Saturday night Cindy and I went to our life-long friend’s 40th surprise birthday party.
Earlier that day we shuttled our kids from play dates to soccer games.
So much of adulthood, of parenting is carting the kids from one place to another. An endless loop of pickups and dropoffs. A mini-van Pro AM. A frantic sprint from point A to point B with Chick-fil-a somewhere in between.
Everyone I know is busy. My parents, my friends, my students. Heck, when I called my 8 year old son to breakfast this morning he shouted, “Not now. I’m busy playing Fortnite.”
All this busyness worries me.
I’m worried that “I’m too busy” is a convenient crutch we will use to limp through life, blind to what really matters, failing to spend quality time with the people we honor and love the most.
I support filling your calendar with activities. Get involved. Join clubs. Meet people. But I also must remember–most times we’re responsible for our own anxiety. We’re the ones who overbook ourselves.
A modern belief is that if we’re not busy then were doing life wrong.
Maybe we set ourselves on “busy mode” to ignore the big, important questions of life:
“Am I happy?”
“Am I using my talents and pursuing passions to discover greater truths about myself?”
“Am I giving my very best to the people I love the most?”
Maybe, in the new year, we should carve out more quiet time for ourselves. More time to be fully present with the people we love the most.
Sometime around 11:30 pm Cindy and I sat with the 40 year old birthday boy and some of our oldest friends, having a drink, trading stories from our youth when the waiter walked over, smiled and announced, “Another round for everyone.”
No one protested. We didn’t have any place to be. And it felt good.
PS–In my first post of 2019, I challenge you to contact with a relative, a friend, an old teacher–essentially anyone you haven’t spoke to in awhile. Just reach out. Nothing big. Say hello and wish them a Happy New Year.
PPS– One of the best Christmas presents I received this year was a text message from a former student. He’s almost 30 now. And he just wanted to say hello and wish me happy holidays.