These days when you ask someone how they are, ‘busy’ seems to be the go-to answer. I know I’m guilty of it. It’s like my mind is on autopilot. It’s a lazy response but one that I hope conveys the opposite. But it seems like I’m not the only one. The feeling of ‘busyness’ is overwhelming and I feel it’s especially common in millenials (I really hate this term but I couldn’t think of anything better).
I recently read an article in Slate talking about this feeling and talks about it far more articulately than I ever could and it really made me think. I have started to consider how often I profess that I’m too busy, and is this really true? Do I really have ‘no time’?
There’s plenty of memes on this topic, that’s for sure. Yes, we do have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce yet I somehow doubt that Bey is complaining about prepping for the Grammy’s and modeling in over-the-top pregnancy photo shoots whilst expecting twins though.
I work, I blog, I socialise, I exercise – less than I should – but is that all really that overwhelming? When I’m explaining that my schedule is packed, do I account for the time I lie in bed scrolling through my social media feeds? The time I spend apply my makeup in the morning? Do I even count the time in which I spend procrastinating? Probably not.
These days, especially with social media involved, busyness becomes a competition yet it’s a game that none of us really acknowledge we’re playing. I constantly see words like ‘manic’, ