Went back in the hole for a while. Tentatively sniffing my way out.
I've come to one of the emptiest stretches of my year. Most of my jobs are on hiatus, including my steadiest, 20-hour-a-week gig, and so I've happened upon three weeks of weekdays in which I have few fixed obligations. It will be short-lived: Come August first, all jobs crank up full-force and my free time slams shut.
I should fill these days. What working mother has this opportunity? Three weeks of only a few lessons, practicing, whatever I decide to do? I should start projects, pull things off the back burner, work ahead...I should save the world or hell, at least organize the house.
I'm doing some of this. I'm outlining workshops for the year and making doctor's appointments and trying to learn pieces by ear. But I'm also struggling, as I always struggle, with the waste I make of my time when I can. I'm working maybe five to six hours a day, wasting two or three. There is slack time, uselessness, breath to no end.
The feeling is familiar, but distantly, a recollection of those never-ending stretches of time I had when I was a child. Now, as an adult, my default state is busy. Very busy. Jam-packed, bumper to bumper busy such a large portion of the year. I work multiple jobs, adding up to over full time. I have a kid. I'm on a working non-profit board. I still read. And on and on.
And, to tell the truth, I enjoy it.
I know that's not fashionable at the moment. We are supposed to spurn busyness. It is supposed to be a cover for our inherent loneliness or spiritual discomfort or general soullessness. We keep busy to escape from our true selves, or so the meditators and self-help gurus would have us believe.
I call crap. I know so many busy, happy people. I am a busy, happy person. I enjoy having miles to go and promises to keep. I like having my time taut, not flaccid. I like the rush of moving from one arena of my life to the next, the way the texture of my world changes depending on where I am and what I'm doing. Being busy is eye-opening, friction-generating, electric.
So what to do when things are slow?
Like back and take it, I guess. Because I can't deny there's also something valuable in these fallow times. There's space to watch, to read, to learn. Space to walk five miles a day and listen to the hum of the highway a mile down the road and the scurry-plot of rabbits and the grass being cut and cut and cut.
I write when I have more space. When I'm going full-tilt, I don't seem to have room for words.
And come August, I'll want to get back to busy.