After watching (again) the film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, I keep
thinking about something Fanny Price said: “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” Many of my days seem that way, with every moment bringing a new parenting, household, or work task. Not to say that the tasks aren’t important. Many are or serve a purpose that is. But they are unremitting.
Like many people, my regular, non-vacation life doesn’t seem to offer much choice in how I spend my time. It feels like I have to get the work done, cook the food, pay the bills, drive the kids, etc. Of course, I do have a choice. But it’s easy to get wrapped up in the haste of it all.
I sometimes wonder how much of the busy-ness stems from a fear of standing still, in silence, without a plan or purpose. After all, I am the one who made these commitments. No one forces me to live in an area that requires two incomes, get involved in my children’s schoolwork (yes, even over the summer – lucky them!), take care of two dogs and a hermit crab, and write a blog every day.
I do try to slow down by meditating a whopping ten minutes a day. If we could somehow leverage the energy I spend procrastinating before actually sitting still, our country’s dependence on oil would be a non-issue. So something about it sure makes me uneasy.
I have to wonder how much of my busy life has to do with not being able to stand still. Well let’s just see, shall we?
Today I decided to book myself on a silent weekend retreat. No speaking, no cell phone, no laptop, no TV, just me and some other silent people wishing they could plug back in.
Not exactly jumping off cliffs, but there may be the opportunity for peril. If I go batshit crazy, I might injure myself escaping through the window. You never know.