Tag Archives: Busyness

Sinking

Hustle, Bustle
Push, Pull
Undertow

Swirling currents
Essential activities
Unrelenting demands

Faster, Faster
Higher, Stronger
Better, Bigger
More

I can’t touch bottom anymore.
I’m not the strong swimmer
I thought I was.

No lifeguard
at this end of the pool.
Play at your own risk.

Drowning
in busy,
in belongings,
in belonging to.

I need
to save myself
for a change.

drown

So here’s me, carving out moments of still and silent for Lent. Because God keeps whispering “Be Still” and it’s time I listened.

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Standing up to December

December is the giant of the calendar year. It bullies all the other months with it’s frantic, festive persona. Both the fun-loving life of the party and the obnoxious character who sucks all the attention in the room. She’s busier and happier and larger than life.

But she’s also lonelier and sadder and phonier.

December bullies people too. She’s a hard task master. More than any other time of the year we want to do it all, and be it all, and get it all right. Or at least look the part in the family photo.

santa

Not to worry. This isn’t a nihilistic, anti-Christmas post. It’s not another ’embrace the true reason for the season’ sermon. This is just me, trying to make peace with December, the month I anticipate and dread in equal measure.

I love the trimmings and trappings of the holidays. I relish the music and the decorations and the warm, spicy smells. I’m deeply touched by Nativity, and the connotations of Immanuel: ‘God With Us’. I even enjoy rushing around to create those special seasonal moments.

Except when I don’t.

In December, there’s a fine line between ‘have-to’ and ‘want-to.’ Traditions can either comfort or consume, enhance or ensnare, delight or dilute. The question we have to ask ourselves is this: do our rituals serve us, or do we serve them?

Advent is meant to be a time of reflection, of mindfulness, of living with intention. This is both a spiritual discipline and a practical skill, and it doesn’t just happen, no matter how many garlands we hang.

So here’s me, making it clear from the get-go: December is not the boss of me!


When Life Goes into Overload

They call me the “One Trip Wonder.” A shopping bag hanging off of each finger and one wedged beneath my chin. Wrangling uncooperative bags with my hands while body checking the trunk closed. Beckham’s got nothing on me, as I dribble the extra-large package of (extra-large) pull-ups up the driveway with my feet. I bellow through the front door from someone to open up and give me a hand. Not to brag, but opera singers wish they had my lung capacity.

An overflowing cart of groceries carried into the house in ONE LOAD. That’s a crucial 47 seconds in valuable time saved! The crowd goes wild with applause! They’re amazed. They’re impressed. They wish they could be like me.

groceriesThey’re the imaginary audience in my head.

The actual, real people in my life just shrug and ask if I remembered to get crunchy peanut butter this time. They sigh weary sighs when asked to carry the food into the kitchen. They gripe about the broken egg and the misshapen bread.

Nobody appreciates my genius.

I’m Queen of the Grocery Overload!

Unfortunately, I’m not quite as competent when it comes to handling an overloaded schedule. Every once in a while we find ourselves facing a week of extras. Extra challenges. Extra events. Extra work.

Common sense dictates that this is the time to buckle down and plow through.

Deer-in-the-headlights, Overwhelmed, Procastinating Perfectionist suggests curling up into a fetal ball and crying like a baby.

Guess which one I usually choose?

February has had a few days of overload (much like January, and December of course, oh and the whole year before that). We truck along quite happily until a few extras get thrown into the mix. And then it seems like too much. Of course, the worst part isn’t the actual workload. Or the unsettled children. Or the break in routine.

The worst part is the anticipation of busyness beforehand.

When push comes to shove, I take busy and make it my b…. aby. But the pre-show isn’t pretty. Instead of getting MORE done, because life is about to ramp up, I seem to accomplish less than ever. I moan and complain and sit around feeling overwhelmed.

But this year I have a secret weapon.

This year, I’m not responsible for tomorrow or all week long or the rest of the year or however many days I have left on God’s green earth. This year, I’m responsible for TODAY. And the rest I’m leaving in God’s hands.

The days I remember this, it makes all the difference.

So here’s me, and I’ve had a few Overwhelmed Fetal Ball episodes, but remembering my One Word has helped. And this week I am facing a midterm, a school project, a sick child, a visit from in-laws, a family outing, a trip to the States, several meetings, Glen working evenings, baking 6 dozen cupcakes and pulling off a large Gotcha party for our boy and 50+ of our closest friends… but I’m feeling pretty cool, because I can handle TODAY and TODAY alone.

MonthlyOneWord150


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