Ever since I read this article a while back, I cringe a little when I hear it. Of course I cringe a little more when I say it, which is more often than I'd care to admit: "I'm busy." "I'm so busy." "This week is just crazy busy." As if I'm so important. As if my day is any more packed than yours. As if.
Of course, for those of you who are too busy to read the article, here's a snippet:
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day. I once knew a woman who interned at a magazine where she wasn’t allowed to take lunch hours out, lest she be urgently needed for some reason. This was an entertainment magazine whose raison d’être was obviated when “menu” buttons appeared on remotes, so it’s hard to see this pretense of indispensability as anything other than a form of institutional self-delusion. More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary. I can’t help but wonder whether all this histrionic exhaustion isn’t a way of covering up the fact that most of what we do doesn’t matter.
Honestly, I think we can agree that life's too short for all of this chronic busyness. So over the next two or three weeks, which--let's face it--are going to be really busy, I'm going to try to wipe that word from my vocabulary. Instead, I'm just going to consider myself delightfully occupied and fulfilled. Present. Fortunate even. Because when I go back through the last two or three weeks, during which time I'm sorry to have been wholly absent from this space (thank you for noticing, Michael), I realize that what has appeared to be a very--let's face it--busy few weeks has been nothing more than my real life with a dash of delight and fulfillment (in the form of good food, better friends, and the best music), topped off with a special birthday and a trip to California (not to be confused with a special birthday trip to California).
So, in no particular order, a formerly busy person's delights:
In SAT-speak, Tod is to South Carolina's famous Palmetto . . .
as I am to California's famous Palms.
If you are in search for good music, then search no more.
On a recent Saturday night, Charleston's own Shovels & Rope had us on our feet at the Charleston Music Hall. (Look 'em up. They're the real deal.)
And the following Saturday, our old shoe favorite, Patrick Davis, serenaded us in the Circular Church on Meeting Street.
Now throw in the Charleston Wine + Food Festival on one weekend, which brought the best of friends to town for a visit.
And then add our own version of Wine + Food the following weekend, crafted especially for Tod's folks while they were in town.
As if we had not eaten enough already, with fresh avocados on hand, Tod used one of our special wedding gifts to make the best homemade guacamole. (Avocados, onion, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro.)
Speaking of avocados, I took a quick trip to California. On my birthday. But not for my birthday. It was a work trip actually, although I did manage to sneak off one evening and snap a few pics of Santa Monica.
I love California, partly I think because my dad worked there when I was little, and I have the fondest memories of strawberry-banana daiquiris, sand castle contests at Venice Beach, the waiter who served bowls of strawberries (and knew my name) at the Beverly Wilshire's Pink Turtle, and, of course, trips to Esprit. But the good news, at least for Tod and for our families, is that I don't love California nearly as much as I love Charleston. But I won't turn down a trip there every so often.
That's Bubba Gump's in the background. So yep, just like its proud location on Charleston's famed market, Bubba Gump's also has a home on Santa Monica's famed roller-coaster-and-ferris-wheel laden pier.
Remember this from Big, anyone?
The fog rolled in and never really left. But don't worry: I promise it was fog, not smog.
As usual, the filming of something.
I walked closer and zoomed in a bit. The guy in the red shorts looks a little like Kellan Lutz maybe? Who knows.
But I will tell you that I did have an honest-to-goodness celebrity encounter on my way home. That's because I flew from LAX to Miami, and on my plane were none other than the fine folks of Earth Wind & Fire as well as Lionel Richie. Yes, I got a picture with Verdine White, but no, not with Lionel Richie. But because I look terrible in my Verdine White picture, I'll just include a couple other pictures I took from my bag. Literally. Because that's not obvious at all, right?
Oh, and when Ralph Johnson boarded early and left his super blingy sunglasses underneath his chair, I, like the nice Southern girl that I am, picked them up and gave them to John Paris. I'm so helpful, and my hands only shook a little bit.
Now, because I have a very dumb phone, this was the best pic I could get of Lionel. He's standing on the other side of the cart facing away so you really can't see anything from this picture, but I can tell you that he's looking good these days. He was smiley and seemed fit. Oh, to be a celebrity. He was being hounded for photos, and instead of joining the hounds, I snapped this pic as I admired a potentially crazy lady's two Shih Tzus who sat near me one row ahead (in their own seat) and miraculously did not make a peep the entire five-hour ride. The lady wore her sunglasses way too much indoors so maybe she's famous, too. Or maybe she just thinks she is. One thing I'd bet on: I bet she stays crazy busy all the time.
As for me, I'm just delightfully occupied.