“There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living: there is nothing that is harder to learn.”
The large clumps of Maiden Grass were waving from the landscaping of the service station, catching my eye as I sat at the traffic light. It struck me how they drew me in without knocking on the window or meeting me for a cup of coffee. Those beautiful plumes made quite a show while staying in one spot. It is difficult to ignore the similarity in the actions of the grass and the importance of Seneca’s words for people. Is it possible that many of us are so busy being busy that we aren’t busy enough with living?
At the end of every big project, I remark to myself and to those who are waiting for me to have some free time that as soon as this ends, I’ll have more time to just enjoy life. And I mean it every time I say it. Unfortunately, I have discovered there is always someone with another opportunity (as Mrs. Tuckson, the boys’ elementary school principal, used to say), and without the proper preparation, I’ll keep accepting those wonderful opportunities. It doesn’t have to be that way, though. We can be more like the Maiden Grass.
I think this is on my mind right now because it’s November. The time is upon us. You know, the time when everyone wants you to attend special gatherings, schools put on programs to wow the parents and grandparents and celebrate the gifts of the students, and the glossy mailings remind us of all the gifts we can share with those we love. It is overwhelming. I want to use a hundred exclamation points with that last sentence, but it seems a bit over the top, so I’ll just tell you how incredibly anxious the weeks ahead can make me, and apparently, many of you, feel.
Take a deep breath, breathe in the cool, crisp air (unless it’s still steamy where you are), and think about how you might be more like that ornamental grass — not hurrying around, but waving from where you stand, living right where you are and how you are.
It’s true, November and December offer so many wonderful opportunities to be busy and so many opportunities to miss out on life because of the busyness. There are people who enjoy every minute of hustling and bustling until they ring in the new year, and that’s wonderful, but if that isn’t you, it’s ok. You and I can be like the Maiden Grass and stay right where we are and still participate in life. If you think there is a Grinch in your home, maybe he (or she) has learned that there is nothing greater to be busy with than the simply beautiful busyness of living.
Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph.~ William Butler Yeats
Whether you think you can or think you can’t you’re right. - Henry Ford
The best way out is always through. ~ Robert Frost
Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~ Theodore N. Vail
Success consists of getting up just one more time than you fall. ~ Oliver Goldsmith
You must be the change you want to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi