When I meet people or talk on the phone with them, one of the first things they commonly say after I ask them how they are doing is: “I am so busy, I have no time”. Truthfully, I am never quite sure what to do with that. It makes me feel like I am not busy, which I guess is good, but it does give me perspective. I can’t help but think, do you really think you are that busy? Some people really are very busy and for many of those I think “boy you need to slow down. Some others are not really all that busy and it leaves me thinking “really?” What happens to me often is that I shut right down and I am not sure why. I simply don’t want to tell them what I am up to.
I suppose it is because I have lots going on too, but I don’t like using the word “busy” because it feels like I am complaining. It sometimes shuts the other person down right away because it suggests that I lead a busier life than them.
I am running a charity, operating a business, lecturing at a college, running a house, going to multiple appointments for my daughter and the list really goes on. However, I know that I always have extra time to sit on a board, go to a meeting, take on a course or squeeze something in like leisure time with friends and family. I do find time to go to the beach multiple times in the summer and I still get lots done. I have had friends mention to me that they have no time to do that kind of stuff. I wonder, “should I feel bad for doing what I do”? My answer is no. I can do all the busy life stuff and still have fun. I have managed to do that.
So, why does the majority of people I meet respond that way?
Perhaps it is that people are addicted to being busy? Maybe it sounds sexy or like your life is fulfilled because you are busy. Maybe being busy fulfills your place in the world? To me it is right up there with complaining about the weather. It is just something that people are doing. I feel like it is a bit of a competition sometimes, especially with moms. We really need to stop it. I feel this is an epidemic and not something to get an award for.
I think that each of us needs to recognize that we all are important – for ourselves, for our families, for each other. Let’s stop waving the “busy” flag like it’s a badge of honour. It’s not attractive, not sexy in the least. Instead, I would love to hear what you are up to. Tell me the details and let me comment on how busy you are, because I will and that’s okay. Let someone else decide if you are busy, but in the meantime, just tell me about you, your family, your life.
Being busy is not cool or hip or something to complain or brag about. Just stop talking about it. Be yourself, be you and simply share your journey. It’s what we really want to hear anyway.
P.S. How are you? I am so busy. I am doing fantastic! How are you?