It seems that almost most every day now someone asks me, “ How do you stay busy?” It is not an unreasonable question and if my answer were, “ watching soaps and eating doughnuts,” my friends and family would have cause for concern. My usual answer is to outline the outward signs of what I am doing during recovery. I write, I read, I take walks, I visit doctors, and I spend a lot of time thinking about my future. I almost always say, “ My primary focus is on getting well, that everything else is secondary,” — and that is true. So far I have kept to myself what I am trying to do internally.
This is hard to articulate, but what I’m am trying to do is create space and discover what interests and excites me. Like most people, I suppose, my time, energy, and space have almost always been filled by demands imposed from the outside. I seldom had or made time to focus on my own interests. I think that is why I was so drawn to the possibility of spending a long time at a quiet beach or at a monastic retreat. Modern life draws our attention to the surface issues and requires fast decisions based on temporal wants and needs. Certainly these demands are real and cannot be totally ignored. How do we get beyond the subtle seductions of advertising, mass media, and lifestyle that we as a society have created. I need to use this time of healing to take back my time and space from what you call “the plague of being busy.” I have the opportunity to step out of the flow for the moment –hopefully to find a deeper purpose for God’s gift.