I first came upon this phrase in my early teaching days. My colleague assured me a busy child was a happy child was a good child.
We’d employ this method particularly on trying days – windy days, hot days, just before end of term days.
Keep them busy, they’ll be happy, then they’ll be good. I’ll admit it’s not the best teaching practice, yet it is the model, looking back now, I chose to live my early adult life by.
Keep busy Loretta, then you’ll be happy and life will be good. Right? Unfortunately, no. And I know I wasn’t the only one to make this choice – I’ve seen many women head down the busy road – hoping for the happiness to show up at the end of all the hard work.
The problem being the only things found down the Busy road, is more busy, disconnection and exhaustion. I remember a couple of episodes of wild busy – iness.
It was my second teaching position. I was the youngest on staff, keen, eager, and ready to say yes to anything.
I was also terrified – not of the kids – I’d loved teaching them, no, of being found out that I wasn’t actually able to do what my degree said I could – teach. I was constantly terrified someone would find out I was a fraud. I would get praise for doing a great job, but in the back of my mind I had the niggle of “if only they knew.”
I was in everything, putting my hand up to volunteer, taking on more and more. I was busy, life was not happy and far from good. From the outside looking in I had it all under control, but on the inside, I was an exhausted mess. I second guessed myself, was overwhelmed by the tasks at hand and generally spent most of Sunday afternoon dreading Monday morning.
I got the point of exhaustion and spent time visiting a psychologist dealing with the anxiety and stress. I was sitting thinking about what I would say to my younger self if I could go back and spend some time with her – knowing what I do now.
It’s ok to be afraid, it’s actually quite normal, you care so much for these kids that you doubt what you’re doing is enough.
You care, that coupled with the wonderfulness of you is actually enough.
You are enough.
You are loved for who you are, not what you do.
Your value isn’t measured by the amount you take on.
Your worthiness isn’t measured by being busier than everyone else.
Feel the feelings, it’s ok, you won’t break.
Talk about them, open up to Matt and to your friends who get you.
This is the road of the good life, where happiness is found along the way. Put down the busy, feel the feels and love you.