The Life of Bon: To be busy or not to be busy

Sunday, February 10, 2013

To be busy or not to be busy

I had a lot to do yesterday!  I mean, trust me, I was busy!

Saturdays are so busy for me!  Actually, every day is busy!  I am such a busy person and I am always doing something because I am just that busy!

Saturday I was supposed to babysit for my friend, plan our meals for the week, go grocery shopping, write all my blog posts for the week, clean out my closet, clean out the fridge, do the laundry, answer blog emails, find blogs to sponsor for March, grade students' papers, return my books to the library, and go to the gym.  It was going to be a busy day!

I really am so busy, guys!  Trust me on this one!

But then. I just didn't want to be busy.  I didn't want to do any of that stuff.  I was so tired of being busy.

Sometimes I feel like I am riding this endless wave of "busy" and I find so much to fill my time with and I never have a second to myself to think or ponder or relax or just be.  Our society has almost made it a badge of honor to be busy.  When people ask me how I've been or what I'm up to or how life is treating me, I invariably reply, "I am really good, just sooooooo busy!"  As if the busy-ness gives my life more purpose, gives me more value as a person.  As if that person would look down on me if I weren't busy.

Saturday morning when I woke up I didn't feel like doing any of the things I was supposed to do that day.  Something hit me and I thought, "Screw this.  I'm not going to be busy today."  So I fell back asleep and cuddled up to Greg for an extra hour.  My friend brought her baby (whose name is also Bonnie, but will furthermore be known as baby Bonnie) over for me to watch and while the babe napped I curled up next to the fire and read.  I meandered upstairs and talked to my mom for awhile, instead of rushing in with hellos and out with goodbyes.

When baby Bonnie woke up she sat in my lap doing absolutely nothing for a long time.  I took my cue from here and did absolutely nothing too.  We just sat there, two Bonnies in a rocking chair, thinking about life.  It was one of those tender, almost sacred moments where life seems so simple and pure.  Baby Bonnie didn't cry or fuss or even move, she just sat there silently on my lap as if all was right in the world.

I made some crepes for breakfast and played with baby Bonnie on the floor, and I didn't think about my inbox full of emails waiting for me.

After baby Bonnie was gone I took a long shower and then decided to get back into bed.  I laid there and read while Hubs made me a sandwich (role reversal!  Winning!) and brought it to me in bed.

About 2:00, Hubs and I went downtown where the local massage school was offering two for one massages.  We spoiled ourselves and I let someone rub my back and legs until I was convinced there is no longer evil in this world. Then we got milkshakes at Iceberg and took our time cruising on home, nothing on our minds, no stresses, no cares, no time constraints.

We came home and cuddled and I read and napped and then woke up and read some more.  I worked on a puzzle.  I let myself be absolutely, completely lazy.  I didn't make myself feel guilty for not grading those papers, for not buying those groceries, for not going to the gym.  I left my phone in my purse and didn't take it out all afternoon or night.  No emails, no twitter, no instagram.  Just my book and my bed.

Finally, about 7:00 I pulled myself out of bed and made some dinner.  Then I sat on the couch and watched the Jazz lose horribly and I didn't even care a bit.  I worked on the puzzle some more and then watched an episode of Downton Abby in which I could not stay awake for the life of me, drifting off to sleep for the night.

In short.  Yesterday I did absolutely nothing.

And it was beautiful.

I'm trying so hard to slow down, to notice the small things around me, to drink in the beauty of the day.  But it is so hard.  Somehow my life has become overrun with so much busy-ness and I have to fight hard to get the simplicity back.  To get back those hours of nothing.  To get back the me time, the relaxing in the tub, the guiltless Sunday afternoon naps that quite frankly, I deserve.  That we all deserve.

And then I wonder.  Why do I try so hard to be busy?  Why do I wear that title with pride?  Is that something that has been ingrained in our culture- that "busy" translates to "successful" or "happy"?

What are your thoughts on being "busy."  Is it possible to not be so freaking busy but still be productive and successful?  For those of you who have kids, I imagine it's much worse.  Do you limit the outside school activities they can do for the sake of saving your own sanity?  What are you doing to un-busy your life?  Do tell.  Do tell.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm hopping into the tub to read some more.  Please don't bother me.


  1. I love this. Sounds absolutely wonderful...I definitely have chosen a few "ignore the world" days lately as well!

  2. That sounds like a perfect Saturday! Letting go of the to-dos and the guilt of not to-doing is liberating and necessary every now and again!

    Baby Bonnie is freaking adorable!!

  3. Perfect.

    I try to never let myself feel guilty for not grading papers on nights and weekends. I usually do that stuff at school (you know, where they pay me to do such things). The papers WILL get graded. They always do, right??

    I'm a firm believer in taking care of what makes you feel GOOD first, so you can do other things well. Showers, working out, cooking, blogging...then there's work. Everything else can fall by the wayside if needed.

    Kristin :)

  4. So glad you just enjoyed your day! I think it is good to slow down and just have time for you with no "to do" list. Because at the end of day the world will not stop turning if we do not do laundry, meal plan, or clean that one day!! :)

  5. I completely read you! It's actually really funny since the past weekend was that for me - Boston got hit with another "storm of the century" that actually held up! Two feet of snow made the entire city put on the brakes. Our subway's been out since midday Friday and my classes might get called off's been insanity. BUT, it made me slow waaaaay down and revel in the fact that I got to sit with a blanket and hot chocolate and watch an UNGODLY amount of Say Yes to the Dress with all my friends. Hip hip hooray! Hope you enjoy slowly down. :]] p.s. your description of massages is actually the best.

