A friend I haven’t talked to in a while sent me an e-mail recently. “You are so busy,” she said.
I asked another friend how she had been doing lately, and she responded with one word: “Busy.”
It’s no secret that we are a generation that seems busier than ever before. And yet, I cringe when someone tells me I’m “busy.” I really dislike that word. I don’t like hearing it from others, and I don’t like it when someone uses it to describe me. I’m actually trying to eliminate it from my vocabulary.
Here’s the thing.
Every person on this planet has the same 24 hours in a day. Each one of us decides how we will use those hours. We are all equal in this regard.
Now, some people might have jobs that require them to work more hours than others. Some people have more children who demand more of their time.
But for the most part, we all choose how we will spend the hours in our day. Some of us choose to sign up for activities for our kids. Others choose to work outside the home or inside the home. Some people choose to work more hours than they really have to. Many people choose to exercise or keep their homes really clean or pursue a hobby.
And there is nothing wrong with any of those choices.
But that’s just it. Whatever it is that people choose, it really is a choice.
So, when people say they are busy, they are actually stating a priority. They are saying, “I don’t have time to do that because I have chosen to make other things a priority in my life.”
If someone repeatedly says she is too busy to spend time with someone, she is stating a priority. When someone tells me that I’m too busy, that person isn’t allowing me to state my priority. He or she has decided for me that I’m not willing to make time for… whatever.
Now, there are definitely times of life when things get crazy. Fall seems to be a time when all of the activities start up again and suddenly, it feels like we don’t have time for anything that is just relaxing and fun. The same thing can happen around the holidays.
It seems like we often forget that we need to schedule some “margin” into our lives. This is the white space where we have time to sit on the floor with the kids or sit outside in the sun or be available when someone drops by. Those moments of margin can be the relaxed times when some of the best conversations can happen.
So, yes. I do have a lot of responsibilities in my life right now. But believe it or not, I actually feel like I have quite a bit of margin. To me, I feel busy when I am constantly running from one thing to the next. We certainly have our seasons of crazy.
But busy? No, thanks.