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I jammed the ring and pointer fingers of my right hand in an ill-advised, mis-timed high five with the boss of my old job who is a current colleague after a funny comment he made while disco dancing at the work party last night. Ow. Typing hurts like a sonofagun. So if I stop using the i o k l , and . keys you'll know why.

2 years ago or thereabouts I began to feel that my life was spiraling out of control. Every day was busy, with a job that demanded more of me than any other job I have ever had, on top of an overloaded social calendar, on top of an increasing busy activity life for the kids.

I started to list all the things I used to be involved with just now. All the activities I went to, all the positions I held, all the after-school stuff I was helping the kids keep track of, but ultimately that's not the point. The point was that I felt it was too much. It seemed that I was home during the evening maybe 1-2 nights a week if I was lucky...EVERY WEEK. And if I was home, Anders probably wasn't, or the kids weren't. We were ALL busy.

So I started saying no to things. I took steps to reduce the commitments I was making and cut back on the amount of activities I was doing. I started reveling in every "empty" day that I found on the calendar. But for every empty day, I found something that needed to be done anyway. Even if I wasn't driving somewhere to do something, there was always SOMETHING to do: web work, blog reading, book reading, cleaning projects, art projects, whatever.

And what I learned about myself during the last year and a half is something that I already suspected. I LIKE being busy. Even though it sometimes stresses me out and even though it's a constant juggle, I LIKE having a pretty full calendar and lots of things to do. I'm glad that I have friends and family who invite me to things and who come to visit and I'm glad that I do things both for myself (choir) and others (AWC). I think that I've found a better balance this year. I removed some responsibilities and changed some to suit better, and re-committed to others that I found I missed. Even when I'm busy, I find time to do most of the things that I really want to do. I spend time with the kids, I read books, I keep up (mostly) with the online friends I've made.

And I did learn how to say no, how to keep a few days open for myself and my family, how to keep that balance.

No, I don't do all the things I used to. I don't have time for everything that I'd like to do. But isn't that normal? Don't all our interests and focuses change at times and during the course of our lives? Yes, I like painting and drawing and writing poetry, but they're not a focus right now. They haven't really been for years, and though I sometimes miss them, I don't miss them enough to take them up again...for now. Some day I'm sure I will again, but my focus is definitely elsewhere for the moment.

So, even though I may tire you out just READING the things I do on a daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis, and heck, I may even tire myself out, I seem to be built this way: for doing.

Bippity Boppity Hippity Hurray Belated Birthday Wishes to my darling dear Sunday School Rebel Sam!
mood: chipper
music: Jon Nolan—Mary (Won't You Come Along?)


I too am happiest when I'm busy. I'd rather have too much hay on my fork than not enough.

LOL! Where did that expression come from? It sounds suspiciously Nenglish (or Denglish or whatever you call it).


I know exactly what you mean about being busy, and feeling OK with it. It's part of how you evolve as a person, as a family..

Although I'm still laughing at the jammed finger. Not the finger, but the way you got it. That's a good one!



Heh. I know, it was so ridiculous. I hope he jammed a finger too, otherwise it would be completely unfair.

Being a Do Bee

Being busy is good, but learning when to say no is so important. As capable expat women we sometimes get dumped with everything just because we can do it. I had to learn to let others develop their own skills when I knew I could do the task much quicker (and better). I just started getting involved in our version of your AWC (we call it TWIG) and being busy suits me!

Re: Being a Do Bee

What does TWIG stand for?? Are there a lot of Americans in Tirana or do you have an international organization? It's a lot of fun, I can tell you, but it can take over your life. :)

You said it sister!
I'm the same way. I really do like to be busy, but I also like the possibility of being able to say no. I used to have a real problem with saying no early and luckily I'm getting over it.

I still have a problem with it, if it can be called a problem. But at least I'm aware that it's a problem and am actively concerned in making sure it DOESN'T get totally out of control again. I think. Heh.

Another joyous celebration injury, affecting the letters i k l and o. A symptom of a well lived life.

Celebrate good times, alright! :D


I wish I had your energy! I find myself getting stressed if I don't have more than half the week to myself. And I can't seem to get up on the weekends before 9am. It's kind of scary, actually. I might be the laziest woman I know.

You are an inspiration,

I'm a maniac nutcase :) And I don't get up on the weekends (unless I'm forced to) before 10 a.m. AT THE EARLIEST.

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that you find time to do the things you really want to do. Whatever the pace of our lives, that's the most important thing. You don't want to look back on your life having accomplished all the things you needed to do, but none of the things you wanted to do. Enjoy this season and have a very Merry Christmas Liz. :o)

If I can do that: look back on my life someday and feel I accomplished not ONLY all the things I needed to do, but at least MOST of the things I wanted to do, I'll feel I HAVE accomplished something. :)

(no subject) - (Anonymous)


Nope, you didn't tweak me too much. EVERYONE says the same thing. Everyone who comments on my busyposts, every time. I just thought I'd try and set the record a bit straighter, so to speak. It wasn't only aimed at you, honestly. :) It was some sort of reassurance (probably for myself a little bit, too).

and thank HEAVENS!!

you ARE built this way because we need people who actually do things to balance out all the rest of the world (like me) who have their heads in the clouds and rarely do anything.

LOVE to you and the whole EK family this Christmas-- gros gros bisous!!


Re: and thank HEAVENS!!

Re: you having your head in the clouds and rarely doing anything: HARDLY!

"I LIKE having a pretty full calendar and lots of things to do." No **it, Sherlock. I like to think that you're doing enough for both of us. ;)

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lizardek's obiter photos
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Feeling generous? Be my guest!

I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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