The Cult of “I’m So Busy”

This school year, I’m not going to buy into it. I’m not, not, not. And I’m going to mark my calendar for the beginning of Oct. so I’ll come back and read this post again and remind myself, once again, that I’m NOT.

Not what? I’m not going to let myself get sucked into the “I’m sooo busy” trap. You know it. Chances are, you’ve been in it with me. We may have seen each other at the grocery store, church, our kids’ school, and said “What’s new?” “Oh, I’m just so swamped I can’t see straight.” “Oh, I know what you mean. Between the school fundraiser and the kids’ activities and work and…”

“Blah, blah, blah.”

I may be bold this school year and take a Monday morning off and go to a coffee shop with the newspaper. Go get my hair cut on a Thursday afternoon. Read a BOOK. I don’t have to prove to anyone that I’m so important because of how darned busy I am every hour of every day. This year, it’s going to be OK to relax now and then. And to actually admit, in public, that I did, indeed, relax.

It’s a false set-up anyway. We moms seem to have to one-up each other in this area, and it’s a crock. I hear it every time I go to the grocery store and see two women parked in front of the dairy case, comparing kids’ schedules. Heaven knows I’ve done it. It gets old to listen to, and it really is a boring thing to discuss, over and over.

So let’s take a bit more time to relax this school year. And when we run into a friend? Let’s talk about the great book we’re reading, the fun new thing we did with the family the other day, the movie we want to see, the new hobby we’re enjoying. Anything but “If I have to spend one more minute in that car this week I think I’ll scream.” Because, frankly, if I have to have one more conversation about nothing more than that, I’m going to jump straight into the dairy case and hide behind the milk.

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9 Responses to “The Cult of “I’m So Busy””

  1. Kim says:

    Last spring, I spent a whole school day at a museum all by myself. I wandered and pondered and learned, and then I took myself out to lunch and for a long walk in the sun. It was the best thing I’ve ever done-I felt recharged, relaxed and ready to face the rest of the year afterwards. I have two of those days on my calendar this fall and am really looking forward to it. We all work really hard. We deserve a few “me” days here and there. Great post.

  2. Kathy says:

    Kim, you’ve made me want to schedule a day just like this myself! What a wonderful way to spend a day. And isn’t it interesting that just one day like that improved your entire YEAR! That settles it, I’m going to grab my calendar right now… Thanks!

  3. Cindy says:

    I love this post! So true!

  4. Jen Singer says:

    Great post, Kathy. Sometimes I watch the Daily Show in the middle of the day, and if you saw my laundry, well, you’d know that I’m all for your philosophy. Nicely done, my friend.

  5. Kathy says:

    Thanks for the kind words! I’m a Daily Show junkie myself, Jen. Sometimes at 11 a.m…. And there are three baskets of unfolded laundry (but clean!) in the bedroom right now.

  6. Denise says:

    Hey, I’m not the only one catching up with my boyfriend Jon Stewart before the bus comes?

    I caught myself, the night before school starting, giving in to the “oh, my God this is going to be a BUSY CRAZY year, what with two different school schedules and soccer and religion and piano…” And then I stopped myself. I hate the one-upping stuff. It may feel hectic at times, but let’s face it, I can still run out to lunch with a friend, food-shop when the store’s nearly empty, and catch up with work in the evening. And read the New Yorker with my third cup of coffee. When I hear other moms on the crazy-busy train, I just want to say, “if you’re so busy, cut something out. Seriously.” And if you have time to stand around the cheese counter and talk about it, you’re not so busy.

    To leisure!


  7. Kathy says:

    < >

    No kidding!

    OK, I’ve worked for an hour starting at 6:30 a.m. Time for a leisurely breakfast and a shower! I do need to stop and appreciate the freelance lifestyle… Even if I’m doing email at 9 p.m. It’s all a trade-off, right?

  8. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I honestly try not to fall in to this trap, but I feel guilty when people ask me “Oh, how do you find the time to…(blog, exercise, watch TV)?” as if their tasks are so much more important than mine.

    The answer?I prioritize, that’s how, and downtime is an essential part of my schedule!

  9. Kathy says:

    Kate, I think you have the right answer. And don’t give them a second thought when they go down that path… It’s almost a conditioned response, I think. We all just need to shake ourselves out of it, as you have.