Why Busy? “To Stay Out of Trouble”

Ryan Eidson  —  June 11, 2016

Several years ago I visited a small-town grocery store to pick up a few items for my parents. While at the store I ran into a lady I knew while in high school but hadn’t seen in some time.

She asked, “Are you staying busy these days?”

I said yes, and quickly filled her in on what was going on in my life.

“Staying out of trouble, then?” she replied.

I’ve had dozens of interactions like this during adulthood. Someone who doesn’t see me very often will ask if I’m busy, and their typical reply to my answer is, “Keeps you out of trouble” or “You’ll stay out of trouble doing that.”

It’s as if we are supposed to fill our days just so that we don’t “get into trouble” — whatever that means.

Trouble with drugs? vandalism? gangs? lack of income to support the home?

What if you weren’t busy every moment of every day?

What if you weren’t busy all the time? What if we didn’t fill every hour with work, school, TV/devices/Internet, ball games, or waxing the car?

What if we actually had more time to think, to relax, to do nothing, to hang out with friends (as adults, not just while in the teen years), to call a distant family member on the phone?

You can carve out that time. You’ll make time for what is important to you.

So, is it important for you to be perpetually busy, or to have margin?

See Also: The Idol of Busyness


Ryan Eidson


I have the unique ability to make complex ideas easy to understand. I am the author of A Couple with Common Cents and live in rural Missouri.