At lunch today Mum and I talked about the busy mindset we've got nowadays. She's reading Crazy Busy, and she says that it says (figure that out, wah ha ha ha!) that having stuffed schedules - always rushing from piano lessons to soccer to SAT prep - and the push to be the best at whatever you do only really began in the 90's. "I don't remember doing any of that stuff when I was a kid," she told me thoughtfully. "I took piano, but that was it. We just played outside all day." We chatted about how the parts of my childhood that I look back on with the most fondness are the bits where I spent all day playing with the neighbors. As much as I enjoyed dance classes and youth theatre, those other bits are now the happiest memories.
We talked about bragging. We wondered if the reason people talk about how many activities their kid does is because it makes them feel like a better parent.
We talked about guilt. Mom said she sometimes feels like she needs to get a job. That she ought to be doing something. I'm only taking one college class this year, and I told her that I feel embarrassed about it sometimes. "We shouldn't." She said firmly. And she's right. It's ridiculous that, even though we're already busy, we feel guilty because every minute of our time isn't crammed with something. How did this happen to our brains?
I wondered what my generation will be like when they take control of the world. Will we rebel against the present crazy-busy system? I mean, a ton of kids must have grown up with insane schedules and stressed parents juggling jobs and home life and debt. Or will we all just go on living mad lives because we've never known anything else?
Then my sister and I talked about Inception and tried to figure out if we were happy or sad that Keira Knightley has been replaced by Carey Mulligan for the new My Fair Lady. It was a stimulating afternoon, indeed.