Let’s face it. Most people are busy. The only ones I know who aren’t busy are generally older people for whom life’s Merry Go Round has slowed way down. Their main activity at this period of their lives is being a BUSY BODY, gathering gossip and misinformation.
Take the person who has lived their productive years as a parent and/or worker performing some repetitive job for thirty or so years . One day you wake up to the fact that the kids are grown and gone, the job has now been swapped for retirement, and perhaps you have lost your spouse. You then enter the wicked world of the un-busy because you now have too much time on your hands. This is where the trouble begins. You sit around gossiping in one of God’s waiting rooms until you cash in your chips.
Most younger couples these days are overworked not just by the job that brings them in a paycheck but with supervising dancing lessons for their kids, scout activities, paint ball wars, soccer, and over a hundred other activities off springs dump on their parents.
People join clubs of all kinds. (Book clubs, a model rain club, a wine club, a garden club , a Bible study group, a writing workshop and I suppose a sex club. Apparently there are as many different types of clubs these days as hairs on your head. You have every possible outlet for getting together to chat and swap information with others. In your own way, you have to try to replicate the camaraderie you once had at your frat or sorority.
Add meal preparation to your schedule. Either you eat out or you have to dream up something for at least two meals every day to a generally unappreciative audience. You have to go shopping . If this is for clothing, it is thought of as the ultimate pleasurable use of time. If it’s grocery shopping, it’s only a few steps above the drudgery of doing laundry.
Then you have errands to run. Take the car in for servicing or to get it repaired. A doctor’s appointment, trips to the pharmacy, going to the bank, writing out checks to pay your bills, PTA type school activities, Girl Scout cookie sales——all are guaranteed to eat up your time and make you dream of some peace and quiet. (Don’t worry. You’ll have lots of that when you retire.). All in all, life is a time challenge. You go from not having enough time to having too much time. Life become hardest when you go from “we” to “I” type living.
I am not trying to tell you to slow down in your activities. That’s what doctors and mothers-in-laws are for. The purpose of this blog is to cheer on and encourage those of you who want to be creative and are trying to write a book or a play or screenplay while juggling it with your many other activities. It can be done but it not easy. It seems that trying to be creative in your busy years is a difficult task. Some adventurous people try to add a writing project into their sardine-can 24-hour schedule and it almost qualifies you for sainthood
Years ago when I was trying out for an acting career in Los Angeles, while at the same time trying to work and keep a roof over my head, I met an actor by the name of Jerry Chase. I was envious of him because his mother was rather famous and she could keep worldly stress at a minimum in his life via a nice allowance. Her name was Mary Chase and she was the author of the play HARVEY, which went on to become a very successful film after four years on Broadway.
I remember Jerry telling me once that he just didn’t know how his mother balanced a career as a reporter for the Rocky Mountain News in Denver with three sons and all the activities she had to maintain in her life. He said he once asked his mom how she did it. She told him it was BUSY vs. EFFECTIVENESS. She believed you should use your time as effectively as possible. One example he remembered was when she would invite him and his friends in for cookies and other treats if they’d listen to her read one of her plays to them. She was being effective in that she was keeping an eye on her kids while at the same time getting feedback on what she had written. Effectiveness, she believed, was trying to be effective in a few things instead of having too much on your plate.
She said burnout and stress were the results of trying to crowd too much into too short of a time period. Her motto was “less is better.” That was the only way she found time to write her plays. Hers was very good advice which I have striven to master over the years—to be effective with my time and do less but do it better. Then if you want to do something like writing, you will have space to create the time necessary for an “on-the-side” career.
So, take it easy in this busy world and if you’re so inclined, put a bit of creativity in your life. Then on the other hand, if you have too much time on your hands, don’t become a gossip peddler while waiting to cash in your chips. Sit down and start writing the story of your life. It’s a fun and creative way to keep you busy. Plus it’ll keep you out of trouble.
Here are some titles we have for ourselves during our productive years. Check them out and see if one applies to you.
Seven Types of Workers
- Eager Beaver—an enthusiastic worker who is extremely gung ho and enjoys hard work.
- Machine—this worker operates and obeys orders like a robot, has few other activities and shows very little human emotion.
- Over Achiever—This worker is intense in an attempt to be successful in all tasks. In the process, this worker puts pressure on himself or herself to accomplish too much.
- Peon— This describes a worker who toils very hard for very little money and feels unappreciated.
- Slave — a person who is forced to work very hard for someone else and often in very bad conditions and without pay.
- Workhorse — A worker who does a lot of boring and hard work.
- Workaholic — People who spend the majority of their time working and who have very little interest in anything else.
Thanks for reading this blog. Please feel free to pass it along to others. The next blog will appear Thursday, June 9, 2016.