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Beware the Barrenness of a Busy Life

Jun 17, 2014 // By Marcus Brotherton
lunch break

“Lunch break” by DAJ.

Every year since starting this blog, I’ve stopped regular postings for a few weeks at the beginning of each summer, and then started them up again in late August.

This year I’m going to do the same.

I won’t stop working during this time. I won’t lie around in the backyard drinking root beer floats for 8 weeks, although that would be nice.

I’ll just do slightly less work. I’ll do more work with my children while they’re home from school. I’ll finish some projects, and start some new ones. I’ll travel two or three places where loved ones live. I’ll look at fireworks and the lake nearby. And once, just once, somewhere deep in the heart of summer, I’ll pull my car over to the shoulder on a lonely two-lane road in the heat and the dark, switch off the headlights, and look at the stars.

How about you? Can you press pause on whatever you can, wherever you can, and use these next few weeks to cultivate some more margin in your life? Can you purposely strive to recharge?

Is that difficult for you? It is for me.

Right now, it feels hectic—tension-filled, even—to even think about slowing down, to prune the branches of the trees that have grown too long and are now touching the house.

And therein lies the EXACT paradox I want to address. I know that by doing less, I can actually do more. By doing fewer things, I can do them well. I just need to take a step forward and begin.

Here’s what some others have said on the subject:


“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”

“Work is not always required. There is such a thing as sacred idleness.”
—George MacDonald

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
—Jesus, in Mark VI:31

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.”

If you’re brand new to this blog, then please take a few moments to peruse the archives, and read a couple of articles that look beneficial to you.

If you’re wondering what’s next in the publishing schedule … FEAST FOR THIEVES, my debut novel, will be released this September 1st. Click HERE to see the editorial reviews (they’re stellar!) and to read the first chapter. Thanks in advance for ordering the book.

See you soon.


Question: What do you plan to do—or not do—this summer?



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the bestselling author or coauthor of more than 25 books. Welcome to my blog. Thoreau pointed out how too many people lead lives of quiet desperation. Their lives are bland and meaningless, or they make choices that trap them in despair and darkness. By contrast, I want to help people lead lives of excellence. Meet here regularly for powerful stories and insight into how to live and lead well.