Last week the following was a repetitive conversation.
Friend, teacher, administrator from the boys’ school. “Hey, how was summer?”
Me, on autopilot, “Busy.” Brief pause while I self correct to, “Good, but busy.”
I want to crawl out of my skin just typing it, let alone reliving the many conversations that went just like that.
By weeks’ end, I climbed into my car and realized how dumb I sounded. I have been thinking about “busy” ever since.
Let’s pretend – because as an adult and parent it’s fun to do – that I was just an adult. Not a business owning adult or a mother adult. Just an adult. With a career, and home, and relationships, and friendships, and faith, and travel, and book club, and fun, and laundry, and grocery shopping, and chores, and meal prep. The list reads – I am busy.
Now, let’s leave that imaginary place where the coffee is still hot when you drink it, and blow it up. Because there is a husband, and two sons, and a restaurant, and a blog, and volunteering, and more laundry, and carpool, and school lunches, and homework, and, and, and, and. This list reads – I am passed busy and bordering on overwhelmed, and wondering if my sanity will be uncovered in the bottom of the laundry basket.
So, where I am going with this?
First – if nothing else, when someone asks me “how I am” or “how was my summer,” my immediate response will no longer be “busy” because it’s bullshit. It’s unfair to the person asking, it’s unfair to me. It doesn’t always have to be “everything is coming up roses,” it just desperately needs to be honest.
For the record, I had a great summer. I personally read more books this year then I ever have, I got an amazing tan sitting by the pool and beach with my family, I read with my kids, we went fishing, saw some fun movies, camped out on our new patio, went mini golfing, snuck in a few dates with Chef, saw my girlfriends all too briefly, celebrated 39, and I didn’t clean up from a flood, and it didn’t rain too much. It was really a great summer. It was full. It was joyful. It made going back to school miserable for me because I didn’t want it to end.
That’s what I should have been saying all last week.
Second – I don’t want to be busy anymore. I am sick of it. What comes from busy? Stress? Frustration? Exhaustion? Sacrificing the joyful things for everything else? I. Do. Not. Want. To. Be. Busy.
I want to write and feel excited about what I am sharing. I want to cheer Chef on as he trains our new staff. I want to see my kids’ faces when I volunteer at school, and make silly faces with their friends too. I want to read and have no guilt that I didn’t vacuum or do a load of laundry or clean a bathroom. I want to watch my kids swim, and tell them how much I loved watching them do it. I want to go to basketball games at 8am on Saturday mornings, and laugh, and encourage and thank the coaches for showing up too. I want to have meaningful conversations with the other moms and women in my life. I want to sit around Sunday afternoons with my siblings and cousins and watch the Ravens. I want the hot cup of coffee.
Does it sound like a motherhood pipe dream? It used to to me. But not anymore because I am not busy. I am living my life to the fullest, and it means letting busy go live somewhere else. Admittedly, I am still working out the kinks, but busy has got to go. I am now living.