Close up Hands Tea x

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

Color me disappointed.

Life is busy.  I understand.  Things happen.  I understand that, too.  In fact, one of my own favorite sayings is, “Sometimes life gets in the way of living.”  Meaning, some of life’s truly meaningful moments can slip through your fingers due to the more mundane aspects of simply getting through a day / week / year / lifetime.  I get that.  We all have obligations, duties, dental scaling and root planing… things that have to be done, which (doggone it all to heck) get in the way of other things that we’d like to do.  Or people we’d like to see.


What bothers me, is when I’m on the receiving end of the ol’ “I’m too busy for you” business.  Really?  You couldn’t come see me perform during the six weeks I was a supporting lead in a musical, because… what?  You had a last-minute tire rotation? Clock cleaning?  What?!


At some point, we’ve all had to field the phone call, email, text or face-time puppy dog eyes that bear some message of, “I’m really sorry about this, but…” letting us know that we are being pushed to the side for some other project, person or plan.  You smile and say, “That’s okay.  No worries.” But, being pushed to the side of someone’s calendar on their Blackberry kinda hurts.


People schedule doctor’s appointments, and various other must-be-done tasks.  Walk into any home and there is bound to be a calendar or datebook (mine, is my beloved paper memory) that has hastily scribbled important obligations all over it.  Responsible adults all around the world pencil in time to take fuzzy Mr. Scooter Snoops to get vaccinated; schedule time to have the optometrist assess the numerical evaluation of eyes (be they 2 or 4) and make time to have someone run fingers through hair in the name of dying, shearing and shaping.  And, for the most part, people keep all of these important appointments.  After all, the dentist will charge you a $50 fee if you miss your appointment with him or his perky hygienist (at least, mine does) and that big burly guy who had it on his agenda to spray the inside of your house for spiders gets pretty bugged if you’re not home during his prearranged date… so, if you blow me off because you’re tired or tell me the dust bunnies have taken over the ranch or worse don’t give me a reason at all, please don’t be surprised if I act wounded.  In fact, let me wrap this up in a big red bow you can’t miss:  I, am disappointed.  You erased/deleted me from your schedule, and as harmless as you might think that might have been, it hurt.


It’s not that I’m some sensitive hothouse flower who gets her feelings hurt because someone didn’t pay attention to me.  Okay.  That’s a lie.  I am very sensitive and I do get hurt, but not only because someone didn’t pay attention to me … it’s because someone made a promise to do so and then dumped me to do something else.  To date, I haven’t been informed of that nebulous “something else” – therefore, I’m picturing a hammock, stadium or root canal as the better alternative.  Ouch.


But, mine is not to whine – but to serve up food for thought, which cannot ever (I promised myself and you) include sour grapes.  So, pardon me while I segue into something more comfortable and productive:


Actually scheduling time to be with someone you care about (and then not canceling or shuffling them about) is restorative and healthy.  That’s not my opinion (of which I have many), but the opinion of experts.  Okay?  Let me get all infomercial about it:


Do you find yourself feeling overworked and spinning more plates than that Erich Brenn guy from the Ed Sullivan Show (your life might be busy, but suck it up.  That guy simultaneously spun eight plates and five bowls on four foot sticks – before a live television audience)?  The helpful staff over at offers a five-point (no bowls, no plates) plan on how to bring much-needed balance to a busy life.  Like David Letterman, the closest thing going to Ed Sullivan today, I’m going to present this countdown style:


#5 Relax – set realistic goals, but spend some time on a hobby you love, taking a bath or even “read a trashy novel” says Laura Stack, Denver, CO productivity expert and author of SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best.  Slowly build up the time you allow these activities into your life.  Doing so will recharge your batteries and “ignite your joy”, according to Stack.


#4 Move – even a bit of exercise will help you concentrate and increase your energy levels.  More energy, means less napping time and time for other things (and people).


#3 Outsource – re-think how your errands are currently structured. Even on a tight budget, it might be worth your time (and gas) to find a dry cleaner that delivers, hire a kid to mow your lawn (don’t laugh – they’ll do it if you ask/advertise) or barter services with friends and neighbors.  Say you don’t like to cook, but you don’t mind babysitting, tutoring or doing someone else’s laundry… you just might trade and get meals for the week by trading an hour or two and that’s not only opening up time for you, but eliminating stress.  Genius.


#2 De-sap – we all have someone or something that sucks the life and time out of our days, be it a gossipy officemate or activities ( *cough* FB) that don’t really enhance our life, career or souls.  You’d be surprised at how much time and energy you might regain if you walk away from some habits that Hoover your precious time more than you previously thought.


< Insert drumroll and cackling sidekick/bandleader chuckle here >


#1 Face-Time – structure your schedule to include some playtime with family and friends.  Laura Stack, the above-mentioned lady who knows a thing or two more than I do about being at your best and finding time to do so says, “It helps to be proactive about scheduling.”  I didn’t say this either, but the experts say that if it’s on your calendar, it gives you something to look forward to and incentive to manage your time so you won’t have to cancel.


So, yeah, while greatly disappointed when some bunny (whether dust or Hefneresque — 2011 year of the rabbit, just sayin’) comes between a man and his potential balanced life, it's okay. No worries.  Color me optimistic that there are still people out there, like me, who don’t just “pencil in” the people they love.  They put it in pen.  And that?  Makes me feel balanced.  And loved.


Color Me Badd – “All for Love” by Tommy Knox

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