Really F*#king Busy

How are you? Busy.  Really busy.  How are things? Good, but busy.   Busy.  So busy.  Things have been so busy.  I have no time.  It’s gotten so busy. Wow, you sound busy.  I am!  I’m busy.  How’s Frank?  Good.  Busy.  The kids?  Great. Busy. Can we have coffee this week?  Hmmmm, this week is kind of  busy.  Can you do next week?  Oh, that week is really busy for me.  Boy, we sure are busy.   Crazy busy.  Oh, yeah, it’s been crazy! The week, month, year, holidays have been crazy. I’ve been swamped. Totally nutty around here. Really fucking busy. But good. Busy and good. But mostly busy.

I haven’t had a chance to pee/sleep/ read/ shower, eat, do what I love, take a poop, brush my teeth. I’m up to my ears, my neck, my eyeballs. That’s right, I’m on duty, on the job, on the move, on the run, on the road, on the go.

Have you had time to GET busy? Are you kidding? I’m WAY too busy to GET busy.  

I’m hard at it, I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire, too much on my plate, I’m knee deep. I’m up to my ears busy. I’d love to stay and talk but I’m just so gosh darned busy.

When was the last time you asked someone how they were and didn’t get a response that included, “Busy”?  We thrive on the busy.  We brood about the busy.  We complain and boast about the busy, even when it’s not that significant.  Pretty much anything that occupies our time makes us busy.

 “I completely lost track of time, I was so busy knitting and changing the batteries in the flashlight.”
We’re busy working, planning, face-booking, organizing, catching up, returning emails,  running to our yoga classes, writing our to-do lists, shopping for presents, groceries, office supplies, getting ready for vacation…Oh, God….the holiday busy.
How were your holidays? Great. Busy! Insane! Relaxing, but very busy. We were going to call, but things just got so busy!  Vacations are so busy. We weren’t really doing anything but it ended up being really busy.
Aren’t holidays supposed to be, well, holidays? Meaning that we’re not busy because we’re on holiday, which is the very thing you do when life becomes too busy?
Here’s the thing. It has now become necessary to say that you are busy. ‘Cause you know what you are if you’re not busy?  Lazy. No one respects the lazies.  No one is interested in hearing about what the lazies have not been doing.  If we don’t talk about being busy, people are left to assume that we’re just hanging around with our thumbs up our….noses, which does not constitute busy-ness.  No one wants to be thought of as lazy because it usually means that our lives aren’t important.  And busy is important.  Busy means that we are someone.  If we’re engaged with more things than we could possibly have time for,  then there’s clearly  an abundance of people and things that are desiring of our attention, which must mean that we’re either extremely important or just really busy.
Sometimes we acknowledge the craziness of it all.  “I’m ridiculously busy.” “I’m insanely busy.”  “Can you believe how busy I am?” “It’s out of control how busy life is.”

You know what? I count myself as one of these people who are too busy. And yes, I talk about it. I admit it. I use it as my alibi. “I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’ve been so… busy.”   “I missed your call because I was…..busy.”  “I couldn’t make the party. Things got too busy.”   It’s like a badge I wear that allows me to excuse myself from almost anything.  And people seem to understand. “Oh, you were busy? I get it.  I’ve been busy, too.” I would like to not be busy but I can’t seem to find a way around it.  I probably shouldn’t even be here right now, I’m so busy. Sitting here and writing this is way more time than I can afford.  One thing that has kept me busy is trying to complete this piece.  I’ve been too busy to write this piece because I’ve been so busy writing this piece.

In fact, I’m too busy to finish this senten…..


The Flu Ate My Yoga Mat

Originally written in 2004. Re-edited 2011

December. I am home sick with the flu. My delusions of being impervious to all ailments have been realized. It must have been Mario, my salsa partner from Monday night; he was sweating a lot and looked kind of pale. I’m pretty sure I have a fever since I have chills, a fiery exhale, and dreamt last night that I gave birth to a moth. I am determined to fight it off using holistic practices only. The “self healing” class I took last month convinced me that any cold or flu remedy purchased from a mainstream drugstore will result in infertility or at least a bad rash. I begin to consume buckets of homemade ginger tea and Echinacea and take a hot bath with baking soda, Epson salts and three different essential oils I found while rummaging under the sink. I have no idea what purpose they serve but I read somewhere that they have some sort of magical power to cure so I pour away. An hour later, I am still sweaty, achy and have peed 6 times.


(Written in 2004)
Gramma is quieter than she used to be. She doesn’t ask detailed questions the way she once did. She was the only person who actually cared about the minute particulars of your plane trip over. “Well, now, what did they serve?” “How many flight attendants were there?” “Now, when you got into your seat, was the window shade pulled up or down?” These things actually interested her and she was rapt with attention at your description of the temperature of the cabin. She is forgetful now and more easily fatigued. The lilting laughter that used to infuse her sentences is less frequent. And the spark in her one good eye has become more of a dim flame. “No one should live this long” she tells me over dinner that night. We are sitting in the communal dining room of her home in Minneapolis, un upscale housing residence for senior which has nightly movies and knitting groups that you can join. At 97 She has outlived two husbands, 2 sisters, a brother, a son, and the majority of her close friends.

Letter From Blitzen

Dear Prancer,

Hey you kooky Caribou! How goes it? Me and the gang sure miss you, especially at this season. It’s just not the same without you. Yup, it's that time of year again when we get the goddammned reigns strapped to our haunches and have to drag about 3000 friggin tons of toys clear across the world in 12 hours. Can you believe we are still doing this shit? Hey, you gotta be happy for a job, especially in this economy. Plus, I’m super grateful for the health benefits. The herd has been in and out of Santaland Clinic a lot this year. Dasher had a herniated disc, Cupid got parasites and Rudolph has gone in for 2 colonoscopies. Turns out everyone here, including the Clauses, is Vitamin D deficient!