At some point today, you will come to hear that someone, somewhere, is inexplicably busy.
They are too busy to do anything.
You might even be the one who has the misfortune of saying it, or perhaps you will only hear it whispered about, here and there, and everywhere.
No other word evokes such gusto, yet signifies so very little.
If I was to put together a top ten list of inconsequential and meaningless set of words in our vocabulary, busy would certainly be there, probably near the top, along with tired, I can’t, it’s too late, and if I only knew.
People live meaningful lives never use the word. It never escapes their mouth or scrapes their tongue. Why? Because they know that EVERYTHING, and I mean everything is only a matter of priorities.
Imagine for a moment that you find yourself, for some reason, invited to a dinner party, by one of your favourite celebrities. Imagine yourself being sent for and flown to their house in Beverly Hills. Imagine they as unbelievable as it sounds, they have somehow heard of you, and how great you are, and can think of nothing else but to spend some meaningful time in your presence.
Now, imagine that after having landed in Hollywood, something tragic happens back home.
There is no question how you would feel. After all, sweet dreams are made of this and who are you to disagree?
This is all unbelievably real and you think that your heart will burst because from such intense joy.
There is very little that would pry you away from such a magical experience, but there is.
Now imagine for a moment that someone you love had a terrible accident and was rushed to the nearest hospital and clings to their life in the ICU unit. They are unconscious, and you are miles and miles away.
Would you not leave immediately, without a moment’s thought about how you will appear, or how much it will cost to rush home? Would you not leave the greatest experience of your life, to be by their side?
If you wouldn’t, please stop reading. Just kidding. (Not really).
Everything we do in our life is a matter of priorities.
If you are a smoker, and you only get those two tiny breaks in your day, you will never be too busy with work, not to find time some extra time to satisfy your addiction. You will never be too busy to forget you are slowly killing yourself.
When someone extends you a dinner invitation, and you tell them that you are busy, you are simply telling them that they are not important at this moment.
There is nothing wrong with that.
It is something very difficult to say, but that is exactly what needs to be said. You have prioritized them, rightly or wrongly, to be below whatever it is that you need to do.
You’re either a terrible friend, or what you need to do, simply can’t wait.
But why pretend?
The word busy is a convenient lie, or at the very least, a little shiny bright object, that distracts the other person, and lulls them to sleep.
Why not be honest?
Why are we pretending and ultimately lying to ourselves how hard we work, and how much the grind we are in seems to be doing for us?
I recently heard someone begin a sentence with, “I love my daughter, but…”, and I won’t finish the sentiment.
The word busy prevents us from getting to the ‘but’.
We know that what follows, will usually be foul or ugly, or both, so we pretend that we are busy. We simply don’t have time.
We know it, and everyone else knows it. This is the sad state of the world. The natural order of things.
There is hope.
First, we must get rid of the word busy from our vocabulary.
Second, we must replace it with the truth, no matter how painful.
Tell the people that don’t mean a rat’s fart to you, that they don’t mean a lot to you.
Oh, the horror!
Tell the people that matter, that you love them, and that they really matter.
Show them, but spending time with them.
Spend more time in conversation with them, than with your gossiping collegues.
Don’t be a busy hamster on the wheel of life.
Pick your battles. Pick your moments.
Don’t worry how it looks.
We have been blessed with terrible memories for this exact reason!