I am at my daughter’s house, looking after her while she cares for her new baby.
I literally can’t leave the house, because of bone-breaking icy sidewalks, frigid temperatures and brazen unmasked people in the shopping malls.
Becoming unbusy is the only thing that unclutters my mind. Back home, I drive my son back and forth to activities, run errands, keep the house motoring, and work.
Here I have been puttering around and sitting on the couch with a new baby.
This pace has given me time to reflect. Some of this is a reminder of what I already knew but forgot.
The Busy Trap
1. The busy trap was constructed by those who want us to stop thinking and just to chase more, more, more. The chasing more is hollow (just watch Succession if you want to learn about the misery of rich people). The last thing the people in power want to do is give the workers time to reflect. That’s why there is so much pressure to keep busy.
Being busy does not make you more important than people who are still.
2. We are in a freaking pandemic and if privileged people were just able to BE STILL and lay low, we wouldn’t be in this never-ending mess. Countries wouldn’t have greedily hoarded vaccines in an attempt to prematurely get ‘back to normal,’ we wouldn’t have new variants if people could have exercised some self control and not had to go shopping, eat out in restaurants, and in Canada’s case, go to hockey games. Governments of course encouraged this busy consumerism with their lax public health policies. Busy is intoxicating - I get caught up in it too.
Unbelievably, our own health officials lured people back to the busy and away from the be still. They did this purposely during a pandemic, where laying low would benefit the greater good.
Revere the Caregivers
3. We have everything upside down. It is the people who care for others who should be valued, not the corporate types in their business suits and expensive shoes.
Value those who nurture for a living - the teachers, the nurses, the childcare workers, the doctors, anyone who works in health care. And those who care for loved ones - the new moms and dads, those who love disabled people, the caregivers of those who are nearing the end of their lives.
These are the people who are going to save us, not the corporate suits in their ivory towers who are making decisions to benefit them and their friends - and end up harming the rest of us.
Slow down, snuggle the children and reject the busy. That’s what a two week old baby has reminded me. My son Aaron has taught me a thing or two about slowing down too.
This is the important work. Society might not value those who care for others, but I sure do. Let us revere caregiving above all else.
The eBook version of my new book, Ducks in a Row: Health Care Reimagined, is now available for pre-order at Amazon, Kobo and Google.