Living on Lord Howe Island

Mar
30

Busy

Posted by Dani Rourke – Saturday, March 30, 2013

A tough job on Lord Howe Island

Being busy is the new black. When we say: “I’m so busy!” we are really saying how important we are. It can become quite competitive after a while. It isn’t enough anymore to do your job and look after your kids, have dinner with your husband and stay on good terms with your parents. To qualify as “busy” you have to multi-task. Every time you do a load of washing, you need to take a photo of it with Instagram and post it on your Facebook page using your iPhone at the same time as having an important phone conference on the way to your personal training session or driving your kids to junior chess all the while “connecting” with your (Facebook) friends, eating organic food which is grown within 100km of your home, doing yoga, drinking two litres of water a day and getting enough sleep. Being busy is also the excuse we give for almost everything. It’s what we say when we know we’ve done the wrong thing and we’re not prepared to admit that we are lazy or self-centred. As in: “I’m sorry I didn’t remember to feed your dog while you were on holidays for two weeks, I’ve been so busy”.

Being busy is also relative. I used to think I was busy when I was studying full-time. I had 12 hours of lectures (per week) and I worked casually in a café and volunteered for a couple of hours once a week (so busy!). I didn’t realise that the Lemonheads song Divan was supposed to be ironic. If you missed the 90s, the lyrics went:

In the morning I got things to do
I've gotta be up and out by ten
But if you're still asleep then I won't wake you
You can crash out on my divan
You can crash out on my divan

I’m a bit busier now. Work is chaotic and Pinetrees is open every day of the year. There’s always something wrong (today the internet was down for most of the morning and we had hot water coming out of the cold water taps in the kitchen and two of the staff were having a squabble) and sometimes I feel like I am lurching from one disaster to the next. Home is even worse. It’s full of dirty clothes, buckets of dirty nappies, crusty cereal bowls, bunches of dead flowers and a wafting pongy smell that I haven’t been able to identify. The kids eat frozen spaghetti bolognese a lot more often than is really good for them.

But – and this is a big but – I’m writing this blog, aren’t I? (And you’re reading it!) So what does that say about how busy we really are?

Luke also thinks that he’s too busy. He sometimes tells me how many hours he works every day or how many days he’s been working in a row. Poor Luke! He worked so hard last week looking after a film crew. He was out with them for hours and it was such hard work and he was so busy and he had to work on both of his days off. Have a look at the photo and please let me know: do you feel sorry for him? Just a little bit?

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

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