Busy Busy Busy

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli
Busy Busy Busy

I don’t have time to write this blog.

My chest is tight.

I yell at drivers and things that get in my way, like doors.

I wake up in the middle of the night running through my to-dos.

I can’t be bothered with things like baths.

I don’t have time to put anything away. If you visited my house you might gently recommend that I view an episode of “Hoarders.”

Yep, I’m busy. Too busy at the moment — this is the constant feed streaming through my head:

I can’t keep up I can’t keep up I can’t keep up!!!!

As Kevin Kline most delightfully sings in Sandra Boynton’s collection of children’s stories and songs called The Philadelphia Chickens:

We’re very very busy
And we’ve got a lot to do
And we haven’t got a minute
To explain it all to you
For on Sunday Monday Tuesday
There are people we must see
And on Wednesday Thursday Friday
We’re as busy as can be
With our most important meetings
And our most important calls
And we have to do so many things
And post them on the walls…

We have to hurry far away
And then we hurry near
And we have to hurry everywhere
And be both there and here
And we have to send out messages
By e-mail, phone, and fax
And we’re talking every minute
And we really can’t relax
And we think there is a reason
To be running neck-and-neck
And it must be quite important
But we don’t have time to check.

Do you ever feel this way? I hope you say yes. I’m sure you will. Heck, we’re coming up on the holidays — where all the joys of the season can easily get sucked out of us with all the things we have to do/buy/see/give/remember. When I get this way, I find it nearly incapable to be fully civil, or to enjoy any single moment of the day, or to breathe, or smile, or take pleasure in anything other than kicking small helpless stuffed animals (just kidding.  I only kick small helpless furniture).

What is with me/us? (I’m including you in this lament, simply to feel some vague hope that I’m not alone in my busy stress-filled self-ness.)

Because look — life is short, my friends. Short. Sometimes we’re busy, sometimes we’re not. Sometimes we’re stressed, sometimes we’re not. The only thing that is consistent is this: Life will throw at us what it will. Our decision lies in what to do about it. So, I can yell at traffic or I can take a breath and find a song on the radio I like.  I can curse at the walls that keep tripping me up or I can actually open my eyes to what’s around me. I can focus on what’s keeping me busy, busy, busy, or I can focus on — as blogger Glennon Melton would call them — the “kairos moments.” Those are those moments in between the moments; the special stuff that happens, free from the ticking clock.

So, feeling busy?  Allowing the approaching holiday season to cause you anxiety already?  Stop what you’re doing.  Look up. Notice the sky. Take a breath. Get a drink of water. Take another breath. Look at someone — really look at them. Smile. Settle into your busy-ness and remember that your day will be what you make it. And, most importantly, take care of yourself. Those walls can be dangerous if you're not paying attention.

How can take your busy-ness in stride?     


Interested in having Erika’s blog come directly to your e-mail each Tuesday? Have comments to share?  E-mail her at erika@tlpnyc.com.

Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.