Close up Hands Tea x

Sit a bit and hear some observational stories I’ve been steeping.

Busy+Busy+Busy=Crazy-Busy

My life works out so much better when I’m busy.  My overall disposition is cheerier and when I’m busy, it’s hardly even noticeable when I’m hangry (in my house, when you’re grumpy ‘cause you’re hungry, we call it being hangry). Life is just a bed of roses when my calendar is jam-packed.

Spinning-Plates1 copy

Okay, that’s a lie.  It’s pretty noticeable when I need to eat, no matter what the circumstances are.  This leads me to believe that I am truly part bear, because I’m an Olympic-level napper (always have been) and I’m wildly grumbly and unpleasant when my blood sugar dips even 1 or 2 points below normal.  And no – I’m not hypoglycemic.  I think I’m just hypochondriaglycemic. [So, yes life is rosier when I’m busy – but I have to be fed, too.]

But I digress.  Or digest.  I’m not sure.

Busy is, as busy does, in my world and when all of the plates are spinning (like Erich Brenn used to do, with such manic expertise, on the Ed Sullivan Show) — I am super-super happy.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m super-super unhappy when things are quiet.  It’s just that I’m in a much more joyful place when things are in motion.  Not just motion either, hyper-motion, truth be told.

Right now, I am busier now than I have ever been in this long life of mine and I find myself grinning from ear-to-ear on a daily dawn-to-dusk basis, even if I am a bit fatigued by it all.  It’s a fine line between busy and crazy-busy and I know I have to be careful not to cross that line. Even if crazy-busy sometimes feels really good.

Part of me blames this need for hyper-speed on my chaotic upbringing.  There was always something going on to keep a heart rate and blood pressure elevated into the triple digits.  There was rarely a dull moment and there was never a lazy Sunday afternoon to pass the time reading books and/or drinking lemonade that I can recall.  Even now, when presented with such a day, I don’t really know what to do with it.  I get antsy and feel like there are activities to do!  Errands to run!  Tasks to be completed!  Even if I don’t DO those things, I feel all guilty and weird.  Not that my early life was filled with activities, errands and tasks – it was more like arguments, stress and strife that filled up the dance card.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist and founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health says that being “crazy-busy” gives people a sense that they are important.  If a person is busy, they are wanted and in demand.  Basically, the good doctor says that the speed in which we conduct these crazy-busy lives becomes a source of adrenaline, the drug we crave.

So what do we crazy-busy people do to keep from spinning out of control?  Take one of those busy hands and count of these five ways:

Boundaries

Prioritizing

Multitasking

Delegating

Accepting

Dr. Hallowell warns that if we wander from just being busy and effective to frustrated, frenzied and flustered – it can be dangerous.  He talks a lot about being realistic in understanding what our “maximum” is and setting boundaries.  He also urges crazy-busy people to prioritize and know when to say, “No.”

It has taken me years, but I have learned to say, “No!” and pick the important things to put on my To Do List and also, having the To Do List helps immensely.  I put things down and commit to those and make every effort to get the most important things done in a day, week or month.  I’ve also learned to ask for help. It wounded my ego, at first, to admit I could not be everywhere and do everything – but thanks to a group of angels in my circle of friends, I’ve learned to open my arms to their assistance.

If you can envision before-hand how to at least maim two birds with one stone, do it (not that I advocate hurting animals – it’s an idiom, people. I’m not an idiot). Make every effort to wrap things up so you’re not expending more energy than you have to.  Remember, you want to be effective and busy – not ineffective, which leads to frustrated, frenzied and flustered crazy-busy.

One of the other major bits of advice for crazy-busy people is to accept that sometimes things are going to fall through the cracks or turn into rubbish or not be do-able, no matter how crazy-busy we’re willing to make ourselves.

The bottom line is, it’s okay to be a busy-busy person – as long as the plates are spinning, not crashing to the ground around our ankles.  Because that would just be crazy.  And messy.

xo – t.

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

“Some times things just fall off your plate.” – V.K. Springs

“If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

“You don’t want to get so busy that life gets in the way of living.” – T. Katz

Erich Brenn:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhoos1oY404

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