Dear Farm Journal,
In our modern society, almost everyone is “busy”. Nine times out of ten, when I ask how someone is doing, their automatic reply is, “busy”. I even do this myself, but I would like to be more thoughtful in my wording. Of course, the farm is “busy”, but I want my statement to carry more meaning than that. When I hear the word “busy”, a lot of things come to mind. There is the typical 9-5 busy which is typically spent building someone else’s vision for a paycheck (but not always). There is the family busy which is spent caring for children and/or parents, managing the domestic sphere, and juggling schedules. There is the fake busy, which we pull out as a well worn excuse for not showing up or accomplishing something. There is the self-perceived busy, which, as an outsider looking in, I think, “what you are dealing with does not even register on the scale of what I would consider busy”. Then there are the odd nuances of the term “busy” which we seem to carry around in our culture. First, if you are not busy, you are perceived as lazy and not as hardworking as everyone else. Second, being busy is a negative experience, something you wish you could escape. I would like to formally reject all of these ideas about being busy. I want to be active, engaged, and full of life and purpose. I don’t want to feel guilty if I am not busy, and I don’t want to use it as an excuse. Today I spent most of the day going about tasks that get pushed down the list due to “being busy”. I did some purging, hung up pictures that have been leaning against the wall for months, gathered and sorted all the recyclables, picked up the yard, and cleaned some of the forgotten closets and corners of the house. I’m not going to feel bad about not being busy about the farm work. In fact, I’m going to feel great about getting some different things done. I think, in general, we need to periodically reflect on the things that fill our hours, what we put off, and what makes us joyful, not just busy.