Smell the roses? I’m too damn busy.

Illustration by Sonja Kresowaty

People say it’s important to stop once in a while to smell the roses. I’m not sure what exactly that entails. Are they suggesting that we should break or postpone commitments, flake out on assignments and prior engagements, so that we can make a date with our thorny smelly friends? Or are they suggesting that in addition to all the other things we do in our lives, we are supposed to take one more morsel of time away from the already diminished time we have to eat and sleep and sit on the toilet once in while, and add “smelling the roses” to our To Do list?

Eff the roses. I’m too damn busy.

I’m not saying that I don’t like roses (I love them) or that I didn’t bring this on myself (I did). What I’m saying is that I am too damn busy. Between work and class (poetry this time) and aerial silks and mentoring (with the Vancouver School Board Making Contact mentorship program–you should check it out!) and blogging and trying to have the occasional sit-down dinner with my TC or drinks with the girls, it seems I have time to sleep (not quite enough) and dress myself (albeit not all that well) and That’s About It. My extreme busyness then pairs up with my more natural tendency towards laziness and together they conspire to take me down. This is why my Christmas tree is still up (it’s now simply a Magic Evergreen), the pictures I meant to hang in November are still piled on a shelf, and the keyboard I am supposed to ship to my sister is sitting in my kitchen.

As those of you who’ve been reading my blog for a while may know, this time last year I was experiencing some capital S Sadness, and in order to cope, I filled my life with things: Twitter and blogging, volunteering as a creative writing mentor, theatre projects, etc. This was a very good decision and being constructively busy really helped get me through a rough patch. But I’m feeling better now. I’m once again comfortable with being left alone with my own thoughts and rather than needing constant occupation, or a return to the extreme stasis that contributed to my being sad in the first place, what I need now is BALANCE.

Balance is a tricky thing. I’m not sure if it’s an actual state of equilibrium that it is possible for me to achieve or whether a busy person simply finds balance through being organized and scheduling their time well. Maybe “finding balance” really just means finding a way to make it all work. If you are the kind of person who enjoys being on the go all the time, doing lunches, getting it done, keepin’ in real in the big city, etc., I’m sure being really organized is all you would need to find a groove that works for you.

But here’s the thing: contrary to my cheery nature and my deep and abiding love for my friends, NiftyNotCool is also NiftyNotExtroverted. I’m not. I do not require a non-stop parade of outside forces for stimulation in my life. I require rainy afternoons with books (I just started Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus and it’s killing me that I can’t finish it right now). I require being able to cook while listening to music on Sunday evenings. I require cheery but frustrating nights of learning to play “Rainbow Connection” on the ukulele while my TC plays guitar. Or, you know, a little time to go the post office or vacuum or WHATEVER I WANT.

Life’s short. Dealing with that fact sometimes means packing what little time you have with adventures, learning things, and working on projects or causes that mean something to you. Sometimes it means a really long phone call with your childhood bestie. Or heading down to Wreck Beach just to watch the sunset. I’m trying to balance my busyness with my laziness. I’m not there yet. I need time to figure it out and unfortunately I have very little of that at the moment.

And that is why the roses, beautiful as they are, will just have to wait.

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4 thoughts on “Smell the roses? I’m too damn busy.

  1. Please take up fly fishing—it will solve most of your problems and you will have less time not more—-but it is quality time—trust me

    • Fly fishing eh? Considering I’ve never caught a fish before in any of my attempts at fishing of any kind (unless you count the perch I caught off the end of a dock when I was 11), fishing might not be time productively spent. Perhaps I’ll just kick around in a belly boat and pretend to fish. That would be heaven.

    • Ha ha…I was actually thinking of you while I wrote this post. I thought to myself, “Now there’s a guy who probably hardly ever has a chance to eat at home….”. Hope you find some balance too if you’re in need of some!

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