  6. You can never have too much time for yourself in this world. Like President Uchtdorf said, "Slow down!" With being so busy, sometimes you can't feel the spiritual promptings that make a difference in lives. I have lazy days all the time. They usually happen when I feel way too stressed over the simple things. My husband helps me see that they are not big things and then we just have a low key fun night. Those are the nights where I really feel close to my husband.

  7. I was in the exact same spot last fall. I finally tanked out because of the constant busy and had to quit a lot of things in my life to regain my center and remember to take care of myself. It was beautiful and the biggest lesson I learned was how to tell people "no". Oh yeah, and this dapper guy sure did help me out a lot too. Best of luck to you.

  8. I get so stressed out during the week at work that the thought of having anything to do on the nights or weekends is almost more than I can handle. Good for you for de-stressing and just being. When I was growing up (with 5 siblings) my parents let us all choose one activity. That's the only way they could keep their sanity. Should I ever have children, I think I'd want to do the same.

  9. Good for you! I totally thing that a person can be productive with out being busy. People have a way of thinking that if they aren't working on a zillion things at once then they aren't being productive. I find that I get more done if I spread out all my tasks and give each the attention it deserves rather than packing it all in and doing a poor job while driving myself crazy. Its SO important to let ourselves have 'lazy time' and to not feel guilty about it!

  10. What a fun, fun weekend! :)

    I need a low key weekend such as yours!

  11. I should be busy but can never get myself in gear. Seriously I think I'm the worlds laziest procrastinator. It sucks.

  12. i'm the same way! i always think i need to be busy and i always am. but sometimes it's nice to just step back and have a relaxing, carefree day! yours sounds perfect!

  13. Sounds like a wonderful day!!! It is definitely busy with kids.. I have managed to simplify, reduce commitments and slow life down a bit, but I had to make some sacrifices in order to do so. I have to learn to turn my phone off - I'm an app addict!! Glad you got to enjoy a nice restful day

    Aanika X

  14. I love that you weren't busy! Life needs to slow down, once in awhile. I do want to know what you're reading. I'm a book freak and am always looking for suggestions.

  15. I think our society is obsessed with being busy. We equate busyness with success. If you aren't constantly doing something you are considered a slacker and lazy.

    I am grateful for days when I have no deadlines or appointments. Everyone needs a day to recharge and reset.


  16. Aww, I love the name Bonnie. But then I am a bit biased. ;)

    Bonnie Rose
    The Compass Rose

  17. Our weeks are busy. My daughter has something after school every day - some days are stacked with back to back activities. Thankfully, all but one, piano lessons, are at school, which is 2 blocks away, so she is able to walk herself back & forth to all of them.

    This is our quiet time of year. My husband's job requires travel and weekends March - November, which means if we are going to see Daddy some weeks, we have to hit the road too. So after soccer games on Saturday mornings, we head out.

    This time of year, any lazy day we can get, we take. The rest of the year, we try to keep Sundays free so that we can just chill.

  18. I love this. I used to be super busy all the time too, but I'm just not the sort of person that thrives on a full schedule. I feel so much better when I carve out time to do absolutely nothing with no guilt. I need those slow days of laying in bed and watching seasons of my favorite shows, skipping the gym, and ordering take out instead of cooking for my sanity. It makes the busier days much easier to handle.

  19. I love this. I used to be super busy all the time too, but I'm just not the sort of person that thrives on a full schedule. I feel so much better when I carve out time to do absolutely nothing with no guilt. I need those slow days of laying in bed and watching seasons of my favorite shows, skipping the gym, and ordering take out instead of cooking for my sanity. It makes the busier days much easier to handle.

  20. That sounds like a heavenly day. I also think I need to borrow a friends baby for the day and just soak in the sweetness.

  21. iceberg shakes!!! yummm.

  22. cuddle time and massasges and baby?!?! sounds like a fab saturday to me!! sometimes you just need to say eff it to everything you have on your to do list and do NOTHING!

  23. Sometimes I like being busy, but only if it's doing things that I don't have to do. Like, I don't want to clean the house because there are people coming over, I want to clean the house because I want to. I like the "relaxed busy".. or maybe I just made that up and this entire comment just made no sense. :)

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  24. Beautiful! My motto for the new year has been "Simplify." I am trying so hard to de-stress and take the "busy" out of my life. The baby Bonnie story made me smile, because it reminded me of my mother in law. She will call me, and ask if she can babysit my daughter, because it forces her to slow down. She will ignore her phone and computer, and just sit and play. Little ones really have a great job at making us see the more important things, don't they?

  25. Last night at about 5:30 I was lying on the couch thinking up what I needed or should be doing to be productive - I suffer from the need to always be busy. I finally gave in to my fatigue, napped for a few hours, then watched the Grammys and text chatted with my brother. It felt so decadent. My husband jokes that he has to take me on vacation to get me to just sit and do nothing. Thanks for validating my day of doing just what I wanted.

  26. I have to keep busy, it's in my DNA. My "Relaxing" day is someone else's busy day!

  27. Sounds like a great day, and also good to know I am not the only busy blogger I am busy even when I am

  28. Anonymous10:22 PM

    Great job saying "no!" to your plans this weekend and getting in some well deserved you time. It's so necessary and often just what you need to kick start your week.

  29. This is awesome Bonnie. Thank you for the perspective. Everyone needs a day like this! It's exactly like President Uchtdorf said last conference, we need to focus more on the journey that just finishing. Such a good reminder!