Saturday, February 11, 2012

Crash Into Me

I’ve been so busy lately. It’s something that I’ve tried for years to avoid.

Some of you just read that I’m lazy and have avoided work for years.  Let me clarify.

I do not like being busy for the sake of busyness.  When a building is on fire and the Fire Department shows up, they get busy and they stay busy.  Their busyness has a reason.  Their busyness fulfills a need.  A young person finds joy in going to the mall and stays hour after hour declaring themselves “busy”.  Yet this type of busyness is busy simply for the joy of staying busy. 

I don’t do well with just staying “busy”.  I want my busyness to be useful.  I want it to have a lasting effect.  Even little tasks that build foundations that will last for years to come are significant. I’m just not always sure that what I’m doing has that sort of lasting effect.

It is my job that keeps me busy.  It’s consuming a lot of my time and energy.  Even while “relaxing” on the couch at home I find myself working on my email.  I do this because I don’t have time to do i tat work.  Ironic:  I have too much work to do at work.  Once upon a time I thought you went to work to do the work.  Who knew that work would one day take place in the electronic cloud? It begs the question why do I “go to” work anymore?

I digress.  As work demands more, I take it as a challenge and produce more.  The constantly hungry Goliath of business then demands even more work.  And so it goes.  Somehow I manage to come home,though later now.  I still interact with my family, but I’m worried about getting lost. The more I produce the more I am consumed with a) what I have already produced and b) how to produce more and produce it better.  It used to be much easier when I “went” to work and did the work there.  Even when I took my first management job I would come home and just hope my pager didn’t buzz.  As long as my pager remained silent, I stayed at home.  It was a clean break between work and home.   

Today the break is not so clean.

In fact, in reality there is no break.

The truth of the matter is that I don’t mind the work.  That is, I don’t mind the work load.  I don’t mind being called on to do big tasks.  But when I come home and look into the eyes of my children and realize that I have no idea what they did that day, I panic.  Will I one day be one of “those dad’s”?  When I am drifting off to sleep at night (aka passing out) and my wife says with a certain longing that she feels like she hasn’t talked to me in a long time, I sense a dull ache in my heart.  And when I shower in the morning and find myself focused intently on what will happen in the next few hours in the office, I remember a time when my quiet hours were spent in prayer and meditation.  Life now seems very much like a blur.  The days pass by so swiftly that I am shocked it is already February. Did I totally miss Christmas? 

My wife is a wonderful help to me, keeping me grounded in the reality of life.  Without her I am sure that I would grow lost and confused in an unforgiving world.  In her very insightful ways she keeps me heading in a good direction in terms of my relationships.  She shows me the path even when I start to lose my way.  Right now I’m relying on her more than ever because the real difficulty is losing sight of me…that is,the real me.

I started something new with 2012.  I’m not really one for resolutions, but it worked out this year to begin something new right at the beginning.  I began to put together a list of resolutions.   Now these were not your typical “need to lose weight in 2012” sort of resolutions.  I took a little different path.  These resolutions were designed to help me remember who I am.  They are things like Truthful, Christ Like, Honest, etc.  They started out to be a reflection of who I am, but it started to change.  The resolutions began to sound more like who I wanted to be, not really who I am.   I began to realize that it’s not really “me” I’m losing.  I’m actually losing control.

Don’t be scared.  I’m not dancing on a table or howling at the full moon like a dog.  At least not most days.  Just sometimes.

What I mean is that I’m losing control of an organized,departmentalized life.  Things move so fast that I don’t always have time to think about the right reaction.  When I realized this I understood that I am actually afraid of NOT doing or saying the right thing at the right time to the right people.  It was then that I realized that this might not be such a bad thing.  

Sometimes we work hard to keep the compartments of our lives from colliding with one another.  This can create a false persona.  So maybe it’s not a bad thing to watch as the compartments in my life head toward an intersection that will forevermore change the landscape I know as me.  In fact, I suspect it will be a time to “true up” who I am versus who I should be.  So I continue to work on my resolutions, not to reflect who I am, but rather to keep focused on who I want to be…who I should be.  And I watch for what is sure to be a painful and amazing collision of – me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Mike,
    Have you ever read the little booklet, "The Tyranny of the Urgent"? It might be an encouragement to you in light of your post.

    Yes, your children will grow up so quickly. Look at mine. Now a third of our kids getting married in a few weeks. Where did the years go? Enjoy your little ones and that sweet wife of yours.