut on the subject out of respect for how busy you all are – besides, I got so much to do!

Here are a few movie quotes that may be apropos:

“Your life’s ‘To Do List’ must be a baffling document.”  – Russell Brand in Get Him to the Greek

“You do your own thing in your own time.”  – Peter Fonda in Easy Rider

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.”  – Matthew Broderick in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

“We are who we choose to be.”  – Willem Defoe in Spiderman