Time is a funny thing.
As I get older, it seems to move more and more quickly. There are days and weeks for which I’m happy that the passing is quick. But many days, it’s a challenge to fit everything in.
We’ve all heard someone tell us how busy they are. For some, it’s a mark of overwhelm and stress; for some, it almost seems a badge of honor. It’s a too-easy response to the question: How are you? The reply: Good, but so busy. I’ve said it myself, with barely a moment to think before the words tumble out. You too?
Am I busy? Sure, but I work hard to keep my busy clear of crazy; I work hard not to let it cause overwhelm (though I certainly feel overwhelm and stress sometimes!) and I certainly don’t consider it a badge of honor. We’re all busy. But we make choices – every single day – about the way we use our minutes and hours, our days and weeks, our years and our lifetimes.
I’m too busy to take a painting class. I’m too busy to exercise. I’m too busy to eat healthily. I’m too busy, I’m too busy, I’m too busy. You know what? I don’t buy it. In certain circumstances, yes…we all go through phases of life when we are filled to the brim. But generally speaking—nope, I don’t buy it.
Busy is defined in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as engaged in action, full of activity…which, to me, actually sounds inviting, life-affirming, maybe even inspiring. Being engaged in activity is a positive thing when we’re careful about which activities fill our days. So be clear that your busy is a busy that suits you. Busy will look and feel different for each of us.
If I’m learning anything as I grow older, it’s that we have the power to make choices. We choose the fresh fruit or the doughnut. We choose the walk or the couch. We choose the canvas or the television. To be clear, I’m not implying that the doughnut or couch or television are poor choices. Sometimes they are just the ticket! So, yes, enjoy choices like that. Just be deliberate in those choices; be intentional. Know that any choice you’re making at any given moment is your choice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
I know days are full with work and family and friends and exercise and bills and cleaning and on and on and on. But what if, at the end of the day, you read a chapter instead of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? What if, at the beginning of the day, you walked for ten minutes instead of not walking at all? What if you attended the painting class instead of watching Netflix? What if?
I’m not claiming it’s always easy, this choice thing. But it’s simple. It really is. There might be a lot to do, but be clear on your priorities. Make intentional choices. And remember this: everything doesn’t need to be done today. Be engaged, feel the fullness. Say yes, say no. Shuffle and rearrange as necessary. Take deep breaths. Participate wholly.
You are alive. Be engaged.
Sending a little love your way, m