Two and a half thousand years progress

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”  said Socrates approximately two and a half thousand years ago.  Which was roughly the same time (give or take a few years for inexactitude) that the writer of Ecclesiastes exclaimed that there is nothing new under the sun.

“In a society where busyness is worn as a badge of honour…”  There´s a big electrical storm on outside otherwise I might have gone for a run instead…

“When you signal you’re busy, you’re basically telling others that you are high status and important, not because what you wear is expensive, but [because] you are extremely desired and in high demand,” says Silvia Bellezza, co-author of a Harvard Business School study that argues that an overworked lifestyle, rather than a leisurely lifestyle, has become an aspirational status symbol.”

These quotes come from a couple of BBC articles that I´m finding thought provoking…

Is there an upside to having no social life

Busy: Badge of honour or a big lie?

It´s interesting that humans have moved on from the early consumerist myth that we were aiming to make life easier, and embraced a new-old myth that we need to free up more time in order to fill it with more stuff.   As mission partners, charity workers, voluntary sector employees, we also feel an added pressure to justify our existence against supporters´ donations, which traditionally most of us do through reporting lists of things achieved or at least projects in progress.  But even that is a bit of an excuse really.  I think I probably use being busy doing some things as a way of avoiding thinking about other things, people, God, that I find more difficult.  And now I´m really hoping it stops thundering and lightning soon so I can go for a run or I might actually have to do the admin that I´m putting off.



And then it was October

I didn’t write anything for so long that there was too much to write and I didn’t have time to write it so then it got left a bit longer and there was even more to write… repeat to fade.  So this is the heavily editted version.

We went to England, it was a busy time.  We saw a lot of people and we didn’t see a lot of other people, so if you’re in the first group it was lovely to see you, and if you’re in the second group, we’ll prioritise some different places next time.  All the kids had good experiences, including Teen, for whom the whole thing was a massive adventure, and we really enjoyed going on holiday to Devon with the rest of the family.

Key events since then, Joni had his tenth birthday.  He’s tall enough to be thirteen, and it feels like he was only born yesterday.  His cake challenge for me this year was to make a “fidget spinner” so I thought wouldn’t it be great if it actually spun…

I checked out buying a lazy susan but they cost more than I wanted to pay.  So I took a large round ice-cream tub, emptied a bag of marbles into the bottom, put a slightly smaller round ice-cream tub in on top, and hey presto, a Heath Robinson ball-bearing race.  Add a large wooden board, I thought I would have to tape that down but when I tested it, the weight of the cake kept everythng in place anyway.  The kids loved it.  I was still congratulating myself two days later.

Danny learnt to ride his bike without stabilizers…  

“I’m amazing” he squeaked as he flashed past for the umpteenth time.  Lack of engagement with the education system appears not to have dented his self esteem.  Now we’re working on the idea of brakes as a better means of stopping than wearing through the toes of our shoes.

Meanwhile, on formal education.  School continue to present lists of complaints and continue to offer zero suggestions regarding solutions.  The music therapist continues to save my sanity, and through another contact we are hoping to meet informally with the head of another school who may be able to give us a clearer picture of what we really are and aren’t allowed to do, including whether Danny might be better off in a different school or whether it really would just be more of the same.

Tomorrow Joni and I are at a joint activity for the four cub packs in the city.  Today I’ve just finished translating a technical manual which helps to pay the bills.  Next on the list is to make pizza to have with a film this evening, when Martin gets back with the flour.  And now I’ve just remembered that I forgot to buy onions.  Quick trip out while the dough’s rising.