The Very Busy Spider Wasn’t Busy At All

The Very Busy Spider Wasn’t Busy At All


I believe the poor very busy spider got mislabeled. Her web was on point...and she got it done in her time frame. She was a productive, focused spider...not a very busy one.

I love Eric Carle, but I am kindly asking for a re-write.

I mean, come on…

All day long she gets barraged by other animals asking her to do things that sound kinda fun in the barnyard, kind of distracting, maybe a break from the arduous task of shooting silk out of your tush in a patterned design, but does she fold and say…

  • Sure, let’s go check the cat’s Facebook?

  • Let’s go to Target with the sheep?

  • Lemme run and join the horse’s committee on how to neigh the right way?

  • Let me add 5 more things to my to-do list because they have to get to done today?

Nope, the very busy spider has focus, and that focus leads to productivity. 

Being busy doesn’t make us feel fulfilled. Being busy makes us feel frazzled, yet worthy of being adored by others for our busyness. In this day and age, if you do not look and act and feel busy, then you can’t possibly be winning at life, right?

Totally Wrong.  Ask the Spider.

Had the Spider run around with every animal asking her to do things all day, she never would have gotten that web done. Not only would she have been hungry, but she also would have been what the rest of us bodies of busy are:

  • Frazzled

  • Stressed

  • Overwhelmed

  • Losing Sleep

  • Always Worried About Fitting It All In

  • Short-Tempered

Sound familiar? Being busy is an epidemic and if a spider with eight legs who could probably multitask the heck out of some stuff knows that she needs to focus on one thing at a time, then we should probably take some notes.

4 takeaways from a spider who knows what she is talking about:

  • Set your intentions about what is truly important at the beginning of the day. The spider chose ONE thing to focus on for the day, not 100. Choose 1-3 things that you really want to accomplish and write them down at the beginning of the day.

  • Look at your list. Are the things important to you or are they the obligations of others? If they are not items you choose to better your life and the life of your family, push the pause button on them or take them off your plate completely.

  • Don’t Answer. When the Spider is asked to do all the “stuff”, she simply doesn’t answer. You can too! Our phones, computers, people we meet are constantly barraging us with comments, concerns and questions. Push pause on all of these distractions while you are doing your focused task. Schedule a time when you will attend to them to put your mind at ease, but give your brain a break and allow it to focus.

  • Go to sleep fulfilled.  At the end of the day, the spider falls asleep because her focused work was her priority. She went to sleep without a care in the world.  Accomplishing our focused tasks helps us to feel fulfilled and accomplished and able to let our brains rest.

It is hard to break the bad habit of busy, but it is necessary. Our mental health and the mental health of our kiddos are at stake.

So the next time you read, The Very Busy Spider, to you kiddos make sure you point out to them that the spider is focused, productive and fulfilled in her task of concentrating on building her web - she’s not busy.

I hope you take some time today to build web-focused fulfillment for yourself because if you are a parent, you have little spiders watching how you build your web too!