Mind Your Own Busyness

Holy. Cow.

Where does the time go? You know all those things I want to do with my day? Well, there’s more stuff to do than there is day to do it. And it’s becoming a problem.

I hate the idea that keeping busy is good. I don’t want to be busy. I want to get stuff done but not for the sake of keeping busy. I just want to get some things done. But I’m not getting anything done. I’m just busy. Arrgh!

A typical day goes something like this: Get up at 5. Well, turn off the alarm at 5. Then lay there questioning my life choices for 30 minutes or so, fading in and out of dreams. Then I get up. Maybe wash a dish, maybe take out the trash, definitely make the coffee. If things are going well I see the cows and release the chickens in time to shower, dress and get out the door by 6:30. Then I have a whole day of misplaced priorities, good intentions, uncertain goals and a few people yelling at me followed by the evening commute…where, again, I question my life choices. Once home I butcher some chickens or build fence or just do whatever needs to be done until it’s dark and I’m forced to eat supper. By 9:00 I’m laying in bed wondering where my day went, why I got so little done and questioning my life choices one last time.

So I have to ask, “What have I done to end up here?”

Oh, Geez. I don’t have time to answer that question. I was an average to below-average student in school. I was not popular or cool. At. All. (I played tuba in the marching band.) How did that guy end up married to Julie? How/Why did Julie let me buy my grandma’s house? How did I make it this far in my professional career? Why am I asking you? I don’t know anything.

I really don’t.

Empty heads spill a lot of words. I would write on my blog more if I only had more time. I need to write on my blog. It forces me to learn. Forces me to stop and think about stupid decisions I have made in the past and document current choices for later regret reflection. It gives me a chance to listen to your thoughts too.

But I don’t have time for reflection. I’m busy. Busy doing what? I really don’t know. It took me almost three weeks to set up a new laptop for my mom. It took me a month to build a new PC for the kids to play on. There is brush needs to be cut. Layers need to be moved. Portable shade structures need to be built. None of it is getting done. Hay wagons to repair. Barn repairs to be made. Home remodeling projects. No traction.

It’s summer. That’s how it is. At least that’s what I tell myself.

A reader, Kari, recently asked how I’m doing on my ambitious list of goals for the year. About what you would expect. The things I had to do have gotten done. Some things turned out to be wants instead of needs and have slipped to the side. And that’s how it goes.

How are you doing on your list?

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4 thoughts on “Mind Your Own Busyness

  1. For once in the last decade I feel I’m getting things done around the house. Meat birds set up and harvested. New layers mixed in. I actually helped plant some of the garden and have been picking vegetables most nights. We sat down and watched a movie last night with what is left of the children still at home. (The movie was _McFarland_ which is about 60 miles from here. True story that will make you feel good.) I’m starting to believe projects will get done. But what isn’t happening?

    I have the time now without teaching, but bills are mounting, so I’m looking for a job. I’m home more to see paint peeling in new places. Little things tha now are becoming bigger things.

    I guess life is a balancing act like a snail on a razor’s edge. Yes I stole that from one of my favorite books.

  2. As a child you may have spent more time playing with Legos and Nintendo than studying, but look what it led to. You have a few really close friends who were such good friends you didn’t hesitate to stay with each other for long periods of time, or offer to, if there was a need. You finished a Bachelor of Science degree in four years! What did you want from your childhood? Is it socially unacceptable to be content? I am all for ambition, but let’s accept who we are, too. The goals you set are goals, not mandates. We try to be realistic when we set them, but we need to note the steps we take in reaching our goals. (small achievements) I was almost 40 when I graduated from college. That didn’t diminish my appreciation of having earned the degree, or the help you all gave me in reaching that goal.

  3. We have all heard the 356 yr old saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” but a lesser known 2nd part of that proverb was added in 1825 by another author to become “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy” holds a lot of truth in modern day still, for me at least. I think it was about 5 yrs after I owned my farm that I started to realize I was not living a work/play balanced life that included things other than work with my j.o.b, growing business and household chores. My “spare time/every waking hr I was not working” was solely focused on my goals on the farm. It was great for the farm as I got a lot of projects and routine chores done but I was starting to see an increase in procrastination, indecision, and wheels spinning with less accomplished. Then one day it started to register that while I was pulling weeds, picking rocks, building fence, tending a garden too big for my needs, cleaning up rubbish piles, and doing regular farm and household chores I was missing out on other things in life. Low and behold I had spotted a small patch of greener grass that did not exist on my farm! I had wanted my own farm for so, so long that I thought the farm was the be all and end all of everything in my life and go figure, it turns out it is not entirely! I still do not have this balance thing perfected at all. My natural pull is to the farm but I do try to not be so busy and make time for other things now too and by enjoying doing other things, that helps me be more productive during the time I am working on the farm.

    A very inspiring quote I refer to when I get off track is from Colin Wright “You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.” And in Everything I take it he does not just mean work and the farm so it reminds me – oh yeah I want to do _____ too! He wrote several books on how we spend our time, I have not read any of his books though would like to. Check out his blog post about turning 30 and “wringing out every last drop from his 20’s”, ahh to be young and energetic again! . http://exilelifestyle.com/thirty/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+exilelifestyle+%28Exile+Lifestyle%29 Colin kinda makes you think a bit differently about what you are doing in your day to day life and where you are going…

    My farm to do list is still 10 yrs behind and things done yrs ago need doing again, so what do I know?! I am learning to accept that I am just one person and not everything gets done and that is just the way it is!

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