I’ve got a lot on at the moment. Sometimes I’m not sure whether I’m coming or going, I’ve got so much going on in my brain. But I’ve been trying really hard not to use the word “busy” because everybody, so it seems, is “busy”. It has become a standard response when people ask you how you are, and it is the excuse I often dole out when I haven’t completed one of the myriad of things I have on my “should be done” list. Being busy has almost become a badge of honour for many people. It’s like we want other people to be aware that even when we are calm and in control, we are still busy, we are still contributing, we are still doing a whole lot of stuff.
[biz-ee] Show IPA
adjective, bus·i·er, bus·i·est.
1. actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime: busy with her work.
2. not at leisure; otherwise engaged: He couldn’t see any visitors because he was busy.
3. full of or characterized by activity: a busy life.
The actual definition of the word is not negative, but in today’s society we have created negative connotations with the word busy. Being overwhelmed, taking on too much, not being able to prioritise. And being busy is like something that is happening to you uncontrollably, rather than decisions you have made more consciously about how to spend your time. It’s something I really don’t want to be.
So I’m practicing not saying the word, removing it from my vocabulary. Telling people I am busy just makes me feel like I’m wallowing in my own self pity. It’s surprisingly hard and amazing how many times that little word sneaks out of my mouth.
But I’m getting there…if I didn’t reply to a friends text message, I stop myself from saying it was because I’ve been busy (because quite frankly aren’t I just saying “you are not important enough for me to prioritise”), I just tell them that I’ve been focused on work the last few days and I’m looking forward to catching up with them soon. When someone asks me how work is going, I’m tell them about my exciting projects, not about the piles of work required to deliver it.
Ahhh..I’m feeling better already. And, as I juggle it all, I’m also going to try to still remember to find time to do nothing. To simply sit, with a cup of tea, and ponder the world. So when someone asks me what I’ve been up to, sometimes I can say “Nothing actually” and wear that as a real badge of honour.