Are you too busy?

Overnight the weather has changed. Overnight we’ve gone from summer to autumn. The calendar says so, whether we want to believe it or not.

Falling Leaves

Some days I’m convinced my life is run by a calendar. Most of my activities are scribbled into those tiny squares, partly so I won’t forget any of them and partly so I won’t double-book engagements, meetings and appointments. On Facebook last weekend I saw a graphic that said, “Too busy is a choice. Life is not an emergency. Life is a gift.”

“Too busy is a choice.”

I’m pretty sure most of us don’t think it is. We think busy is what life does to us as the clock ticks through its 1,440 minutes every day. Now that fall has officially arrived the pace will pick up. Today is the first day of school for children throughout BC (thankfully, the teachers’ strike is finally settled), our church choir resumed yesterday, my writers’ group is back in action, and a myriad of meetings are already vying for visibility on our calendar.

One bit of wisdom I’ve learned through the years is, while so many home, church, school and community activities are worthy of my support, I. Can’t. Do. It. All! I can’t and I shouldn’t.

When we exceed our emotional or physical limitations we cease to be useful. We admire those who appear to give 110%, but in reality it’s impossible to overextend ourselves for very long without suffering consequences. In today’s society burnout and nervous breakdowns are commonplace.

“Too busy is a choice.”

Septembers are a little like Januarys in that they provide ‘beginning again’ opportunities. We get to decide how we’ll spend the majority of these minutes, days and weeks. Oh, I realize there are some commitments that have to be shouldered; life isn’t all about us. But we are responsible for how we use the one life we’ve been given. We are answerable to the One who gave it to us … expected to make wise use of our time and abilities.

A new season begins today. There are new opportunities, old commitments and decisions facing us. Now might be a perfect time to evaluate and reestablish priorities.

We writers know about squeezing our passion into leftover crevices of our days, procrastinating about finishing (or starting) a particular manuscript, waiting until deadlines choke us before giving the task the priority it always should have had. We say we’re too busy, and we let that excuse stress us to the limit. But …

“Too busy is a choice.”

The choice is ours to make. I believe I have some thinking to do!


Are you making any changes in your scheduling this fall? What (or who) is it that you want to make time for?

~  ~  ~

9 thoughts on “Are you too busy?

  1. This is a brilliant post. Very inspiring. Thank you 🙂

  2. elderfox says:

    Choices… I know I procrastinate too easily, believing there will always be a tomorrow (although I also know that’s not always true). However, that is probably why there are dishes in the sink and my to-do list never gets done. 😦

    • Carol says:

      Procrastination is my Enemy #1. The older I get, the faster time slips by, so I’m beginning to panic that I could run out of time before I accomplish everything. 😮 I need to make some hard choices about priorities.

  3. We’re on the wave length, Carol. I’ve just recently realized that too busy is a choice and I owe it to myself to occasionally be lazy. In fact, lazy is my new favourite word. Love your photos. Nobody loves your photos as much as I do!

  4. Darlene says:

    A timely piece for me. I have always been “too busy”. But guess what? I’m making a change. I am retiring from my day time job on Friday. My hubby and I are moving to Spain where I plan to write and relax and stop the busyness. It’s time. It’s my choice.Thanks Carol!

    • Carol says:

      *Moving to SPAIN*??? I’m thrilled for you, Darlene, and happy that you’re looking forward to such an exciting retirement, but I’m also sorry that we’ll be losing you from the local writing community. Thankfully, the internet keeps us linked wherever we are, so we’ll expect to hear all about Spain and get more good publishing reports from you. 🙂

  5. Shari Green says:

    I hope to be more intentional with my writing time this fall. When I do have time, it’s all too easy to fritter it away. Definitely aiming to fritter less! 😉

    There’s a simple-yet-profound quote I love very much, and like to keep in mind when my days get over-full or when I become mindless about how I’m using my time:

    “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our life.”
    (Annie Dillard)

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