Being Busy

"What if we stopped celebrating being busy as a measurement of importance? What if instead we celebrated how much time we had spent listening, pondering, meditating, and enjoying time with the most important people in our lives?" -Greg McKeownThe observant among you may have noticed my radio silence over the past two weeks. It’s the time of year when work requirements compound; this is the third September in a row I’ve had to travel to attend a six-month review and planning meeting. Even knowing what’s coming doesn’t make them any easier, but my teams were engaged, productive, and prepared. So the time invested is paying off for us.

Doesn’t mean I’m not now fighting a cold or feeling any less exhausted, despite a weekend at home reading, resting, and relaxing. So when I caught today’s quote floating by what minimal number of Facebook posts I’ve seen in recent weeks it spoke to me.

I’ve been struggling this whole Round to find time to listen, ponder, and meditate. The closest I’ve gotten to a regular practice that way has been my stay-at-home date nights with hubs, or the walks we take with our Huskies. I keep asking myself how I got so busy I’m having difficulty finding the time to wrap up all the edits I’d planned to complete.

I’m still not sure. On the other hand, I’ve been listening to webinars to stay on top of my PMP certification’s PDU requirements, and today heard “Projects are Easy – Change is Hard!” by Naomi Caietti (may be restricted by a paywall, but if you’re in project management, or even just management generally, it’s worth a listen). I had to laugh at all the ways my time is constrained, and the easy excuses I have for keeping things status quo.

Running across stories like this one about a woman documenting her rare disease through illustrations introduces me to fascinating artists. Reading more about Kam Redlawsk and her approach to the restrictions in her life reminds me to be grateful for what I have. I don’t know how I found the only-related-because-she’s-also-an-illustrator Instagram account “Christine drawing Krysteen” but there were quite a few illustrations between the two of them that hit close to home and made me realize there’s a whole spectrum of women who want to do so much more than their mental or physical health allows.

Representing something I’ve never had to face, then, I read an article reporting on the CDC’s findings that overwhelmingly, women are killed by their boyfriends and husbands. I suspect it ties in nicely with the point this (male) illustrator makes in his post about “toxic masculinity“. At least I was never acculturated to dismiss my feelings, even if I still don’t know what it will take to reintroduce work-life balance into my life.

On the other hand, running across a story about a bridge researchers have investigated to determine it’s 1.7 million years old… and constructed by humans… will always be grist for my mill. I have more stories bubbling in my head than time to write them in, and that’s really what this post boils down to.

My walking dropped to 4,807 steps per day this week, mostly because most of my time was spent being PowerPointed to death, but also because Tashie is back to limping. She’ll be going back to the vet specialist this week again, and we’ll see what the diagnosis and recommendation is this time. Hubs and I also watched The Orville‘s premier. It was every bit as mediocre as the various reviews and headlines had indicated, but useful in its own way as an exercise in understanding why a story doesn’t work, why viewers don’t get invested in the characters. I think there was too much that was on the nose and too much that felt like it was trying to spoof Star Trek, without the payoff in laughs something like Galaxy Quest offered. We’ll try one more episode to see whether the creators get past the stiffness inherent in a pilot, but considering I had a hard time even sitting through one episode, this is one scifi show I doubt I’ll be supporting.

Which brings me back to what my ambitious goals had been. Finishing all the edits for all three Red Slaves novels, re-releasing the first two, and publishing the third. I’m nowhere close to that. I keep hearing one of my colleague’s admonishment “hope is not a strategy” playing in my head, but I have to hope that for the next Round I find the time and energy that has slipped my grasp this time. Either way, I’ll be back, and will encourage you to see where my ROW80 cohorts are ending their Rounds.

2 Responses to “Being Busy”

  1. Love that quote (and Greg McKeown’s book, Essentialism). It’s so true! I find myself needing to ponder and go within more and more lately. Maybe it has something to do with the change of seasons.

  2. shanjeniah says:

    I really hope Tashie is on the mend when you read this, and that you find more balance…since we started our small business, I’ve also been dealing with some overwhelm. There is so much to learn and do!

    Your review of The Orville matched what I got from the previews. I’ll skip it.

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