“Sorry, I can’t — I have too much work.” How about Saturday? “I don’t know…it’s just, I have this paper due.” Lunch next week then? “Let’s do a raincheck. Right now I’m just too busy.”
Maybe you are too busy. Or maybe you are hiding behind a heavy course load. An hour away from your computer won’t make that paper late, and it might even refresh you with better ideas. I fall into the trap all the time. It’s Saturday afternoon, and I could scour my list of contacts to find someone who wants to have a picnic, or I could join the masses and hunker down at the library. If you think I’m exaggerating, check out the bike racks outside Green on the weekend.
My schedule can seem overwhelming, but only because of what I choose to prioritize. I choose to work first and play later even when my obstinacy to do so causes me to work less efficiently. It drives me crazy when the boy I babysit won’t start his homework right after school. Jacob tells me, “I just need to do nothing for a while before I start my homework so I can focus.” He is 11, and my job is to teach him to be focused and efficient with his schoolwork. His wisdom far exceeds mine, though.
Chris Herries put it nicely in a recent column in The Daily: “being busy is a state of mind.” I would go so far as to say that being busy is the safer option to having free time. If you don’t have the time to build a new friendship, to try something new at which you might not excel, you can avoid feeling scared in uncomfortable situations. Yawn.
For a high school physics lab, my teacher took my class to learn flying trapeze while wearing accelerometers. I was so frightened and so exhilarated, I resolved to try to rekindle that feeling every day. You don’t have to run off and join the circus to have an adventure, but you can choose to put your textbooks down and accept your friend’s invitation to go out on a school night.
Amused? Confused? Outraged? Share your thoughts with Renée at email@example.com.