But you know what I did? I made myself lists that ran off the page. After all those years of devoting every waking hour to my retail business and raising a family, I turned my attention to the piles of household projects.
Even after I dropped a huge load of obligations and responsibilities, that busy bug lived inside me. Even without all the orders to place, people to contact, deadlines to meet – I quickly found ways to create more busyness.
And I wanted to finally start writing every day. I decided to go back to school so I registered for some classes, and eventually became a full time student. I painted almost every room in my house. I took on a part-time bookkeeping job and some other work gigs.
My days became just as full as they were when I worked 12-hour days in my store.
Well, if you’d asked me then I would have told you it was because I WANTED to do all those things.
And that’s true. But it’s only part of the truth.
Underneath that truth is one I haven’t wanted to face.
If I’m busy enough I don’t have to look head on at my pain. At my fear, my grief. At all the emotions that I’ve so handily kept tucked away because there just isn’t time to unpack them.
And now here I’ve done the same thing. A job, a business, a new town with so many new people to get to know, so many adventures to explore.
But this time I’m on to myself. My new mantra (when I remember) is:
What can I subtract from my life, instead of add?
It feels so weird because there’s so many new and interesting threads to follow every day.
Remember those old style band-aids your mom used to put on your skinned knees?
It always felt so good to have Mom take care of the owie – but when it came time to take off that thing, Yikes! It could hurt more than the original wound.
Having so much to do is like that band-aid – except it’s covering up a wound that needs to get some air. A wound that’s just festering under there beneath the tight covering.
And that’s why it actually takes courage, self-awareness, and yes – even discipline to slow down enough to get un-busy.
And yeah – it might hurt like hell to rip that busy band-aid off.
Scary to do it, yes – but what sparkling jewels might you find on the other side of that pain?
Are you willing to take a chance, take a peek?
What can you subtract from your day, or your life, today that will give you even a small window of emptiness?
Tell me in the comments – I’m playing with this already, but I need some good ideas!