Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Blizzard 2014

It is snowing. Real snow, not "snow for Georgia," which usually consists of 20 flakes and a relentless run on grocery store firewood. About an inch has fallen so far, schools are closing early, and the flakes are still small and steady.
I hope we are "snowed in" for today and tomorrow.
This year has been eye-opening. Everyone should have a year like this one, not necessarily losing a spouse, but a year where you take a step back, reflect, and really pinpoint what you want your life to be like. As a species, humans are so busy living their lives that they don't think about it; everything is overscheduling, reflexive and knee-jerk. Pleasure is almost frantic. A new oxymoron: frantic pleasure.

We have taken 365 days to figure out what we really want life to be like, what matters. I no longer feel like I have to run around to prove how busy I am. I am not competing against other people for the title of Most Busy; the New York Times called this "The Busy Trap," and I agree. I am no longer okay with rushing through my day and having no clear idea of all of the things I have done, or any feeling of accomplishment, just the idea that I will have to get up and do the same thing all over again, collapsing, exhausted, at the end of the day and sleeping fitfully.

Today is an example of the unbusying of my life. I woke up at a civilized hour, of my own accord (8). I checked my freelance job website and submitted clips for a couple jobs, then I got ready for yoga and went to class for an hour and a half. Stopped at the store on the way home to get dog food and chocolate (the only things really needed to weather a snow storm).

When I got home, I put quinoa chicken chili in the crockpot and  Indian Pudding in the oven. It's about one o'clock, and I have just taken some pictures of Sicily playing in the snow with the dogs. For the rest of the afternoon I am planning to write, read, play cards with the kid, and maybe watch "Blizzard 2014" coverage on the news. We may go into the attic for a bit to start sorting out things for the thrift store. Maybe I will paint, go for a walk, or take more pictures.

On this day where my schedule is my own, I have made money, taken care of myself physically and spiritually, taken time to breathe and just watch the world, and made productive steps towards the future. I have indulged in things I find enjoyable, things that give me pleasure. I have not felt rushed or pushed by anyone else's schedule or the frantic need to be "busy."

Our schedule is guided by other people on some days, and some days we are frantically busy, but we pick those activities that make us that way and are thus okay with those times in which our schedule is dictated by the clock.

But in general, I am stepping off the wheel and trying to set things up for us so we have more choices, more time in the day, and less pressure. I am okay with the trade-offs (less money being the main one) because I know I can step back on the wheel if I need to or if I am called to. For now, this suits us; I feel like we are taking this time to gather our strength and shore up our will for big changes headed our way.

Until then, the snow is still falling, my tea is still warm, and the world is hushed. Peaceful.


  1. I have never been more satisfied with my life than when jumped off that wheel. I'm watching the snow fall outside as I work from home and everything is peaceful. You're doing great, Suzannah. I am glad that some of us have realized we don't need to be part of the culture of "Busyness." I am working hard to integrate my life and my work rather than balance it.

    1. That's a great way to say it - integrating life and work instead of balancing it. That means that the work is enjoyable so it's just a part of regular life instead of cut off when another "life" activity begins.

      I definitely feel judged for the choice at times, but I am coming ever closer to a place where I just don't care. :)

  2. My life became simpler and happier when I opted out of the rat race. I continually work at not letting myself get sucked back into the busyness trap that seems way overly glorified by others these days.