Monthly Archives: January 2018

Busy Is As Busy Does . . . Or Not?

Busy Is As Busy DoesI have seen and heard a lot lately about everyone always answering “So busy” when you ask them how they are. Like it’s a badge of honor or a status symbol. Like they are trying to one-up the person who asked them. Kind of a “Don’t even ask because I’m obviously busier in my life then you could ever be” response.

I find that I answer “Busy” a lot when someone asks me how I am doing. And I think for me it has been a badge of honor. A sign that my life has meaning. A sign that I’ve developed into someone who is depended on a lot. A sign that that I volunteer far too much and fill my plate at the life buffet (see Step Away From The Buffet Line!) to overflowing. A sign that while I’m busy, it’s something that I’ve done to myself.

I don’t really think it is a badge of honor. It is an easy answer to a polite question that tends to stop conversation cold. No one wants to hear the details about how busy you are. I’ve been trying really hard lately to respond with “fine” or “fantastic” or some like superlative because that is honestly how I am. The “busy” is the label I’m giving myself to make me feel important. I don’t think it impresses anyone to try to say I’m busier than anyone else they know–including them. I know busy people. My best friends are some of the busiest people I know. Well, maybe not “busy,” but definitely involved, depended on, and in demand. As they say “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” There is so much truth in that statement. But while it makes us busier, being busy is not how we are, it is not what we are, it is simply a description of our to do lists (which is, by the way, completely my doing and has nothing to do with the person asking me how I am).

Being busy is definitely not a badge of honor. It robs us of precious time with family and friends. It robs us of time to accomplish goals and dreams. It robs us of self love. And as much as I think I’m busy, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on my butt on my couch with a laptop in my lap. Time I could spend on the treadmill or doing the training I’ve already paid for or sending handwritten notes to people who have impacted my life or even cooking dinners for my parents. But I’m “busy” watching meaningless shows, playing stupid Facebook games, and calling it “unwinding.” I must–and WILL–stop and focus on being busy living my life and not frittering that precious time away. So wish me luck, give me support, and if you have any ideas for making it easier, please share. Because from now on, I want to be busy living life and not busy avoiding it.

Bitchy McGrumperson Is Not Welcome Here

bitchyIt’s been a very rough holiday season for me. Not only was I completely overwhelmed with new work responsibilities, but part of getting older is that your kids are also older and have their own lives and traditions. This year, and for I think the first time in my adult life, neither of them was able to share Christmas with me. We are doing a late Christmas celebration with my son and his family this weekend, so I’m feeling better about it.

In the meantime, I feel like I have been Bitchy McGrumperson. And that made me think about how some conversations I have with friends are all me complaining. While I feel like I need to release that somewhere, holding conversations with friends that are full of my complaints isn’t fair to them or to me. I would love to have positive, uplifting conversations with my friends. And I will.

Another piece of getting older that has been really hard for me is that my husband has been going through his hunting and fishing stuff (and trust me, there is a TON of it) and getting rid of a lot of it because he physically can’t do it anymore. He’s been hunting and fishing since he was a teenager and it has been difficult for both of us to face the fact that there are things we are just not able to do anymore. Some of us haven’t admitted it yet and are doing everything possible to continue to be able to do it all but realistically there are limitations.

I don’t want to be old. It has been more obvious to me lately that I am getting there. Sharing television shows that I grew up with with friends who have never seen them (like who has never seen The Partridge Family??), hearing music by groups that younger people don’t even know, looking at a Christmas tree (or two) full of ornaments from the last 43 years that bring back a rush of wonderful memories, but remind me that I’ve been decorating a tree for 43 years. It all has come crashing down on me this holiday season.

But the new year is a chance to check in and make changes to things that make you unhappy. I just this week found a new song on my iPod that I hadn’t paid attention to before–A Beautiful Day by India Arie ( If you listen to the lyrics, it is an amazing message. In fact, I think it will be my 2018 anthem that I will listen to every morning on the way to work to get my head in the right place. Work should calm down some, my kids will continue to get older and have their own life traditions, my grandkids will continue to grow and start new traditions in their lives, friends will come and go, and life will go on. I fully intend to be part of my family’s traditions (by force if necessary) and I have promises of continuing with old family Christmas traditions this next year because my kids were unhappy to miss out on them, so 2018 promises to be another amazing year.

Age is something that I have no control over, but how I treat people, how I allow others to treat me, and how I treat myself are all in my control. I will make a real effort to take charge of my own life and be happy where I am. Bitchy McGrumperson can take a hike. Life is far too short to spend it bitching and complaining and feeling  like others are in control of my life. Here’s to an absolutely remarkable 2018!