I’ve been chewing on this quote from Kevin DeYoung’s book, Crazy Busy, for over a month now.
“We go day after day, crazy month after crazy month: worried, upset, anxious, troubled, fussing, worked up. Every stain, every school project, every dirty sink, every surprise guest, every surge of responsibility becomes a cause of great panic. To paraphrase Titus 3:3, we live as slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in chaos and envy, hassled by others and hassling one another.”
I am so guilty of this type of busyness. Every time E spills something, every time I have to sweep the house, I get stressed and worked up. I fuss. I fuss at E for not being more careful, I fuss because I’ll never get it all done, I fuss because I run out of patience, but really it’s not THAT big of a deal. The truth is I am frustrated because whatever has happened will take up more of my time. My time that is so filled and stretched that his actions are impeding my plans. How dare he not consider all of my plans before he accidentally knocks his cup of water onto the floor. It’s a cup of water. It takes two minutes to clean up. Yet, my self-centeredness prevents me from seeing it this way.
And when he huffs and puffs when he doesn’t get what he wants, how can I not see he has learned it from me because I get frustrated when my false priorities get thrown off?
When your son tells you to calm down and apologizes because you’re stressed, you know busyness has taken over. This happened the other day. I felt like the child in the situation. I was upset about a deadline I had for a project which had a few kinks in it, and Ethan walked up to me and rubbed my arm. He said, “I’m sorry you’re stressed, Mommy. It’ll be ok.” So sweet, but so telling on the state of my heart.
Another downside to this type of stress is a lack of joy. I don’t enjoy that surprise visitor or the thrill of a clean sink. I’m thinking of what I could be doing or I’ve moved on to the next line item on my to-do list.
In short, busyness = Grouchy Mom, a no fun Melissa to be around.
And I’m over it. I’m over my priorities being out of order. I’m over snapping at Ethan for no good reason. I’m over being stretched and pulled with no gratification in the end. It’s not worth the joy I could be experiencing.