I think I still have the top I had in Fourth Grade. As I recall, it I could get it going fast enough, it would spin a “long” time. Occasionally, it did spin a long time; but the instant it left my hand, I lost all control. In a manner of speaking, so did it. As long as it stayed upright, it would dance around, bouncing off of obstacles, until it finally ground to a halt (maybe even “halted to ground” – as only tops can do). Other than spinning around its own center, it was entirely without direction.

I know people like that: they are full of action and devoid of direction. In some cases, they quite literally don’t know why they do what they do; they just react to the moment. We have all heard that we should live in the moment; the past and the future exist only in our imaginations. Well, there are quite a few people behind bars that might beg to differ (on both ends of the spectrum). Perhaps some of those incarcerated lived too much in the moment? There are others who are as shortsighted but have stayed within the law (or, haven’t gotten caught). They are incarcerated in their own lack of direction, purpose. And so, their tomorrows won’t look much different from their todays. They might say that if they had it all do to over again, they’d do it all the same. In other words, life was as good at it gets when they were infants?

These are busy people. Busy, busy, busy. All year long, they are busy. Busy doing what? Hell if they know; I know I don’t. None of these whirling dervish look alikes ever ask themselves if they are busy about the right things – the things that matter, important things, dare I say First Things. And now we enter the “silly season” when these people who are ‘busy’ all year suddenly shift into high gear and become frantic, frenetic, hyperkinetic (Roget’s Thesaurus, 707.24). While still juggling all those balls they have been keeping in the air, or keeping their plates heaped to overflowing, they add more…stuff (thank you, George Carlin). And there will be stories again this year about holiday stress and excess and the always regrettable suicide.

I don’t believe it is a matter of getting out a chain saw and clear-cutting; I think a more surgical approach is in order. More pick-and-choose, and less throw out the baby with the bathwater. Make the conscious, deliberate decision to do what is truly important; and the other stuff can go begging. After all, if it is just “stuff,” then you really shouldn’t be wasting your resources (time and energy) on it anyway. Don’t try to do it all; try to do less, but better. Yeah, less is more.

Maybe it is my own age that is causing me to more critically allocate my own resources? Maybe the youthful indiscretions that have come back to haunt my corpus? Maybe a lack of desire to have the next 30 years look like the last? Maybe I’m finally implementing the wake-up call I got back in 2005 April? I do know I have all my Christmas shopping done; and it isn’t because I am not doing any (like some years). I have all my Christmas cards addressed and stamped; and they all have a “keep Christ in Christmas” theme (The Adoration of the Magi tryptich by da Fabriano), no Santas or Rudolfs (and I waited until the Post Office released their religious seasonal stamps: Madonna Candelabra (Raphael), Virgin and Child (Gossaert), Holy Family). Sad to say, I have to work Christmas (yes, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day..and, ho hum – or should I say humbug? – Christmas Day night); so, like Thanksgiving, it won’t seem like a holiday (but that’s a different story).

I will know why I am doing what I am doing; and I will be doing those things on Page One as well as I can. The stuff on Page Two belong in the shredder anyway.

It is easy to laugh at “New Year’s Resolutions.” Like fruitcake, NYR are part of the season; and just as easily thrown away. But, taking stock of the past year is better than ignoring it (it is a record of choices you’ve made). And trying to do better next year is better than, well, just waiting and letting it happen (which it will do without you). Start with those things that really are important. Breathing is pretty much a given. Eating is definitely on the list, tho maybe not so much (not as important as breathing, and not indulged as much as in the past). Isn’t this easy? You already have two things on your list of What’s Really Important. Ok, they were gimmies. What’s next? You’re on your own: it’s your life. You might try exercise; I actually know a few people who might exercise too much (no, I am not among them – tho, I’d rather do too much than too little). Now that you are working on staying as healthy as possible as long as possible (so you don’t make yourself a burden to others), you could consider your personal life, your personal relationships, the other people in your personal life.

Don’t stop there. Busy is good; busy doing crap is not.

    • karirogersmiller
    • December 18th, 2013

    Very profound….just found out my sister had a stroke…she is ok…well, you know what I mean. So we are all reflecting on the “busy”

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