On Sunday I heard this: “If you’re too busy to do that, then your busy is wrong”.
Your BUSY is WRONG.
This has been in my head for days now and ties together a few things that have bugged me lately.
I don’t know about you but I’ve noticed the default answer to the question ‘how are you?‘ seems to be, ‘oh you know , I’m good, crazy busy *sigh*‘. I say it. I know I do.
When I say that, I could be full of a cold, having a bad grief day, exhausted after three nights of insomnia, feeling extra pressure on the home front with it being my husband’s week on night-shift at work, not to mention keeping up with taxiing the kids where they need to be.
But I say, I’m good. I say I’m busy. I wear it with pride like a badge – look at me, look at all the stuff I can do and I’m holding it all together.
Well excuse me, but I’ve said this blog is about being real, so I’m going to say, that is a big load of BS.
The BUSY expectation
There is no honour in working ourselves into the ground. Why should we celebrate being so busy that we’re exhausted?
I think we place an expectation of ‘busy’ on ourselves, and probably our children, to be socially acceptable. What do you think?
There is no denying life is busy. We have four children aged 7-14 and we love that they are involved in extra curricular activities. We DO limit what they do, so that individually they’re on top of things, but it’s a little tougher on the parents running them around.
Here’s the thing though – I’m shifting my perspective on busy. We CHOOSE it. I choose to work (part-time) which definitely puts the pressure on a little (while easing financial pressure at home). We want the kids to have these activities and experiences to help shape them into awesome young adults and then amazing adults.
SO, instead of sighing about being busy, I’m getting my grateful on because our children are healthy enough to play sport, they are gifted and conscientious, we can afford to offer them heaps of cool opportunities at this stage in their lives. I’m grateful for the time on the sideline cheering my kidlets on and getting to know the other parents in a town where I so desperately need to make some friends (that’s a whole different blog post!).
It’s all about perspective and I intend to stop the badge of busy taking over my life. Yes there is a lot to do, no I don’t need to be dramatic about it. Yes it would be nice to have more time to relax, no there is nothing stopping me finding those quiet moments along the way.
Keeping it TRUE
The other thing that bugs me with the standard ‘I’m ok’ answer is what is so bad with saying honestly, how we feel?
I’m a lot sick of pretending to be someone I’m not. I’m sorry if saying ‘you know what, I sat in my car and sobbed for 20 minutes before I got here because I miss my mum so blimen much’ makes you uncomfortable, but if you didn’t want to know, don’t ask! Obviously I will use my social skills as to who I will actually be THAT real with. But you know what I mean – if we can’t be real with our friends, even maybe a little wider than that, what’s the point in being connected to others at all?
I grew up in a home where the standard answer was always ‘I’m fine thank you’. Stiff upper lip and all that, my mum had grown up the same way. To the point where, in her hospice bed, my mum would answer the Doctors question with ‘I’m good today thank you’. Really?
I’m breaking that legacy. We have days where we are down, where we have a headache, where it just doesn’t all fit together. Maybe telling someone briefly will help, maybe we need acknowledgement that ‘I see you’. Maybe that’s just me. I’m not getting all dramatic and sure as heck am NOT dwelling on negatives but I don’t want my kids to think it’s right to hide how they feel when a conversation, a prayer, a hug from someone else would so easily turn an average or bad day around.
SO, tell me, is your busy wrong? What’s your perspective on the seemingly expected hectic pace of life these days? Do you have standard answers to questions that hide who you really are and how you really feel? I get that there’s a time and a place for the template answers, but maybe we’ve all fallen into a pattern of using them a little too much…?