It’s that time of the year again.
My Facebook feed is full of posts telling me to “slow down”, “relax”, and “this one trick will make you click this article”. As we race towards the winter solstice here in North America, bloggers everywhere start cranking out 500 word pieces of faux transcendental spiritualism telling me that I’m too busy, my kids are too scheduled, and I’m going to die alone and friendless unless I Focus On What’s Really Important In Life, like generating ad impressions for Buzzfeed.
No one ever said on their deathbed, “Gee, I wish I worked more.”
Know what else no one ever said on their deathbed?
“Gee, I wish I spent more time cleaning up other people’s messes.”
Hello, my name is Mr. Nostrikethat, and I Schedule The Crap Out of My Life and the Lives of My Children.
Well technically, Mrs. Nostrikethat Schedules The Crap Out of My Life, but she does it with My Complete Approval.
The not-so-subtle crushing burden of guilt from these articles is that we are spending too much time in our cars driving our children to soccer/irish dance/swimming/volleyball/mui thai and not enough time “making memories” or some crap that presumably involves reclaimed popsicle sticks and ethically sourced flannel.
I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret.
I like it this way.
You know what’s worse than being busy? Being busy with a bunch of crap you have to do not want to do.
If we don’t plan to get out of the house, it means we end up cleaning. Usually constantly, because if everyone’s home the kitchen doesn’t stay clean for more than 15 seconds before someone comes in looking for a snack and leaves crap everywhere and HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU HEATHENS TO PUT YOUR DISH IN THE DISHWASHER OH YOU’RE GOING TO GIVE ME LIP BECAUSE IT’S CLEAN WELL GUESS WHO JUST VOLUNTEERED TO EMPTY IT MR. LIP-GIVER.
When I was younger there seemed to be a nearly limitless set of possibilities for what I could do. The day I realized that there was absolutely zero chance that day that I was going to get up and hike the Andes in Peru to see Macchu Picu was the day I accepted that my world had shrunk. These days, my universe of possibilities looks something like:
- Clean something dirty
- Fix something the kids broke
- Fix something I broke
- Walk the dog
- Run myself
- Make food for one or more people
- Eat food
- Go shopping for more food
- Have a cup of coffee
- Take everything out of the garage, and then put it all back in again
It’s not so much a routine as it is a well-worn trail through the overgrowth of life.
Unfortunately, a post called “Keep doin’ what you’re doin'” isn’t likely to be a viral smash hit, so we get to endure more of these posts until we get to the week before Christmas, also known on the Blogger’s calendar as The Week of the Year’s Best Lists, because there is absolutely no irony in writing a blog post telling people to get offline and spend more time with their family.
In fact, I’d probably write my own counter-retort, but I’m too busy.
That garage isn’t going to empty itself.