Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm Much Too Busy...

It was a week of lessons in civility brought to us by Wilson, Williams and West. Every newspaper I picked up, every website I visited, and every magazine I subscribed to was abuzz about our society's inability to be gracious and humble. It seems that we as a nation have forgotten how to keep our mouths shut and demonstrate self-control.

I grew up in a household of five girls where my mother would often tell us to "act like a lady, even if it hurts." Over the years, I've learned that biting your tongue figuratively can be a lot more painful than doing so literally. But lately it seems that what we as individuals have to say simply can no longer be contained. (Hence my blog.) When did we get so gosh darn important?

Which brings me to my rant. I'm not going to add my two cents to this week's civility lessons. Instead, I'm going to vociferate about a problem that I believe has added to this attitude of self-importance. This week, I'm going off on....busy people.

Every one of us is allotted the same 24 hour period, 7 days a week. Mother Teresa managed to minister to the poor, the sick, the orphaned and the dying during her 24 hours. Leonardo da Vinci made due with his 24 hours while dabbling in math, science, engineering, botany, anatomy, painting, sculpting, writing and playing name a few. Best I can tell, Franklin Roosevelt put together the New Deal in a string of 24 hour periods. And yet, a lot of people today cannot manage to get dinner on the table in the same 24 hour time span.

My problem is not in the fact that dinner isn't made, but rather that busy people feel the need to recite the litany of reasons why they don't have time to make dinner. They reel off the list of excuses as if I couldn't possibly understand because I'm not nearly as busy. Or perhaps even more offensive, they assume that I haven't made dinner either. Quite frankly, I don't have time for this behavior (I'm far too busy).

Busy people wear their busyness like a badge of honor. It's become a competition amongst busy people to prove that they are the busiest. "You think you're busy? Your child plays soccer, takes piano lessons and art lessons? Hah! Mine does all of those as well, and he's in a play at school AND he's got 2 brothers in activities as well!" You do the math...the person with the most kids in the most activities is the busiest person. And the busiest person wins.

I love how busy people act as if they aren't responsible for setting their busy schedules. One minute they are in complete control and the next..POW...their kids are put on several sports teams and are forced to take guitar lessons. So, I guess what we are to believe is that coaches are sneaking into the homes of busy people in the middle of the night and taking their children to travel soccer tryouts without the parents consent or knowledge. And to make matters worse, when the parents do find out, they can't say no. It's out of their hands and there is nothing they can do about it.

Don't get me wrong, I realize that there are plenty of truly busy people out there. I think the difference is that a productive person, one with a lot on his plate who manages to pull it off on a daily basis....doesn't obsess about it. And doesn't feel any more important as a result of having a hectic schedule. (Nor does he feel the need to share the boring details with others). And most importantly...a truly productive person doesn't fear free time.

I could go on and on and on, but I don't have the time...if I told you all that I have to accomplish between now and the time I have to be at the bus stop, your head would explode. I'm one busy lady. Move over Mother Teresa....


Cheri said...

Heaven knows that I'm with you on this one! Busyness is a choice, and to be honest, I don't care about anyone else's busyness. If you need a favor from me, just ask, but don't go to the extent of explaining to me WHY you need the favor. So you've got to go to two bus stops, three games, a recital, and two teacher conferences tomorrow before you save the world and end world hunger? I don't give a crap. To me, it sounds like showing off. Yes, I'll happily get your kid at the bus stop, but don't try to get me to do it because you've got five other kids to tend to. That was your choice. Whether to get your kid is mine. (Phew. That was a bit of a rant there, wasn't it? Feel free to delete.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Laur,

I'm so sick of all the bellyaching about business too. Yes, these people simply heap WAY too much on their plates, and there is a choice. Kids are so overprogammed that I feel sorry for most of them. If we could lower the flame on them, maybe we could all just chill a little bit. Isn't that what working is about? Having the luxury to relax once in awhile? Slow down, people, life is not a race. You'll miss all the good stuff.


Anonymous said...

cool. lol. you know that it is me.

Anonymous said...

I am very busy doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

You write the best blogs. You served up a real good one here. I wish the people who need to read this did so.

(They would never admit to having enough time to read your blog, though).