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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Busy as a...Bitch?

Have you ever counted how many times in a day something is requested of you? It doesn't matter what you have going on, you just–

·         Do it. It’s your kid and someone needs to wash their sheets.
·         Do it. It’s your husband. It will be easier than teaching him how to call the dentist.
·         Do it. It’s your job and they pay you.
·         Do it. It’s a good thing for your community and you want to make it a great place to live.

But there are times you don't do it, even if you want going out with a girlfriend or playing a game with your family. And why not? We're too darn busy. And we need to prove it.
I read an article in the WSJ by Elizabeth Bernstein called You're Not Busy, You're Just Rude. Undoubtedly we’re all buried under a mound of too many obligations–self-imposed for sure. We tend to wear our “busy-ness” like a badge. It never occurred to me how off-putting this can be—to our friends who are also busy and to the people we care about it. Talk of hectic schedules tends to dominate conversation, but what are we trying to communicate?  "I'm so busy I'm not even sure why I'm taking the time to visit with you! Now get outta here."

I'm not saying we need to put a halt to being active. Being busy equates to productivity. But the next time I start rationalizing why I'm saying no, I’m going to try to shift my perspective about my responsibilities. And be honest.

Like when my husband asks me to sit down and watch something with him. I won't let out a huge sigh and tell him I’m too busy. I’ll ask him to help me with laundry so someone can have socks in the morning. And we can interact instead of stare at a screen.

Or like when a friend invites me to have a drink, I won’t say I’m too busy. I’ll say I’m concerned about becoming an alcoholic. And having beer breath at a soccer game. Then I'll ask her to lunch instead.

Or like when my kids want to talk about their days, and my mind begins to create to-do lists for them to ensure they are productive citizens. Really, I need to stop that right now. I will empty my mind and listen to their every word. I'm definitely never too busy for them. No matter how many meetings I boast about attending.

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