Posted by: sistermom1 | February 11, 2011

On Being Busy

Yesterday, I received an email from a younger family friend in response to an email from me. Her response took several days – many more than I expected – and I needed her answer sooner rather than later. When she did respond, she was quick to apologize for the delay and to excuse it with a “I am so busy”.

That sentence really bothered me – as if we are not all busy with something. True, she is married with three children under 11, so she is definitely busy. But is her busy different than my busy? This got me thinking about the nature of “busy”ness and how differently I have defined it as I have matured.

– In my 20’s, I was “busy” doing things that were totally self-involved (studying, partying, shopping, and yes, I did work a part-time job).
– In my 30’s. busy meant that I was working hard on things that I felt would move me ahead in my job.
– In my 40’s my life was completely child-focused. I was married with two kids under 10, and a demanding career, so my life was completely overtaken by whatever the kids were scheduled to do.

My current definition of busy is very different from the definitions of my past. I am working hard to make sure that my life is very present-focused — connected to exactly what is happening right now.  I am consciously working on being present in each moment of my life, rather then being caught up in the planning of a future event.  Now, this is really a challenge — one that I probably would not have even considered had I not encountered this detour.

I have recently been reminded of something that I am working hard to realize in my life.  There is a reason for this experience, and I definitely need to examine it to reveal the lessons that are there for me.  These are lessons that were probably ones I have been shown many times previously, but I did not get them when they first showed up in my life. 

In the past, Oprah has said, the first time you get an important message from the universe, it comes in a whisper.  If you ignore it, it will come back to you a little louder.  If you continue to ignore it, eventually the message comes like a wood board against your head — impossible to ignore and fairly painful.  That is what this MS has been for me — a message from the universe that I have been ignoring for many years.  “Slow down”, “Pay attention to others around you and what they may need”, “Spend more time with your kids”,  “Be kinder to your spouse”, “Be a gentler Mom”.  These are some of the ideas that have come to me since my diagnosis.  Some of the things that I have consciously been working on to improve.  Because I need to be better at these things, (among several others that have also occurred to me over the past few years which I won’t delineate today).  I have started reflecting on my actions towards others in my life.  This illness has also forced me to reflect upon my actions towards myself and my own needs over the past several years, which I have not been very good at handling.

I am getting better, and hope that as I do improve, treating myself and others better, the heavincess associated with my illness will lift.  At that time, to approximate a quote from the National MS Society – “I [may still] have MS, but it won’t have me.”



  1. Pray, courage and love from family and one’s strength is a blessing from God.
    Keep strong you come from a line of “STRONG WOMEN.

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