Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Compassed about by bees: busy-ness

They compassed me about like bees; they blazed like a fire among thorns. Ps 118:12

On Sunday night, while everyone else was watching the Superbowl, I was in a car headed up I95 from Washington, DC to Philly.  Usually it's a nail bitingly anxious drive because of the traffic, but there was no traffic to speak of between the weather warnings (ice! sleet! freezing rain!) and the football game.

Alas, I was still biting my nails.  I told Math Man I was having anticipatory anxiety about my schedule for the next day, which included a 7 hour stretch so packed I was visualizing my path from one commitment to the next so I could figure out how to duck into the ladies' room.  Today was, if anything, worse.  And Friday, yes, well, I just shouldn't think about it.  I was compassed about, harried on all sides not by bees, but by busy-ness.

Somehow I've ended up with a schedule that gives me two nearly clear days a week and three close-packed days. In principle this is a delight — unfettered time to write, to think, to plan.  In practice, it works — last week I wrote the bulk of an NSF grant in those two days, yesterday I read papers and sketched out the core lines of argument for an essay I'm writing, tomorrow I expect to produce a substantive draft of said essay.  The part that doesn't work is the overly packed days that frame these joyous spaces.  I'm crabby before they start, I'm rushed and cranky as they progress, and by the end of the day I'm crabby, cranky AND exhausted.

I find myself clinging greedily to the two empty days, unwilling to move something into those deserts.  Nor am I willing to let go of some of what I've committed to on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  But I'm beginning to see the wisdom in St. Benedict's rule, where work, and leisure and prayer share space in each day.  No binging.

No comments:

Post a Comment