Full…not Busy


I’ve said it so many times in the past when asked how I’m doing…”Oh I’m so busy!” I’m determined to change this.

In recent months however, my life has been defined by a gentle flow, and not a furious frenzy. As I’m getting ready to head back into my life full-throttle (teaching at Redeemer School begins and my kids get back to all their school activities), I’m fearful that the furious frenzy will take over my life again. I really, really, really, don’t want to go there again!!

The thing is, when I sit down and enumerate all the things that make up my heretofore furious frenetic life, they are all GOOD things. They are all things that have to do with the care and enjoyment of family and friends. They all have to do with living fully and being creative and working out my calling to be an artist.  ALL good and wonderful things, which when thrown together have a tendency to feel frenzied.

When I answer, “I’m so busy”, something about that word misses the mark. The word “busy” has a generic, cardboard feel to it.  It carries with it a sense that all the things I’m running around doing are just check marks on a To-Do list. “Busy” lacks the richness that each thing really and truly IS. I would rather say “full”…”My life is so full“… from now on.

It may seem trivial to you, but for me it will feel like I’m granting a bit more honor to all the wonderful people and commitments that comprise my life. Instead of casting them all into a bottomless cauldron of “busy”, I want to somehow communicate (and even to use the word to REMIND myself) that I recognize how rich and FULL my life is, rather than it being a blistering blur of I-don’t-remember-what.

And to be even more to the point, instead of “My life is so full”, perhaps I’ll say, “I’M full!” That may be the best way to say–I’m full to the brim with riches and wonders and I’m overflowing with the goodness of it!” THAT’S what I want to communicate (AND to remind myself of) rather than the phrase, “I’m busy”,  which seems to indicate I’ve been wound up like a fluffy toy chick with plastic feet and I’m clattering away, bobbing up and down, moving in circles ’til I burn out.

Words matter. They carry meaning that perhaps in our frenzied pace we don’t slow down enough to think about what they mean. But I, for one, want to maintain a pace that allows me to consider, from time to time, just what I’m saying. And then to ponder how to communicate what I really WANT to say. Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s actually possible, in the midst of our “full” lives, to dip down into the gentle flow and scoop some of it up for us to hold onto.

I hope so. 🙂

0 thoughts on “Full…not Busy

  1. freebirdsings says:

    I have to agree it sounds much better. Not only that but the listener/asker would have a different response. “I’m busy” means “oops, I don’t want to have her recite a litany of chores” and “my life is full” invites curiosity as to how and what makes fullness of life to you. Much better.

    Having said that, my daughter is too busy! She’s even asked if I could come help her be a chauffer on one day later in August as she simply cannot be everywhere she or her girls have to be that day! She tells me that now she knows their school schedule she can avoid this in the future but the truth is, she is always close to running max out. And that is skipping the yard that has gone to pot and house that needs work. She’s too busy and I think she is wondering why she isn’t feeling the fullness of life with it all.

    I think there is a delicate balance between the two ideas. It’s kind of like a coin toss. There are two sides to the coin and you are seeing one side right now and she is seeing the other. I will go help her that day but only she can stop and retoss that coin so the other side shows! I hope you can maintain the fullness rather than get to feeling the busyness again as I think you are right that life is better all around even with just saying it differently.

  2. Suzy says:

    Beautiful reflective post. I too am blessed with a full life and at times it seems “busy” but I vow today to have a grateful heart for the fullness of my life. Thanks for the reminder of gratitude.

  3. KnitNell says:

    You are so right. I am always saying that “I am busy …. “and then I realise that it sounds like I am moaning and doing things that I do not want to do, which is not the case. So I then have to add “…. but I am having a wonderful time”! Perhaps saying “my life is so full…” would be better!

  4. shirley says:

    Wonderful reflective post. Everyone these days says “They are TOO busy” and that ends all conversation because no one wants to hear their list of things accomplished or waiting. Let us know how your new strategy works.

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