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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Too busy to be happy?


Why is it we often make the choice to ignore what makes us happy?  Sometimes we overfill our schedules.  Sometimes we feel obligated to do extra chores or favors for other people.  Sometimes we just choose to stay where we are.  We do all this while our happy buttons blink desperately to be pressed.

I love to read.  I'm happy if the only chance I have to read is while I'm on the potty; at least I'm getting some reading in.  Lately, though, I've been choosing to play Sudoku during these rare moments.  I tell myself that I like Sudoku, too, and it requires less concentration, and I'm really tired and don't want to engage my brain, and...

...and then my library books are due with no more renewals and I sadly drop them into the box.

I also love to write.  Sometimes I write a couple of words, other times I write pages and pages of stories or revelations or freewriting.  (Most of my writing is really freewriting.)  At the very least, I write down the daily happenings with the kids I want never to forget.  The latter is quite important to me, yet I haven't done that in over a month.  What do I do instead?  I watch TV and play on the internet.  I tell myself that I like TV and the internet, too, and they require less concentration, and I'm really tired and don't want to engage my brain, and...

...and I don't remember any of the cute things my children have done or firsts they've had in the last month, and I didn't write them down.

My writing really picked up when my computer was at the doctor instead of distractingly sitting next to me all evening.  I told myself that when I got it back I wouldn't fall into the same bad habits (read: addictions).  I hoped that when my computer had to go back to the doctor I'd take the second chance to change bad habits.  Instead I use the internet on my cell phone.

I feel like I'm stuck in a vicious cyclone of uselessness.  I want to get rid of the TV and all my online memberships.  Well, except for my blog... and email... oh, and I keep touch with people on facebook... and Mike and I don't watch that much TV... wait, I know that's a lie... but he'd never agree to it... but... but... but...

I hate the word "but."

There's one more thing that makes me happy: reading God's word.  Actually, it's the only thing I really need.  It's as important as eating and breathing and exercising and sleeping.  But I don't do it because... because... I DON'T KNOW!  I have no reason!

Why do we do this to ourselves?  I know some people think, "It's too late to become a professional [fill in the blank], so why bother doing it at all?"  Um, hello?!  Because it makes you happy!  Others think, "I don't have time to do something just for me."  (Mothers, do you see yourselves here?)  Duh!  You can't take care of others if you don't take care of yourself!  I often think, "I need to sleep, and if I start I'll be at it for a while."  Why the all-or-nothing attitude?

One friend listens to audio books while she goes for a walk with her kids.  Other friends have Bible study playdates.  (I've done that, too, but we have yet to find our momentum.)  I won't tell you what to do, but I am going to hide the Sudoku, turn off the TV, invest in some more journals and pens and make a commitment to myself to do the things I love, 1 minute at a time or hours, should I get so lucky an opportunity.

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