Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy...."

"It's not so much how busy you are, but why you are busy.  
The bee is praised.  The mosquito is swatted." 
-Mary O'Connor

I was asked why I posted my day.

Honestly, someone else I know blogged her day recently and I really enjoyed reading it...what she did, what she thought, her regular routine.  And then I started thinking to myself, "huh...what do I do all day?"  I mean I know I clean up after people and take care of kids and change diapers and potty train and all that nitty gritty stuff of being a mom, but what exactly do I do with all those hours?  Besides laundry.  So really it was for my own benefit!  There are so many days when I drop into bed at the end of the day feeling like I was busy all day and then realize that there are SO many things that I didn't get done!
Monday was one of those days-a number of things on my to-do list that didn't get to-done.  You know, like painting those mirror frames and cleaning up the office.  No, I didn't do either today.  But we did get that cookie dough finished and baked, and made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies as well.  Yep, two kinds of cookies.

Sure my days can get pretty crazy, but it's the norm for me.  When I had one child most days I felt like I was busy all day-and often I was!  Same thing when I had two, three, four....and all the way up to where I am now.  It's all in what you are used to.  I'm sure the Duggar family would look at my chaos and laugh at the simplicity of it all because of what normal is for them.  The same way I looked in awe at my friends who had more than one child when I was expecting my second and in a panic about how I would survive, go to the bathroom, have time to eat....I was baffled as to how they did it with more than one!

I know a heck of a lot of people who are a whole lot busier than I am.  My life is truly a cake walk compared to what many other people do each day.  The intention of that post was certainly not to imply that I'm the busiest or my life is hardest or anything along those lines.

For me breaking that day down wasn't about being busy.  OK, well I guess that's not completely true-it was about being busy, but more about what it is that makes me busy.  Am I using my time wisely?  Am I taking advantage of these precious moments with my children?  (just for the record, I hate Precious Moments and almost didn't use that phrase because of that fact)  Am I letting too many other things in life keep me from being busy with the important things?
I fear that too often that last one is true.
Too much doing and not enough being.
Monday was a good day.  A styrofoam peanuts kind of day.  I don't create those often enough.

I find that I need to regularly take stock of my choices and my use of time and realign my priorities.
Monday helped me do that.  Take a look at your day....how are you doing?  Do you have any tricks to keeping things on track?
In hindsight, during the years that I was homeschooling I did so well at focusing on what I really needed to be doing.  Granted I really had to, because if I didn't my children would not have been educated during that time, and anyone who homeschools knows that the very most pressure to teach your children well comes from yourself.  When you worry about that all day every day, it's pretty easy to keep in line.
Now I find it is easier to drift from what I should be doing and let too many other things occupy my time, my energy, my thoughts.  I suppose it's a step in the right direction that I realize that this happens and I make efforts to improve that.
Keep moving forward, right?
Today I am thankful for the little things that remind of what is most important.



~LL~ said...

I think it was great..... thinking about doing the same type of post.... though my schedule pales. :-)

I, too, find that if I'm not careful, I lose focus.... and sometimes *gasp* use my time unwisely. I think if you get to a point where you feel you are too busy, you should take stock in your activities.... kind of like a food diary. When you don't know why you aren't losing weight.... you jot down your food to find the hidden calories....

You are doing a great job. Don't listen to any nay-sayers.... LOVE YOU!

Heidi said...

I loved reading your post and I loved how you put your thought process in on the mix! I so do the same thing and watch runners and wonder things....i loved it and would read another day in the life of Catey...just sayin'

Aaron said...

It's amazing how productive doing nothing can be sometimes....

I love you.

Rheanna said...

I love that you compared your life to the Duggars because there are days when I freak out (not uncommon these days) that I won't be able to do 5 kids. 4 seemed like a piece of cake and I worry that 5 will be INSANITY, but I look at you for confidence telling myself that if you can do 8 and not go crazy then surely 5 can't be too overwhelming...I need to hear your crazy days sometimes for many reasons-entertainment, getting to hear that lots of things are "normal" for other people too :o), and so I know I can be the mom of 5...I hope! Sometimes it takes looking at things differently to get a good perspective on life and you did that in quite an excellent way! I agree with Heidi, I'd read another day in the life of Catey too!

Sandra said...

I agree. It'a all about keeping on the schedule. The minute I deviate, there's no way I'm picking that vacuum cleaner back up.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing both posts! Lately, I have been feeling like my 2 kids are like 4 kids wrapped in 2. (Did that make sense?) My biggest problem is that I don't take advantage of the "precious moments" I have with my kids because I am too busy do other things. You made me realize that you can get things done while also teaching your kids, and that has been my problem. So, thank you ever so much for helping me put things into perspective!! :)