It’s a word that gets thrown around often. Not just with me; we all use it. Busy. We’re ALL busy. Caps, bold, italics.
“Sorry I never got back to you; I’ve been so busy!”
“How’s your summer?” “Busy!”
Me, personally? It’s never occurred to me to keep track of how many times a day I say it, hear it, think it.
Any time I take my boys (three of them, all under age five) out in public? At least one casual observer will offer a grin and a sympathetic “I bet you’re busy!”
When my husband reluctantly asks me to do a favor or take care of something household related because he works pretty crazy hours anymore? “Babe, I know you’re busy enough already, but if you get a minute during naptime or whatever, could you…?”
When I look at the stack of library books on my nightstand or on the end table in the living room? “Ugh, if I wasn’t so busy, I’d be through those already!”
A lot of my busy-ness is of my own making. Apparently I took Aesop’s Fables a bit too literally as a child, because every time I ignore work to do something pleasurable, I’m reminded of the Grasshopper and the Ant. Remember that story? The ant worked and worked, never taking time off, while the grasshopper, all “Carpe Diem!” played and forgot to prepare for winter. So when wintertime rolled around, the ant was warm and full, while the grasshopper died a cold, hungry death.
That must be it. I hate being cold. And hungry.
So I stay busy. Not always particularly productive, but definitely busy. And when I say busy, I pretty much mean in the sense that I start 349587348962 projects and approximately 2 get done.
Take, for instance, this spring. I found an ant infestation in my spider plant (here we go with the ant theme again). So I carried the plant to our back deck, where I drowned those suckers out, then gave them a nice, healthy dose of old coffee grounds to show them I meant business. Apparently, ants hate coffee. So maybe I’m not as much like an ant as I thought. Anyway… my spider plant. I didn’t want to bring the ants back inside, so I let my plant sit on the deck for a couple of days. It was still spring, and we weren’t finished having frost then, so a few leaves on my plant were sacrificed in the effort. When I pulled them to make room for new growth, I put the dead leaves on top of last summer’s hanging basked from the deck, my Mother’s Day petunia from Ryan and the boys, which I never emptied last fall.
Fast forward to late July. This past Saturday morning, Ryan took the boys with him to run an errand while I stayed home. After they left, I wandered back to the deck to pick up yesterday’s swim suits and towels, and decided maybe it’s time to finally clean out that hanging basket. What I found when I moved those dead spider plant leaves took me by surprise.
My point is, yes, I’m busy. We’re ALL busy. Caps, bold, italics. It’s not exclusively a parent thing, or a student thing, or a career thing or a sports thing or a…well, you get it. Life is hectic, and messy, and crazy, and unpredictable. And sometimes, under all that busy-ness, there are surprises budding that we aren’t expecting.
And aren’t those the best?