Just What Do You Mean By 'Busy'?

Oh, Reader.

One of the fires went out last week. There was no Mom Trying to Write. There was no Writer Raising Kids. There was Just a Mom (Which reminds me of how much I dislike the phrase "just a mom" that, so often, full-time moms--myself included--use to describe themselves. As in: you're at a party of some sort. Someone you don't know asks, "So, what do you do?" You say, "I'm just a mom." Never did three words fail so abjectly to describe a job. Just for fun, I've started saying "I'm a writer," which also usually stops the conversation dead in its tracks. But I digress.).

Anyway, this post is not about motherhood. (I cannot at this moment resist the urge to write, as a parenthetical remark to Motherhood itself, "So there!!!!!!!!"). This post is about being busy.

Last week I was way too busy. This is what I kept telling myself and anyone else who dared inquire. I was too, too busy. Busy, busy, busy. Doctor appointments, meetings, scouts, errands, busy, busy, busy. I kept asking myself, "How did I let this week get so busy?" Driving here, there and everywhere, scrambling to pick up Kid 1, Kid 2, and Kid 3, rushing to pull together dinner, digging through piles of fresh-smelling laundry for clean socks and underwear. "Why am I so busy?" I kept wondering. I hate being busy.

And, spiritual lightweight that I sometimes am, I was starting to let it get me down a little, this whole Being Too Busy thing (Which, I confess, in light of what the people of Haiti were living through last week, is not a big problem to get hung up on, but..... I did anyway. Forgive me.). So, I turned to my usual source of comfort: Words.

I decided I had better find out what I really meant when I said I was busy. And guess what I learned: I wasn't really busy.

I was occupied.


Do me a little favor: say "busy" out loud. Now say it again. And again, three times. Just do it!

Busy is a happy little word, isn't it? It's fresh. It is somewhat onomotopoeic, in that the word busy almost sounds busy itself. Busy is a bee, a two-year old, a cheerful servant in a Regency-period British novel. Busy is, according to the Concise OED, "having a great deal to do." Which, my friends, is life: nobody's getting out of here without having done a great deal.

But occupied, now that's a different story. Occupy: "to fill or take up (a space or time)." Occupied is from the Latin ocupare: to take over, to seize, to possess. Note that we use this term in discussing war, as in "German-occupied territories" during WWII.


Last week, I was not busy, although I did have a great deal to do. Last week, I was occupied. I let the great-deal-to-do take over, seize, possess, and set up camp in my peaceful interior territories. This week, my goal is to be just plain busy. Wish me luck!

And I hope you have a just plain busy week, too.

1 comment:

CitricSugar said...

I think we have very similar ideas of the word "occupied". I do think, though, that your brain joined the resistance and will always keep the writer alive, even if she's hiding.