“Delirious with joy, ached with laughter, my soul went questing.”
I’m really busy. Like Kevin Gates ‘2 Phones’ kind of busy…except without the 2 phones and implied, illicit, illegal activity. I’m 2 jobs kind of busy.
And not “cute busy” like wandering into Target for one item and leaving with a buggy full of items I did not come there to purchase. That’s definitely the Whitney preferred brand of busy. But in my world, I don’t usually fall into the the ‘oops lost track of time’ in Target busy category. For me, that kind of busy is usually intentional and welcomed! That’s the kind of busy I want to be in a relationship with! But, more often than I care to admit, I’m in a dysfunctional relationship with busy. Like the stage five clinger that isn’t taking the break up well kind of busy. Ew. Lol! Or at least that’s my dramatic rendition of my ill received brand of busy. Sometimes, I’m in the realm of busy where your days and nights run together and sleep is a luxury. And breakfast?! Pffft! Yeah right! On these days, coffee is all I can stomach from the sheer exhaustion my body is fighting.
Busy running errands. Busy running from one engagement to the next. Busy trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. Busy being a “part time teacher, full time savage” (as my students have affectionately dubbed me…love dem babies!). Busy running my own business. BUSY basically trying to balance two full time jobs and stay sane!
Throw in my perfectionism and it’s a perfect storm of completely crazy in my head, presented as beauty and ease to those around me. And usually, sometime around the month of April is when I crash. And breakdown. Or my body breaks down. 2015 was the year my indie biz had gone from hobby status to legit ‘OH. EM. GEE. How do I handle this?!’ Pump. The. Breaks. I needed to stop, but I kept on ahead.
This reminds me of a “pump the breaks” moment I had years ago. I got pulled over for a not stopping at a stop sign. Well, I did stop, but a “rolling stop” isn’t an actual stop the officer informed me, but that all four tires needed to completely stop for it to be considered a complete stop. I had noticed that cop car sitting in the same, distinct spot day after day up ahead of the stop sign before I got pulled over, but I couldn’t figure out why they were sitting there. Surely, they knew that would have been a terrible spot for a speed trap. I would eventually find out why, but I had to stop…an “all four tires stopped kind of stop.” The kind of halt where you have no other options but to just be still. The officer ended up letting me go with a warning. And right there in the middle of nowhere Georgia, she gave me some insight and extended grace. Sometimes it takes stopping to gain access to what we need- be it time, information, or just some good ol’ grace! Much of this is true in life though, right? So many times when I’m driving and trying to merge or switch lanes and the traffic is crazy, I’ll have to turn down the music or ask whoever is on the line to hang on. All distractions eliminated so I can do what I need to do.
2015 was a learning curve making 2016 more manageable. But still, busyness on steroids. But this year, instead of reacting, I responded. And right there at the beginning of April, right in the midst of everything, I just stopped. Unplanned. Unintentional. Impromptu. I just stopped. And not a throw my hands in the air kind of break, but a quiet pausing and just living my life. I spent my 10 day spring break with family and friends. I turned my sunroom into an office space. I slept A LOT! It was valuable time that I thought I was squandering not crossing off tasks on my list, but in hindsight, it was fertile earth in which a blessing was being planted.
During that break, I ended up trying something new and went kayaking for the first time with a friend. Game Changer.
There were no chiming of emails and text messages. No orders that I could possibly fulfill. No running of errands. No running from one engagement to the next. No pressure to maintain some semblance of a social life. No being a part time teacher, full time savage (welp, the full time savage part of course!!). No way of running my business from a kayak. A peaceful and healthy way to balance two full time jobs and stay sane!
An “all four tires stopped kind of stop”. An opportunity to sit with myself and inhale grace and exhale new, fresh insight after sitting with God in the middle of a lake in the middle of nowhere Georgia.
I learned that stopping and living is far too indelible a thing to trade for a to do list. Of course we need to honor our obligations and commitments, but our health and peace of mind will always be at the top of that checklist. That it takes saying ‘yes’ to things that push you outside of your comfort zone to peel back the layers of who the world says you are and what you should be doing to get to the core of who we are…those things that give us energy and passion and zeal for life even in the midst of fear or uncertainty or, in my case, busyness. And ultimately, when we begin finding contentment and peace in our lives, those are the seasons we are the most productive and creative. Ken Robinson, says, “When the conditions are right, human life is inevitable.”
This was the prize. And pausing was the entry form. On that day, I won.
Looking forward to more adventures!