Then, we got to the high school yearbooks. Sunshine noticed I was in a lot of pictures there, too. I was definitely involved in a lot in high school. I don't think there were many clubs I wasn't involved in. In addition, I played soccer. I was at school all the time. All clubs were either before school of after school. There was no going home and coming back for something. We had soccer, drama, and some Ambassador events on the weekends, but it wasn't very often. Back then, barely anyone had events that weren't directly after school. I would come home, do my homework, and then be back out with my friends. No one had to go to this or that. Even though I was in almost everything, I never felt like I was "busy". Summers, I worked at the same camp from my 8th grade year all the way until I was out of college. I babysat. I even worked at a podiatrist office one year (that was awful!)
Fast forward to college. My freshman year, I thought I would take it easy and enjoy college life. Didn't get involved in activities and took the minimum number of classes to be full time. And I was bored. I couldn't handle all the down time. Don't get me wrong, I partied very hard and did a lot of things, but nothing that kept my mind occupied. The next trimester, I took a full course load (as I did every trimester after that) and I added English as my Minor, just to have something else to do. I got involved in more activities, including playing soccer again. I rushed a sorority. I got a job. I volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters. I graduated with honors from both colleges I was in (dual major). I did all this and had a life as well. I fell in love and started a life with my soul mate.
After college, I guess you can say I took time off. I had a job. Husband had a job. Other than work, I literally did nothing. I read, a lot. I painted. That's pretty much it. On weekends and time off, Husband and I would go exploring. We hiked and would take day trips all over Ohio. I was a little bored, but it was good down time for me. Three years later, we bought a house and got a dog. I tried to relieve my boredom with taking Puppy for a lot of walks. I joined a gym as well. Since we had a house and a dog to take care of, our road trips were fewer and fewer. We did things every weekend with friends, which helped a great deal with helping my mind stay busy. Then we had a baby. I no longer worked. Husband worked longer and longer hours. I was home, all day, alone with a dog and a baby. I was constantly moving, but my mind was not active.
So, I got involved. I got involved in different moms' groups. I got involved with school. I got involved with the library. The kids grew up and they got involved. Now, I barely have time to think of anything important other than what's right in front of me. Like I said in my Superwoman post, I get it all done. And so do my kids.
As I had said for myself, the key is priorities and balance. For them, it's the same, but their balance is free time. They are not in so many activities that they do not have days off. Even Monster, with 5 days a week of karate, has 2 days off. When it all gets overwhelming, we take a break. Let me explain that taking a break and commitment are very different. Every so often, Monster won't go to a karate class. The class that he misses is a group class. It is not his private class. He has never skipped a private class. Like everything, there is a balance. For his private class, he has made a commitment to be there. He has an instructor waiting there, just for him. For group classes, the instructor is there regardless of who shows up. Yes, he is committed to these classes, but everyone needs a break. Another example is Sunshine and her commitment to Science Olympiad and soccer. She has made commitments to both. This year, it worked out that she can do both, but, we didn't know that until last week. With Science Olympiad, she has a partner. One person who is counting on her. One person who could not compete if she wasn't there. If the times hadn't worked out, Sunshine would have missed her soccer game to compete in Science Olympiad. She knew that going into it. Though she made a commitment to soccer, there are other girls who can fill in for her on the field. Yes, it would be difficult to play with one less girl, but, there are more options then just one person depending on you.
Once more, commitment does not equal never taking a break and being busy is not an excuse for not getting things done. When you commit to something important that people are counting on you for, being busy is never an excuse. When you choose to take a break from something that people aren't really going to miss you, that does not mean you are breaking your commitment. Breaking your commitment is when you decide that you'd rather do something more fun rather than what you have committed to. Next weekend, Sunshine was invited to a birthday party. She can't go. She can't go because we have committed to the Run 4 Fun, Science Olympiad and soccer. Those are commitments. Would she rather be sleeping over her friend's house for a birthday party? Yes, of course, but we made commitments. Yes, it means we're busy as well, but, had we just been planning to head out for an overnight trip or had plans to go hiking or something of the sort, we would have postponed that because that sort of thing is not a necessity.
Being busy is just something that I've apparently always done, but I also know when to take a break. I understand the difference between commitments and doing things for fun. There is also a difference between over commitment and being busy. Busy still has breaks. Over commitment means you let people down because you have decided to commit to too many things. There are times you will always have to let people down, but if you're trying to teach your kids to stick to something, then you can't over commit because then they don't know what's truly important. Being busy is never an excuse to shirk commitments. Apparently, I've been busy my entire life. Yes, sometimes I am too busy to do something, but it's usually something that is fun. I also take breaks from my busy when I can so that I can recharge and I teach my kids to do the same.