In 2020 I'm hearing more and more people respond to the question “how are you” with the answer “busy”.
The definition of busy is to keep oneself occupied; to be engaged; full of activity; or occupied with/concentrating on a particular activity or object of attention. But is it always a good thing?
More and more have I been thinking of this word and how we use it to define and value our worlds. When did the amount of things we’ve managed to cram into our weeks become the goal? When people ask how we are, whether it be a vague question to a colleague or a deeper question amongst friends - the response should never be to do with our diaries. That’s an entirely different question.
How do we feel about the word busy, and the competitive nature it comes with? Do you see busy-ness as a good thing? Or something that brings you down? Are you someone who fills their weeks with activity and meetings or do you cruise through without any plans?
In today’s world it’s becoming almost impossible to keep multiple elements of our lives functioning well without crashing:
- can we have the best physical body, focus on nutrition and fitness, making sure that we can give equal attention to mind body and soul?
-whilst also being present with friends and family and making sure that we speak and encourage others in the highs and lows of life?
-at the same time can we be smashing our work lives, impressing our bosses, working long hours and smiling throughout the day?
in addition to continuing our hobbies, our personal interests, developing our sense of self and taking time to pause in our worlds?
All this sounds almost impossible, but in some ways we're cheering each other on, by adding fuel to the fire of ‘busy-ness’.
Let me encourage you to change the way you speak. When being asked about your week, let's try to be intentional with removing the word busy from our narrative. Having tried it out recently, it’s embarrassingly harder than I thought. Also, if busy is the first word that comes to mind when being asked about out wellness, let’s change the diary. I want to be intentional with the time that I do have and not cut back on anything important, but organise my time so that burn-out never becomes an option.
In 2020 we’ve had more time to rest than ever before. Despite this, many of us appear to be trying to cram time in to each day, as the first 6 months didn’t go according to our plans. Life is not a race (despite what living in London teaches you). Lets take a moment to focus. The opposite to busy is to be quiet. A quiet spirit sounds much more appealing to me.
So let me ask you again - How was your week?