I did it again.
I got caught up in the busy-ness.
You know what I mean, the comfortable chaos of feeling like your schedule is so packed that you can't possibly respond to that text message, get back to that email or make time for coffee. You're so busy.
In a twisted way, busy makes me feel like I'm contributing, like there's energy going in others' directions. But if I'm being honest, busy really just means I'm selfishly fueling my internal fire to have purpose ... usually with purposeless things.
Busy is kind of like the Starbucks frappuccino of purpose - empty calories with whipped cream on top.
And while normally I take my Starbucks straight and strong, right now I'm ordering up busy like a 14-year-old just introduced to the sugar demon.
You've met purpose. It's that feeling that you were meant for something more, greater, bigger. I used to think I was alone in feeling this way, yet the more I talk about it, the more I find that so many of us know it way deep down.
What I've also found, though, is that this feeling of something more also adds a level of being not enough. Another level of shaming ourselves into believing we should be more. Are capable of more, yet fall short. Or maybe it's the chicken and the egg ... did we first feel not enough and in turn reason this means there is more?
For the last 5-ish years, I've worked from home - mostly freelancing and learning the ins and outs of our family farm business. I don't regret this time in the least, but there also always felt something indulgent and guilty about it. Who was I to get this time? Who was I to not have to stick to the grind and do the norm?
I held myself accountable, putting in my share of 40+ hours in a week, and yet there was something in me that often felt like I wasn't keeping up or doing my part. I'd been your standard full-time working wife/mom thus far, and having the flexibility to set my hours, work at midnight if I wanted and go for a walk at 1 pm if I wanted, made me feel indescribably guilty.
I watched this guilt take a variety of forms - eating, drinking, over-booking, story after story of what I was so busy doing to help pacify my internal demons begging to hold on to their title of "normal."
I recently went back to a standard 8-5 job ... the same one I left 6 years ago in my initial pursuit of purpose. You know - because wasn't I called to do more in this world than work at a bank? And here I am. Happy. Busy.
I'm hours late in responding to text messages. I haven't replied to emails in 3 days. I switched phone numbers and haven't made any time to let important people know where to find me. You know - so busy.
Tell me you feel me?
In looking at my schedule, it is justifiably full. Days begin at 5 am with family and farm paperwork, paying bills, sending invoices, replying to emails, lining up advertising, placing orders. Squeeze in a few minutes to get myself ready for the day and kiss the boys, and by 7 am I'm on the road for an hour to my nonstop 8-5. I usually roll back in the door by 6:30 pm ... just in time to feel like I should have made dinner for my family an hour ago. Thank God for grilling season. Nights mean dinner, showers and bedtime before this night owl turned old person calls
And while that's all great and well ... there's no room for purpose. There's no room for "block stacking," as my friend so kindly reminded me yesterday. Little room for cup filling, growing or simply being. You know. So busy.
So what's the solution? I don't quite yet know, but I believe in being resourceful. I believe in making time for the things that fill us up, and I don't believe that this was only feasible when the one person in charge of my schedule was me. I don't believe that purpose is left to those without an 8-5 nor that my journey toward becoming more ended when I signed the dotted line for a steady paycheck.
I do, however, think I've created a pattern of coping out. I've drafted a story that lets me feel less guilty for not becoming that person who feels for more. And right now, I've got to take it off of repeat.
Busy is a choice. Good, bad or argue all you want, I believe we choose busy. Just like we choose eating, or drinking, or any other vice. We get addicted to the feeling that there's no time in the day to become who we feel like we should be way deep down.
After all, if we're too busy to be her, we can't possibly judge ourselves for not being her. Right?