Here’s the secret: just don’t do it.
(easier said than done? sure.)
In January, I made a decision with myself: I’m not describing myself as busy anymore.
Everyone’s busy. Everyone’s got too much on their plates. Many people have many more things on their plates than me. When asked how you are, what you’re up to, or what’s new, how descriptive is “busy” anyway?
It’s been a challenge to think about how else to respond when the question comes, but it’s forced me to be more consistently reflective about how my days and weeks look. When I can’t come up with an answer, or when the answer seems to cover much less than the time I use in a day, I’m reminded to reevaluate how I’m using my time. What am I doing all day? Sometimes I can’t think of an answer because I’ve spent all day responding to emails, or visiting shut-in or hospitalized parishioners–I forget how much time each of these activities can consume (though one is much more rewarding than the other–the one that includes face-to-face time).
This regular invitation to evaluate my life both helps me to be more aware of time, and allows the other person’s question to be something truly meaningful–more than just a formality two people undergo when they meet.
So, if you’re “busy,” what’s below the surface? If you couldn’t use the word, what would you say instead? What are YOU up to these days?