Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too Busy to Live

Some friends of mine and I were talking the other day about the huge teams we used to raise for fundraisers like March of Dimes, the Jimmy Stewart Marathon, etc. Back in the "old days" about 10 years ago or so. We all concluded that life has become so busy that many more people than in the past just don't have time to think about doing a fundraiser walk, turning out for a Special Olympics event, going through their closets to find coats for the "coats for the poor" gathering, etc. And that is really sad.

I still do those things, because I have always valued our nonprofits and the terrific work they do, but it is definitely more difficult these days to work it in. I have reduced the number of boards I'm on simply because if I am on a board, I want to contribute, not just show up for the meetings. But I have to pick and choose more carefully.

I was sitting on my front porch watching the doves eat all my birdseed yesterday and doing nothing else. I wasn't talking on my phone, I wasn't reading or weeding. I was just swinging and watching the birds. I caught myself thinking that I had some time and I could go do this or that. But, no, doing absolutely nothing but enjoying the birds was perfectly OK and I wasn't wasting time.

To say that our culture is driven to achieve is a massive understatment. Most of my colleagues agree that we are out of balance, overtired and overworked - like a washing machine that is trying to spin a big load that is heavy on one side and light on the other. Only WE don't hear a sound. No warning lights or buzzers go off for us unless we pay attention to our own personal stats. In my last post I talked about getting our health screenings. Keeping an eye on trends in our health is how we know we are getting out of balance. High blood pressure and weight gain are just two obvious results of getting out of balance. Insomnia or lack of good quality asleep can actually increase your stress levels and also artificially increase hunger. Risk for high blood pressure goes up as we age. Couple that with a pressure cooker job and lots of responsibilities at home and you really increase your risk.

To stop the washer and redistribute the load means get things back in balance. Many of us need to actively redistribute. We need down time to enjoy our friends, our family, our pets, the beautiful world around us. Leave "busy" to the bees. That's their job, not ours. Breathe............................


  1. Wonderfully stated!

  2. Yay - Tabitha found you!!! I agree - I have been working hard on breathing and staying present. Giving myself time do to nothing and enjoying it!!
    Glad you like the piece - no it's not me it's a guy - lol. It sold within 2 hours of me listing it - whoo hoo. Hope all is well with you hon - got through the Hanna thing today - as I expected but am dealing and breating.
    Love, Sarah

  3. I'm glad I stumbled upon your blog and I totally agree with your assessment. I spent more than 25 years chasing "breaking news" until it broke me (and menopause). I am now finding ME and enjoying the transformation of living a quieter life with focus on the things and people who really matter.

  4. Just finished your blog..I so agree that there just isn't enough time any more to do the many things that we want to put on our plate. I haven't even taken the time lately to walk my precious little Doxie, Brandy. That will change now that I actually wrote those words. I think I'll just sit back for a few seconds and feed your turtles. Your friend, Sue

  5. This is an excellent post Anne, I agree - we are a society so driven to succeed that we often forget or neglect others less fortunate. And yet we assume we have evolved! This is a nice reminder to slow down and reassess our priorities, health being the biggest priority.

  6. Yes! I think life is a constant reassessment frankly. Little micro adjustments all the time that add up to big changes over years. But we need those to be flexible, to keep things we have no control over from controlling us. We control us, our time, and our pace if we want to badly enough. Hard work it is.

  7. Ahhhhh...another day done with riding outdoors and reading your lovley comment on the nice noise of my saddle and our woods looking the same. I have enjoyed those woods even more than anywhere I have been...mostly because it is private lands and I will not be disturbed by anyone...just refreshing!
    I love you post today and have come to be so content not to hustle bustle...even with my last barn was so over the top inclined to prescribe a lesson sched and tack and and this and more...I please my mare only now...grass eating and rolling and laying down if the legs get tired...she teaches me alot!