i’m so busy
“…Crazy busy.” “Never been busier!” This is the response I get from so many people when I ask “How are you?” And it’s a reply so often overheard when friends run into one another in the grocery store or on the street. Why is that? And why do we – I – reply that way?
If you are reading this post, it’s unlikely that you are someone who is looking for things to do to fill your days. Saying we’re busy somehow gives us a sense of importance, of being needed, of being connected to things bigger than ourselves that require our attention. The exasperated (sigh), so busy! is tinged with a certain sense of security and validation.
This week I’ve got 2 things to say about “I’m so busy,” both of which will require a conscious shift and commitment on my part.
First, when someone asks me How I’m Doing, I’m not going to answer, “busy,” even if it’s true. We’re all busy. Stating “I’m so busy” also has the effect of making us feel more overwhelmed, and plus, it’s boring. This week I’m going to try to reply with something of substance: “We’re thinking about summer plans with family,” “I’m trying to figure out how to get out more in this cold weather!” “I just started a really great book.” Not every conversation is going to be important or so exciting, but maybe I can get another idea about vacation spots, an invitation for a walk with a friend, or another book recommendation.
What I also know is this: being over busy and over scheduled in my days is truly more about an inability on my part to prioritize, say no to people, or to manage my time well. It is in our power to decide what matters, where we want to spend our time, and what deserves our attention. This bit’s on me, and about being in control of the content of my day.
So this week I’m going to make a concerted effort to not exacerbate my feelings of busyness by saying it out loud. I will also try to reduce the static by being more thoughtful about where to put my energies and how.
And now, back to business. -t