2006.03.29 We're all CrazyBusy

Written by David Green.

By COLLEEN LEDDY

When my daughter Rozee was a junior in high school, we put a lot of miles on the van looking for the perfect college. We did not go as far as Arcata, California, home of Humboldt State University, but that was Rozee’s number two choice. Had she not been accepted at Berea College, Humboldt is where she would have gone. Because I had been encouraged in high school to explore the entire United States in selecting a college, it seemed natural to me that my children would do the same.

Ben had no desire to go anywhere except Michigan State ever since he was little, but Rozee ended up six hours south, just off I-75. Whenever I lament that six-hour drive to Berea (five if you don’t stop at all) I think what our lives would be like if she had opted for Humboldt. We probably couldn’t have afforded to fly her home much and the road trip to Arcata would have been equally expensive and way more time consuming. I cringe to think how little we would have seen of her.

The week before last, I made the trek to Berea to bring Rozee back home for another in a series of never-ending dental appointments. As I traveled alone down I-75, listening to my “Latin Groove” CD, uninterrupted, with no sounds of impatience or disgust, it occurred to me that I was listening to my “Latin Groove” CD, uninterrupted, with no sounds of impatience or disgust.

Usually, when I travel with my children, any attempt to play “Mexico,” “World Lounge,” “Mozart,” and the like, meets with a chorus of loud complaint. My kids don’t cotton to my kind of music and they aren’t hesitant to express their displeasure with my eclectic selections. Sometimes I declare that everybody gets to choose whatever they want for half an hour each. Mostly, I just let them rule the roost.

I could lay down the law and say, “I’m the mom and I said so,” but usually one of them is driving and early in their driving careers, we established the “right to choose” rule in favor of the driver. He who drives, picks the music. Usually, “he” is “she” as in Rozee. Sometimes, that’s problematic. Living among southerners, she’s picked up a penchant for Country music. But her tastes are broad, and we can stand some diversity.

Other times, such as when we are listening to the radio coming home from Toledo, I insist on compromise: 93.5 FM for the oldies. There is only so much I can stand of the pop and hip hop of 92.5 before screaming in psychic pain. We can all appreciate the oldies—until the commercials come on and then even I can tolerate 92.5. 

On this solo trip to Berea, I had a surprise: the pleasure I took in Latin Groove was brief. It was over by the time I popped in Mexico. Now that I had control of the music, I missed my children, their latest mix of downloaded music, their scanty conversation, their increased poise and expertise in driving ability. How fleeting these moments, six hours—over in a flash. Eighteen years—zoom—it’s gone.

On the way home, (Rozee driving) I read her an excerpt in Real Simple magazine of Edward M. Hallowell’s new book “CrazyBusy.”

“Crazybusy,” I said. “I’ve used that phrase before.”

“Hmm, really just crazylazy,” I admitted.

“By whose standards?” Rozee asked.

“By most people’s standards,” I said.  “I just don’t get enough done.”

“Maybe your body isn’t meant to,” she offered.

“Crazybody,” I concluded, but I clung to her comment. My daughter doesn’t think I’m a lazy sot.

CrazyBusy. I looked it up on Amazon. “CrazyBusy: Overstretched, Overbooked, and About to Snap! Strategies for Coping in a World Gone ADD” is the complete title. The book asks a lot of questions: “Are you too busy? Are you always running behind? Is your calendar loaded with more than you can possibly accomplish? Is it driving you crazy? You’re not alone. CrazyBusy—the modern phenomenon of brain overload—is a national epidemic.” 

Publisher’s Weekly comments on it. “BlackBerries, cell phones, and e-mail 24/7. Longer work days, escalating demands, and higher expectations at home. It all adds up to a state of constant frenzy that is sapping us of creativity, humanity, mental well-being, and the ability to focus on what truly matters.”

It sounds like a book of stop-and-smell-the-roses advice, but it always bears repeating.

“...If we want to live life fully, we do best to slow down....a person must learn how to do what matters most first. Otherwise, you bulldoze over life’s best moments. You won’t notice the little charms that adorn each day, nor will you ever transform the mundane into the extraordinary.”

Hmm. Like, maybe on my next trip to Kentucky I should listen to Country the entire way?

  – March 29, 2006
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
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  • Shadow.salon
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  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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