Oh, the tasks before us.
Maybe you’re not busy. Maybe you can wake up when you like and rise languidly from your bed, pad to the kitchen and think for an hour or so about what you’d like to do during the day. Perhaps you slurp a little coffee, make a phone call or two to other friends who are padding about in the same way, and perhaps you end up doing not much of anything because you don’t have a lot to do.
In some ways, this sounds lovely. If you’ve ever had a morning when you bolted awake and jumped out of bed to rush to the shower to rush to the work you had to do — work that might be dressing a small child or holding a meeting or punching the clock — you’ll probably hold a soft and quiet morning like the one I described up as a kind of nirvana, something you’ll achieve in another lifetime.
But for some of the busy among us, for those who have almost too many tasks to complete, a morning with nothing at all makes us kind of panicky and sweaty. Really? Nothing? Nothing at all to do? At a certain point, or for a certain person, “nothing” sounds a lot like “aimless” or “idle” and we worry so much about the implications of having nothing to do, we don’t enjoy the experience at all. For a long time I thought that because I was/am one of these people, it meant that I was too tightly wound or that I was missing some valuable personality facet that other people were born with.
I just like doing stuff. I like taking on a little more, engaging in a multitude of projects that excite me in different ways. I may not have the “relaxation” chip, but I have the “quilter” chip, the “performer” chip, the “reader” chip, the “teacher” chip, the “writer” chip, the “let’s-have-a-cocktail” chip, the “sister” chip, and many others that may or may not be appropriate to mention here. (e.g., “potato chip” chip, “parking ticket” chip, etc.)
So… Who’s busy? And who loves it?