Dropping Out of the Cult of Busy

There comes a time when you just realize:  okay, that’s enough. 
 
For now, I respectfully have had enough running around, hyperscheduling, always muscling to reach some idea of full personal potential, and chronically chemically convincing my body and brain to be up or down or organized or alert or asleep. 
 
I release myself from the compulsion to try to be perfect at all of the many roles I inhabit (not that I have fooled anyone).  The constant endeavor is impractical, unnecessary, exhausting, and frankly, probably annoying to many of the people I imagine to be observing or judging me.  They probably haven’t even noticed my herculean efforts, having their own fish to fry (and crowd to impress).  
 
I’m ready to take a deep breath and jump off the racing train, to curtail the torrential downpour of information, to quietly let go of the million tendrils of possibility that ensnare and tempt me (often past their natural expiration dates).  It’s time to drop out of the cult of busy.
 
Being unceasingly busy -- using the term to define and sum up our lives – is the perfect ‘out’, right?  I couldn’t possibly dream of seizing the unexpected, veering off the path, taking a breath, because I’m so busy.  Realllllly busy.  Crazy, nuts, insane.  Slammed.  Jammed.  Overwhelmed.  Even the synonyms we use to describe our busy lives sound like a menace, like a defense, like a wall of chaos rising up to violently bury us.
 
Perhaps busy also serves as a means of keeping others out.  If I see my life as already full and my energies exhausted, I maintain an inpenetrable front.  I don’t need to be open to anything or anyone new.  I can opt out before I’m even asked.  I can evade challenges or uncomfortable emotions or disappointing someone or anything that asks me to be vulnerable or possibly feel crappy.  Nope.  I’m busy.  
 
I'm not saying it’s a lie, by the way.  Reporting that we’re busy is often an accurate description of our full schedules and commitments already in place.   And if a very brisk pace feels good and fulfilling for you, by all means, rock on.  It’s just that busy has turned a corner for me that feels dysfunctional.   It makes me see basic tasks of life as impositions.  I find myself wishing people would just text instead of leaving a voicemail, because listening and responding to a voice message seems to demand more energy, consideration, interaction.   I make a big dinner but can’t seem to clean the kitchen afterwards for days, as if the simple act of doing the dishes is too much.  There’s all this mustering.  
 
I find myself flustered, flapping around, making a big deal out of things in my head, making tasks more complicated or time-consuming than they need to be.  If MapMyRun tracked my route around the house on an average day, it would be one zig-ass-zaggy line, showing me doubling back in my own steps over and over.  There’s an embarrassing lack of consciousness in my movements that mirrors that of my mind lately.  I crave silence, and direction, and today lists with one or two things on them that really matter, instead of dozens of ones that may not. 
 
I watch Foster belly laughing and thrilled to the hilt, peaking, right before he grows overstimulated and overtired (and crabby and melted down).  I feel myself straddling that same threshold in situations within my own life, yet I’ve been lacking the discipline or self-awareness (or whatever it is) to gracefully bring what has been a great experience/ meal/ buzz/ project/ relationship to a natural end.   And so I get crabby and melt down.  It manifests in different ways, but leaves me off.   I get down, or cranky.  Or it's like I’m high, or dreaming, or haven’t slept or my blood sugar is low.  I become not quite myself, a little strange, a little floaty, untethered.   But this lack of groundedness also makes me disengaged, indecisive, and vaguely anxious.

So I’m dropping out.  
 
Maybe it’s a cliché, but I’m going to do a bunch of yoga, be more present with my friends and family, and choose more often to do one thing at a time.   I’m going to eat slowly and walk in the woods and watch the snow fall and play with our happy baby and witty daughter.  I’m going to go to bed earlier with my honey.  I’m going to write and play piano when I’m inspired to, instead of after every-other-possible-thing-I-need-to-do is done.  

I made a sign for the craft studio that says “I can do ANYTHING, but I can not do EVERYTHING.  Especially at once.”  So I’m going to take my own advice. 
 
Time to fill the well.    

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