So a little thing about me: I love self-help books. I love reading Gretchen Rubin’s thoughts on how I can keep my house more organized. I love finding out ways to be more productive. I love discovering how to live in the moment and concentrate on the here and now. I have this backlog of information stored inside my brain which should, in reality, make me an extremely calm, zen, slow person.
But the knowledge that living in the present IS better always conflicts with the western ideal that says being “busy” is the most admirable trait.
How are you? I’m soooooo busy.
How’s your week been? Really hectic. We have so much to do on the house/with the kids/at work/in the garden.
We put busy-ness on a pedestal so that, even though we are a generation of self-help reading, yoga-going, tea-drinking connaisseurs, in reality we feel either guilty about taking it slow OR we don’t even know how to do so.
We’ve just moved cities and while my husband productively goes off to work, I…
-can’t work because the proper paperwork hasn’t come through yet
-can’t get my apartment set up because we are still in temporary housing
-can’t go outside because it’s way too hot
And yet that western cultural pull to be ‘busy’ abounds. Yes, yes, I do have things to do, but I feel compelled to put in a full day’s work when really, for one of the first times in my life, it isn’t necessary.
So many of the people around me are presently in transitions. A friend who is recuperating from surgery. A mother who just retired. A father who is waiting for his next contract to start. Friends who are on “staycations”.
If I were to write a self-help book (which would be about giving advice that I should take myself but rarely do) it would be entitled Traveling Locally Through Transitions.
All those libraries you’ve never frequented. All those little paths you never took. All those picnics you always wanted to take. The fitness schedule that couldn’t be maintained. The people watching that you just didn’t have time to do.
My mom and dad went on a day trip the other day to a wonderful lakeside town about 40 minutes north of our hometown. I love that they did this. Not just because adventures are fun, but because even though on paper it’s only 40 minutes away…in reality when do we ever make time to travel to places closest to us?
Are you in a transition? Feeling like you should be more productive? Remember what all the self help gurus tell us…take time! enjoy life! meditate! be slow! be mindful!
Today I’m going to visit where I live as a traveller…and journey through each moment of the day in a slow, peaceful, non-busy way. I’m going to bring with me my sketchpad and my journal and a book…The most interesting thing? It’s always when I’m most calm and relaxed that ideas for my writing projects abound. Meaning? taking the time and being slow IS productive. So get out there!!! Explore your city!!!!!
Happy non-busy day to you!