Learning to be Unbusy
I have been practicing really hard to stop watching the clock. I never realised just how time management focussed I have spent the last few years as I succumbed to the mouse wheel of busyness. Never enough time in the day, weekends spent chasing up chores or adding to my to do list, which seemed to become akin to a bottomless pit, catching up with friends for a simple visit or coffee always seemed to be in the too hard basket. Time just raced along, there was never enough time.
After what seemed months of micro managing a toxic work environment something had to give. As someone so eloquently described it to me "I was like a punch drunk boxer who just kept fighting on , on the off chance I would land that one big punch and things would get better."
Everything was busy, my mind, people, conversations, life, roads, everyday activities were rushed through so I could go onto the next project. I wondered whether it was a Covid hangover of re-engaging with people. I worked throughout Covid mainly by myself and let me say it was a quiet kind of bliss, which possibly lured me into false hope. But then people happened again and in the middle of the night I had one of those three a.m epiphanies when I realised what the issue was . My willingness to accept people I once tolerated had changed. The kind of people surrounding me had changed , I wasn't willing to compromise me to fit the new tribe.I had been a clown in the work circus for many years and had seen the effect of changing structures. I suddenly felt very jaded and began to feel like I was born in a different time, different values and outlooks, I felt old. Change was needed, a decision was made and in that moment the white noise vanished. I slowed down and began see and hear with such clarity that it was time to ask myself - what the actual fuck is the point. That feeling of knowing you're done is so freeing , such a weight is lifted and you see all the steps you need to take to finally be who you need to be. So with that retirement loomed and finally the ticking clock on the wall slowed down, the phone stopped ringing, emails stopped coming, the notifications on my smart watch stopped beeping telling me to breathe or practice mindfullness , and I finally had the sweet gift of time. Time to be.
You then need to learn to become unbusy.
So what does one do when they retire from the frantic pace of work life. Many people take the time to go to a health retreat, a self indulgent getaway , a shopping frenzy, but no not me. The greatest joy I had was to go to Bunnings, buy myself a chainsaw and order a skip , it was time to clean out the deadwood, purge myself of all that annoyed me and tidy up years of things on my bottomless list that I never got around to doing in my busy life.
I just love a good clean out, years and years of "stuff" has been stored in my garage from the kids trophies and treasures, broken tennis racquets and gym equipment , old photo albums , to my favourite find , stacks and stacks of video's. My particular favourites were my grand-daughter Lucie's "cool music tapes " circa 2005 and my mums video recordings of the Bold and the Beautiful from the TV. I kid you not, I have so many questions. ! The kids were given one warning that it was all going and some lovely moments in time were spent together going down memory lane.
Time - you see what you can do, you can waste it reminiscing .Such luxury.
I have to still train my mind to not watch the clock to cram my days in doing stuff. But by week three post retirement , I think I have finally managed to slow down, forget the ticking clock and stop the list writing.
I have finally found time to write .
In my busyness I forgot to see the flowering orchids , my laptop sat unused, my brain was fried, I felt so uninspired . World events just left me flattened and despaired, I was so busy being sad and tired I stopped looking for simple joy .
Why do we always lose the creative part of us when we need it the most ? As time has slowed down and I have defragged my mind from chaos I am committing to restart my writing. It used to bring me such happiness and it was me time, my indulgence. Time to indulge me again.
As the universe would have it when I need it most the universe whispers quietly in my ear - Its all OK , its time to come home .
And so I begin a three week time away "retreat" with an old dog, quiet space, long lazy days, crashing waves, healing bushland and the deep soul happiness of just being .
There are no clocks , nothing planned, nowhere to be, no pinging notifications, no toxic people, no worries, no cares - just the rest of my days to spend being unbusy.
Footnote : Many years ago I received these little writing prompts from a writing retreat I was at. I happened to find them in my tidy up ( I had put them in a safe space ) .
There are over 50 cards with words to inspire, nourish and prompt writers to find their voice. I am going to spend my time away doing a card a day - you just pull out a card randomly and that is my topic for the day:)
Looks like tomorrows writing is "what risk do I want to take "
As a non risk taker this should be interesting.
In my ongoing quest for unbusyness it is time for my afternoon nap :) But first I shall send this newsletter out in my email list, again if you wish to unsubscribe please do so .
Until then I hope you find time to be less busy and find what brings you joy :)