Busy. It’s a word we hear – and say – a lot.
And there are some others, which basically mean the same thing, that I catch myself saying and hear other people say too: Pressed. Stressed. Stretched. Overwhelmed. Under the pump. Overloaded. Time poor. Frantic. Slammed.
Then there are phrases we use to explain why we’re in the state we’re in: It’s a busy time of year. The usual end of semester chaos. I’ve been inundated by marking. My inbox is like a blackhole.
And the hope that things will change: When I finish my PhD… Once we get grades entered… After this paper is written… Once we’re into the swing of semester… When semester is over…
Everybody around me is so busy. Colleagues. Friends. Family. We’re all *insert synonym for busy* here.
As therapy for my foot, I’m supposed to spend a few minutes, several times a day, attempting to scrunch up a tea towel laid on the floor with my toes, and then practice bending my toes up and splaying them. I can’t do anything else while I’m doing this because it takes conscious thought to get my little toes to move. I’m also supposed to spend time with my foot submerged in a container of uncooked rice and move my toes around to retrain my brain about sensation, which involves actively thinking about what I’m doing – i.e. engaging my brain to retrain it. So again, I can’t do anything much else at the same time.
And because I’m *insert synonym for busy here*, I haven’t been doing these things. Partly because amongst all the busyness, I just forget to stop and do them, and partly because when I do think about it, I shrug it off because I can’t do anything else while I’m doing them. It’s not necessarily that I need to be doing something else with the time (though sometimes that is why). It’s also that I’m so used to being go go go that the idea of sitting and doing nothing but think about my foot wriggling around in a container of raw rice seems enormously boring. The effect of being busy all the time is that I don’t really know how to stop and… feel the grains of rice.
And on that note, I think I’ve got a date with some basmati. Sounds a bit like busy, doesn’t it!?