How does it feel you when you are dealing with somebody who is busy and stressed and rushing? We have all been there. You finally get to catch up with a much-loved friend. How are you? And she replies with ‘Oh I’m so busy!
How does it feel? What is it like to be on the receiving end of “I’m so busy”?
It might feel like an excuse. That she hasn’t been in touch because she is so busy doing other, more important things. You don’t feel like a priority.
It might also feel annoyingly vague. They haven’t answered your question. Does busy mean good or bad? There is no connection, no sharing of themselves in ‘busy’.
It might feel dismissive. As in, ‘I won’t go into the details, but trust me, I’m busy’
It might feel like a declaration of self-importance. She might wear her busyness as a badge of honour. But here’s the truth, somebody else’s busyness is never impressive. You never think “wow, she is so busy, I wish I was like her”
And what about when you see someone rushing, stressing, getting cross at the kids, dropping things, making mistakes at the photocopier. Its easy to think “woah, I’m glad that’s not me”. They definitely don’t look productive, they just appear disorganised and like they need to sort themselves out. When you are young, you might think rushing around the office makes you look important. As you get older, you realise it makes you look a bit silly.
Everybody is busy. In their own way that is appropriate to their lives. And the truth is, you are never as busy as you think.
Who else feels an eye roll coming on whenever someone boasts of their 80-hour week?
And what about multitasking?
We all know how it feels to be talking to someone who is simultaneously checking their phone. Or even just thinking about something else. The connection is vacant and distant. It isn’t satisfying, the communication becomes stressful. They act impatient. You feel resentful. Or somehow like you have done something wrong.
So it is easy to see busyness in other people’s lives and feel a little judgemental. But consider for a moment that this might be how people perceive you sometimes
How do you act when you feel overwhelmed?
- Who do you snap at? Who frustrates you?
- What is the first thing to drop when you start to feel overwhelmed? Exercise? Loved ones? Time with the kids?
- So then how does that flow on? How do you show up in the world when you are busy and stressed and over it?
- How do you think it makes your loved ones feel? Your work mates? People who work for you?
And then I want you to consider the generosity of someone who says to you ‘I have all the time in the world’, it is so calming. Its expansive. Its accepting. Its welcoming. You immediately want to snuggle up to them and be part of their life.
Don’t be the person who is impatient, disconnected, vacant and stressed.
Is that how you want to live your life?