A busy person

My husband told me something yesterday that really brought me up short. I tend to be a busy person. I gravitate towards commitments. Towards doing stuff. Towards being really busy. That isn’t necessarily what makes me happy, but there you have it. I’m always doing stuff. Important stuff. That needs doing.

Well, it makes my husband unhappy.

I had five days off this last week. I spent Friday baking and doing last minute Christmasy things and updating the church website. Saturday was, well, Christmas and full of Christmas-type-stuff. Sunday we had church and then I came home and I managed to be busy again. I don’t even remember what I was busy doing. Monday I cleaned house and got sucked into work. Tuesday I spent the whole day reviewing our finances and rebalancing our portfolio.

I did not, in those five days, make cards with my stamps. I read one book, but that took only about two hours. I spent insufficient time on the couch snuggling my husband. I didn’t relax. And even given another three days off, I bet I still wouldn’t relax. I’ve forgotten how — if I ever knew.

My husband looked at me yesterday with some desperation in his eyes. In the hopes of clearing enough time for me to relax, he took Justice to the vet. He dropped off the kids at the T stop. He went grocery shopping. He did the dishes. And still, I was too busy to have time for him or for myself.

What am I doing, friends, that I have no time to savor? How is it that my time slips through my fingers, plowed into a neverending litany of things I should do? (And moreover, how can there be so much I still need to do?) If this is a pathology of mine, what can I do to stop it? What do I do now that I can stop doing, and not have the world cease to circle on its axis? Do I spend my time frivolously, or is there really that much I need to do?

I’ve taken one or two steps. I have quit deacons — which was the church commitment I find least fun. I’m hoping not to replace it with a new commitment. I doubt my work load will really diminish, but maybe I could be better about claiming back time — you know, leaving after 8 hours on days that aren’t so busy or something.

But it’s really important for me to remember. When I stress myself out, I don’t just stress *myself* out. I make my husband unhappy. And that’s not ok for me.

As we over our sorry state of affairs last night, he also reminded me that it’s winter. This is the tough time. Things always look worse this time of year.

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Brenda currently lives in Stoneham MA, but grew up in Mineral WA. She is surrounded by men, with two sons, one husband and two boy cats. She plays trumpet at church, cans farmshare produce and works in software.

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