I found this quote in today’s devotional reading and it hit me squarely in between the eyes.
That word…BUSY. It tends to be tossed around like a badge of honor these days. I know I am just as guilty as the next mom of participating in the following conversation:
Person A: Hey! How are you?
Person B: Fine! Super busy, but yeah! Totally fine.
UGH! I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something earth-shattering. Are you ready? Pay attention…
We are neither as FINE nor as BUSY as we like to think we are.
Got it? I’ll say it one more time…
We are neither as FINE nor as BUSY as we like to think we are.
But…It’s May! Of course we’re busy!
School is almost out, so every exam, every test, and every project are coming up due. Every lost library book, every permission slip, every nasty gym uniform need to be found. The dance recital is coming up, so skipping practices for sanity’s sake is out. Summer swim team season has started, so there goes another 10-ish hours of your week. Child A needs to be at Point 1 at 4:00, but Child B needs to be picked up from Point 2 all the way across town only 15 minutes later. Not to mention, it’s not getting dark until almost 9:00 now, so absolutely nobody wants to go to bed on time. But hey, to make up for it, they’re getting up even earlier than usual because that same sun has decided to rise at 6:00 the next morning! And don’t forget the cases of water you promised to send in for marching band camp, the Mother’s Day tea you need to attend, that looming deadline or conference at work, and the First Communion/Confirmation parties you need to plan/host/attend.
OH! And your husband is heading out of the country for a week or so, so you’ll be doing it all on your own.
Or will you?
Let me ask you something (and by you, I also mean myself). Are we truly all alone? Is no one else in the same boat we are? Is there anyone who doesn’t understand the pressures of a full schedule? One of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn as a mom of 4 is to ask for help. Believe me, I hate it still. It makes me uncomfortable and I feel like I’m stepping on toes. But, like my mom has reminded me many times, wouldn’t I help another mom out if given the chance and if I were able? Of course I would!
And you know what? I bet that other mom in your neighborhood who you might not know very well but who has a daughter in your kid’s dance class would be happy to carpool. What about the neighbor whose kids swim at the same time as yours? Do you think she’d be willing to split time on the pool deck with you? Or maybe she’d even watch your little one at her house while you take all the big kids to the pool for practice! (Gee, you think these have happened to me? Yep. Thanks to Heather and Jenny…y’all are awesome!)
That First Communion gift can be bought online. Lost library books can be replaced.
That child that doesn’t want to go to bed right now because she isn’t tired and the sun is still out and NOBODY else has to go to bed as early as she does? She can pick out of couple of her favorite books to look at until it isn’t light in her room anymore. Chances are, she’ll fall asleep before the last bit of sunshine drops below the neighbor’s rooftop.
But it’s fiiiiiiine. Really! I’m totally fine.
Mmmm-hmmm. And if you believe that of every one who says it to you, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.
I know you’ve heard it a million times, but there are reasons that some sayings become so popular. You have to put on your own air mask before you help someone else with theirs. You can’t pour water out of an empty bucket (or wine out of an empty bottle, amiright?).
We cannot be fine if we are constantly giving of ourselves without giving to ourselves, as well.
Like St. Francis de Sales says in his quote up above, we all need half an hour a day except when we’re busy. Then we need the whole hour.
What is your “hour?” Is it time in your room with the door closed? How about a visit to the local coffee shop sans children? Or maybe diving into that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages that’s just been collecting dust on your nightstand? Perhaps you are lucky enough to live near a church or a chapel where you can sit quietly with the Lord in Adoration once a week. What about a walk with a good friend? Maybe you simply leave your iPhone in the house and go sit on your back porch for 10 minutes. I find many times that simply being out in the sunshine, breathing the fresh air for even a few minutes, balances out my crazy. And who doesn’t need that every now and then?
So, let’s make a deal, OK?
May is flat insane when you’re a mom and you’ve got demands and requests coming at you from all corners. And YES, we are busy. And YES, we may feel fine. But let’s not forget ourselves in the hustle and bustle.
Let’s take St. Francis’ half hour a day and make that a goal. Read something that makes your soul happy. Spend some time talking to Jesus. Go outside and sit in the sunshine. Walk up and down the street a couple of times while your kids play in the yard with their friends. Ask a neighbor to help. Reach out to a friend for a lunch date. Pray the rosary. Take a bubble bath or a really long, hot shower and sing loudly to whatever music makes you dance. Kiss your husband like you did when you were dating (bonus points if you do it in front of the kids…the gross out factor alone will make your day!).
And if you don’t think you can start with the whole half hour, find 10 minutes. Turn off the computer. Hide your cell phone. Take a few Oreos out of that stash you have hidden in the linen closet. Shut your eyes. And breathe.
The bottom line.
Life is busy. It’s a fact. And telling people we’re fine, well, that’s just a common answer to the ever-present question of “how are you” that seems to have taken over for the much simpler “hello.” But in the busyness of life, especially this season of it, let’s not forget to turn to each other, to lean on each other, and to not always be “fine” for each other. And most importantly, let’s remember to turn to Jesus, our rock, our shelter, and our strength. He knows us, He loves us, and he will most certainly help us become ever and ever more fine.
2 thoughts on “Busy & Fine”
I LOVE this post! And I love your blog. I’ve always said you have a wonderful of saying things that is so helpful, so readable, and so relatable. I’ll be following closely, and be more proud of you with every post, if that’s even possible. — Mom
This is perfect, Beth. Something we all do…overload ourselves when there are less stressful ways to get things done. So many of us are here for each other and it makes it easier for everyone to accept help.
Thanks for the reminder to take time for myself!