An observation on being free of WT busywork...

by undercover 16 Replies latest jw friends

  • undercover

    I was looking at my calender for the remainder of the year and realized just how busy we are. Visiting friends out of town. Friends visiting us from out of town. Trips, Parties, concerts, other assorted happenings that we're looking forward to attending.

    I realized just how busy we really are... but it's a good busy. It's busy living and enjoying life. Busy enjoying life with friends. Busy planning the future and make those plans reality.

    I remember when, as an active JW, we were always busy as well. But it never seemed fulfilling. It was meeting, study, meeting, study, service, study, meeting, assembly, CO visit, assembly, convention, working on a quick build and maybe a vacation. I remember that the rare picnic or "gathering" was something exceptional and was looked forward to for some time. There were minor distractions from the mundane, but we were always putting WT interests first and all else fell in line somewhere later. Because of that, we never took that trip. We never visited those friends three states away.

    And we never really planned for anything down the road. The "end" was so close that it seemed pointless to plan that addition to the garage, or buying property in the mountains for a getaway home.

    Of course that's what the WTS really to be too busy doing their bidding to do anything we wanted to do.

    No real point to this thread other than putting down in words this little epiphany I had while looking at how busy I'm going to be for the next few months...and how much fun it's going to be.

  • FlyingHighNow

    Undercover, I was just thinkin', I have never added my story to JWD, not in one place. Just bits and pieces here and there. But it occurred to me, I don't remember a lot of it anymore. It's been so dang long since I went to meetings regularly. I guess I started being sporadic in 1989 and then by 91 I was inactive. Looong time ago, thank God.

  • serenitynow!

    I've thought about my 30 years of busywork often. When I became inactive I didn't realize how much I used to do! It really was like being on a hamster wheel. Worked full-time 5 days a week, then had to go home change, try to study my leson to go to the KH, find time for FS on the weekends, and during the evening in the summer. I look back and don't know how I did it. When I went to a 1 year vocational program right after high school I worked 2 part time jobs and all the KH stuff; I had like a low B-C average- and I was doing the best I could; but my schedule was packed tight. When I went back to school years later when I was inactive, I made straight As because I got rid of all the KH BS. There was a JW in my class and she was struggling academically because of her KH busywork; she asked me how I was able to manage doing well in school working and being a JW, I didn't have the heart to tell her that I had stopped all the KH junk so I was able to focus on important things.

  • WTWizard

    It's not the amount of work, but what you don't have to show for it. In a morning, I can either go out in field circus or get a good start in setting up Christmas decorations in the apartment hallway.

    Now, if I choose to set up the Christmas decorations, in a morning I could string up tinsel garlands, get some lights up nice and neatly, and quite likely prepare to set up more lights and tinsel garland on the railings above the stairs. (Leaving the top railing on sections where one is going on the stairs open, of course). This sets me up to rig up the lights on the window (including reaching the top with a pole, and attaching adhesive clips to hold the lights), move onto the lower levels, and set up a small Christmas tree in a space that seems custom made for one. It brightens up the place quite a bit, and people seem to like the appearance. I can also attach small ornaments to the light sets or the tinsel garland.

    If I choose to do field circus, I get a street or two done and some not at homes. Chances are good that I will place a set of rags only to have them end up in the garbage after the householder cross-references the religion online. The street has been done 800,000 times before, and will be done 800,000 more times in the future. At the end of the morning, I have absolutely nothing to show for it. No one gets to enjoy anything, and there is nothing to build onto or to show for my time.

    If I choose the Christmas decorations, I am practicing to possibly do it professionally at a later time. If I become exceptionally proficient as a professional Christmas decorator, I can make some good money--more than $100,000 for 3 months of hard work, then getting the other 9 months to enjoy it. If I continue doing an exceptional job, pretty soon I could end up getting called to decorate some fancy department stores in New York City, or Beverly Hills--or some celebrity that lives in Beverly Hills. Quite a stretch, granted--but at least it is possible. At the very least, someone is going to enjoy the show.

    If I do field circus, I am going to make precisely nothing. If I become exceptionally proficient, I bring in 6 people into the cancer only to have 5 of them later turn apostate. I get to keep the same old job, making lousy wages, and having exactly zero chance of getting to decorate a famous (or wanna-be famous) person's home (or helping a wanna-be famous that deserves to be famous to get a break). I get no chance to enhance the business of a famous high-end department store (and the economy). And no chance of feeling like I at least helped someone enjoy the scenery, let alone creating anything that could enhance the economy.

  • OnTheWayOut

    I was exhausted as an elder in the congregation. Most JW's are extremely busy. And it's all just spinning their wheels running from one activity to the next. Imagine those that took vacations to get to conventions. Imagine kids staying up late on meeting nights and going to school the next day. Hey, some of you all don't have to imagine this.

    Now, if I am busy, it's usually stuff that I want to do. Or it's stuff that dies down after a bit.

  • serenitynow!
    Imagine kids staying up late on meeting nights and going to school the next day.

    It's funny because I never really thought about that when I was a kid, it was just "normal" to me. I was speaking with my sister recently, and she was saying when she was little she hated that she would have to go to school all week and then waste her whole weekend at the assembly. As a JW you never have a free day. If you're not doing FS or going to the hall, you're studying literature.

  • Quandry

    I look back and don't know how I did it.

    I'm with you, Serenity. When my daughter was just born, my husband (elder) was asked to go to a congregation that was over thirty minutes away. I was breast-feeding at the time, but we would go all the way to the KHall for service on Saturday, home for lunch, then back to clean when our turn, then sometimes, hubbie would have to go back a third time for a meeting. Ack! Always in a hurry, never time to just enjoy a pleasant walk or talk to our child.

    Of course, when they keep people so busy, they don't have time to research or question things, either.

    Glad I'm out of their "hamster wheel" now.

    Well put!

  • LongHairGal


    When I was new in the JW religion I was compelled to join the theocratic school. I HATED every minute of it because I felt that I was forced to get together with people (women) I didn't want to be around in order to do some stupid skit. Anyway, I was doing research for a talk and I mentioned to the woman I studied with that I felt it was a big burden with looking things up and getting together with an obnoxious sister, etc. So, she says to me "well, it will keep you out of trouble..." I was vaguely insulted by this but didn't think too much about it with her being an old lady and not in reality about what a working person has to deal with, etc. I also think she thought this would keep me from getting involved with the opposite sex. Pathetic, really.

    So, years later when I found out the nasty truth about the religion it got me to thinking that many of the activities the religion inflicts on its followers are clearly designed to keep them busy - just for the sake of being busy. It isn't all about acquiring 'knowledge'. I always felt they were deluded in calling it 'knowledge' anyway.

    The guys at the top of the religion must figure that sheeple kept busy like hamsters on a wheel will have no time to read anything else or get involved with anything else that might get them to thinking something is wrong with the religion.

    Manipulation like this makes me extremely angry but I am glad it's over.

  • NiceDream

    Isn't life fun! Actually being able to enjoy friends and the summer without rushing to get to a meeting or getting up early for service? My epiphany was jumping on the trampoline with my toddler on a warm Thursday evening, having a blast, and watching the witnesses drive by to get to the meeting in their dress clothes. It was the first time in my life that I felt FREE.

  • Lozhasleft

    Good thread Undercover - and I agree ...we are currently having such a busy summer - weddings - bbqs -birthday parties - holidays away - visitors....days out with the grandbabies -and next week even a stay over in Stratford to see a Shakespeare...good good times....and such a flippin relief !!

    Loz x

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