I know what you think this post is going to be about. You think it’s going to be about all these people who are so engrossed with their own goings-on that they are too busy for LIFE. You think I’m about to condemn those who turn down invitations and don’t socialize and are always rushing around and citing busyness, because they’re doing it all wrong, and stop and smell the roses, and it’s the journey, not the destination, and, yeah, don’t be so BUSY all the time.
People, I am a busy person. I am capital B busy, and you can just add a capital U and S and Y to that. Fitting things into my life is the opposite of easy, because I am BUSY.
I really believe we have one time around on this planet. Our lives are what we get. And that’s it! When it’s over, you’re done. When my life is over, I, too, am done, for real, because I fully intend to establish a provision in my will that gives my attorney the power to delete this blog, and any other Internet account I may have at that time. Why? Because I’ll be dead. By the way, those of you who just bought a membership*, your membership expires when my life does. I guess that’s the fine print I didn’t mention before. But you might be in luck, because I haven’t yet given my lawyer all the information he needs to erase my web presence, because I am BUSY!
Sure, sure, I’ve watched a few UltraSuperBusy-Bees** and thought to myself, “wow, that is a make-worker if I’ve ever seen one” in reaction to her latest crisis over the various social engagements she wasn’t going to be able to fit in around her various exercise engagements. “Well, I’ve got to go running with Wanda at 11:30, and then I have to pick up KaYtlaIn# at Bouncy Castle Advanced Juniors Class at 12:13, then I’d really like to get to Hot Boiling Lava Yoga For Pros at 12:05, so let’s meet at noon and go for a quick ride, okay? I’m just going to stop for a Venti Quarter Caff Cream Added Soy Vegan Latte and have a chat with the Bio-Trails committee before I meet you on the other side of town. After I’m done with Boil-oga let’s meet for a martini, but not too late because DFH is home just this one evening all month because all the rest of his time is soaked up by his expedition planning for the Super Mega Racey Runny Bikey Thon! Can’t wait to see you!” Christ on a bike made of crackers. Those people are loony.
What I really mean is that I am not a person who leaves a stone unturned when planning my days and weeks and years to come. With this one time around, I want to have fun, do some good, pay my way, make my mark, and give a few people a boost up to do the same. I want to have every experience possible – and let’s stop here for a minute. *screeching halt* I want to have every experience POSSIBLE. The real Cult of Busy is not for the flighty or weak. The real Cult of Busy goes for it, true, but knows its stopping point. The Cult of Busy is also not for the members of the Positivity Corps, who spout ever-increasing superlatives espousing the belief that anyone can do anything! The sky is the limit! The world is your oyster! If you read this Oprah best-seller and just BELIEVE*** in yourself, you can do anything you want, anything at all!
It’s not true.
You can’t do ANYTHING you want. We are all mortals. If you never do anything you fail at, you didn’t try to hard at stuff you didn’t already know you were good at. At least that’s my belief. I fail all the time! I really do try to do everything possible, to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself, to keep saying yes, to leave no path untrodden. But you know, that’s just not possible so sometimes I don’t get to do the things I want to do. There are other people in the world who sometimes make decisions that affect my ability to do stuff, and, well, I can’t control them, and neither can you. So try, try, try, but if it doesn’t happen, don’t cry, cry, cry (what in the hell is WRONG with me tonight?). Just deal. Okay?
All right, back to the front. So, I’m pretty busy, because I don’t want to waste any time. I’ve worked hard most of my life to accomplish varying stuff, because that’s what I was taught and that’s what I believe everyone should do. I’m not a big fan of this ideology that espouses dumping all responsibilities and attachments and pretending that road tripping around the interstate system with mommy and daddy’s, or the bank’s, money is some new concept that has never been thought of before. As I like to say, all climbers want to be Joe Simpson without the pain and horror part, and all twentysomethings think they are Jack Kerouac incarnate without the going to jail and dying of rotten liver part. Well, maybe people are okay with the liver thing, seeing as how much outdoor people luuurrvvveee their beer. Probably they’re all going to end up copying the “living with parents” part, too, unless they get jobs. Oh, and all thirtysomethings with Sprinter vans want to be Steinbeck. Look, the road trip has been well documented and Great American-ized, and it was Kerouac and Steinbeck who did it, and they did it before you so it’s done, okay? So if you want to do it, great, go do it, but don’t think you’re going to stun the world with some new revelation, here.
But you should be doing SOMETHING. God, anything! Just pick some stuff to strive for, and try to do it, while paying bills and building a life and fulfilling your responsibilities to society, and all that boring stuff. I know you want to avoid the boring stuff because you have stuff to strive for, but too bad. If we all didn’t do anything because our striving gets in the way, we wouldn’t even have an interstate system on which to slack, dig? Your first striving task is to do the boring stuff. That’s how we keep from becoming just enormous sacks of flesh sucking the life out of the planet and its fellow inhabitants bit by bit. Pay your way, then talk to me about your dreams.
Because you know what? Those rare moments in your adulthood, those few times in your life when you’ll be able to go out to dinner, any place you want, without thinking twice about when your next paycheck is coming, when you’re ahead on your bills and you’ve got EQUITY, man, and your dream vacation isn’t just some dumb thing you talk about when you want to get all wistful, it’s something you actually are going to do, like, within the year, because you’re busy and you get shit done and you earn a break for a while? Well, those times are truly freeing in a way that no slackerhood can ever compare to.
I’m saying it’s more than okay to be busy. And what I’m also saying, is that sometimes being busy sucks a little bit, because sometimes you have to do stuff that isn’t fun. You have to work (and work hard at that), and you have to contribute, and not in fun ways like building a trail or even picking up trash outside, but in lame ways like going to long dull meetings in your “off” time and propping up the sagging remnants of a once-promising society with your failing idealism and inadequate good intentions. You do that, and you do it until you really can’t anymore because you find you’re just too busy, and then you’re free to do stuff like this with your afternoon (remember this video? Well, here’s the winter version):
*I love you, really, really.
**An unrelated cult.
***in life after love, whoah..oh
Factual part of the post: Jack Kerouac wasn’t really a BUSY person but he is widely regarded as the “father” (ew) of the Beat Movement, which is over now.