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Friday, 09 August 2013 08:02

You Are Busy Because You Want to Be

I read an article somewhere that talked about 'busy people', and how so many people in our culture will say 'Oh, I'm just so tired!' or 'We're just so busy!' when asked how they have been lately.  The writer of the article was saying that the people who make these statements are almost certainly not the kind of people who need to work 80 hours a week to make ends meet, or who are spending every spare minute next to a sick family member - the people who make these statements are the people who have lessons and social engagements, and feel the need to go shopping a lot.  The people who complain about being busy are the people who are busy BY CHOICE.  They are busy because they want to be busy.

The writer of the article also noted how statements like this make him feel - he said that when someone comments on how busy they are, his first reaction is to say "Well, then I'd better get out of your way because you're clearly too busy to chat with me."

This message hits me in my heart - in the place where I have been hurt and skipped over by people who are 'too busy', but it also hits me in the gut - because I have been guilty of this so often myself. 

A few weeks ago, I made plans with a close friend - honestly wanting to spend some quality time with her - and then in my 'busy-ness', the plan I made with her became shortened and rushed while other plans crowded in around it.  Sure - I have a husband who makes plans also, and two kids who have needs as well, but the truth was that I had absolutely no excuse.  There is no reason I had to accept other engagements after I had made the initial plan with my friend - I accepted because I WANTED to, and because I completely didn't think about how that would make her feel.

Today I had plans with a friend. They were tentative, but she seemed as though she wanted to meet, and so I didn't make other plans and expected to meet with her today.  She's going through a big life situation right now, and she also has a husband and kids who make plans and have needs, but when she cancelled this morning I still couldn't help but feel completely hurt and angry.

So the lesson for me going forward, and the lesson I need to teach my children is to respect other people's schedules as much as your own.  If your life is busy, never assume that anyone else's isn't. If you have to cancel plans or rearrange your schedule for something, expect that other people might be doing this also. If you're truly too busy to make plans with your friends, understand the consequences (eventually your friends will stop calling) and don't make promises you can't keep.   

I am definitely the kind of person who 'likes to be busy' and in the past few weeks, I've looked over my schedule and decided to quit a few things - because being busy is not a badge of honour. It is not something I should be proud of and flaunt as though it somehow makes me a better or more successful person because it actually has the opposite effect - running around in circles makes me a worse mother, and definitely a worse friend.  

I know there are situations where busy-ness is unavoidable, and I know that it will be really hard for me to keep my schedule simple when I have two children who are taking lessons and both wanting to be successful at these, but I want to try. I NEED to try, because I need my friends.

To all of my friends who are reading this - I'm so sorry if and when I have ever made you feel as though your schedule is less important that mine.  I'm sorry for times I have disregarded your time and your needs and selfishly considered only my own.  Please, please, please forgive me.

Read 1696 times Last modified on Friday, 09 August 2013 08:57

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