I have seen and heard a lot lately about everyone always answering “So busy” when you ask them how they are. Like it’s a badge of honor or a status symbol. Like they are trying to one-up the person who asked them. Kind of a “Don’t even ask because I’m obviously busier in my life then you could ever be” response.
I find that I answer “Busy” a lot when someone asks me how I am doing. And I think for me it has been a badge of honor. A sign that my life has meaning. A sign that I’ve developed into someone who is depended on a lot. A sign that that I volunteer far too much and fill my plate at the life buffet (see Step Away From The Buffet Line!) to overflowing. A sign that while I’m busy, it’s something that I’ve done to myself.
I don’t really think it is a badge of honor. It is an easy answer to a polite question that tends to stop conversation cold. No one wants to hear the details about how busy you are. I’ve been trying really hard lately to respond with “fine” or “fantastic” or some like superlative because that is honestly how I am. The “busy” is the label I’m giving myself to make me feel important. I don’t think it impresses anyone to try to say I’m busier than anyone else they know–including them. I know busy people. My best friends are some of the busiest people I know. Well, maybe not “busy,” but definitely involved, depended on, and in demand. As they say “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” There is so much truth in that statement. But while it makes us busier, being busy is not how we are, it is not what we are, it is simply a description of our to do lists (which is, by the way, completely my doing and has nothing to do with the person asking me how I am).
Being busy is definitely not a badge of honor. It robs us of precious time with family and friends. It robs us of time to accomplish goals and dreams. It robs us of self love. And as much as I think I’m busy, I spend a ridiculous amount of time on my butt on my couch with a laptop in my lap. Time I could spend on the treadmill or doing the training I’ve already paid for or sending handwritten notes to people who have impacted my life or even cooking dinners for my parents. But I’m “busy” watching meaningless shows, playing stupid Facebook games, and calling it “unwinding.” I must–and WILL–stop and focus on being busy living my life and not frittering that precious time away. So wish me luck, give me support, and if you have any ideas for making it easier, please share. Because from now on, I want to be busy living life and not busy avoiding it.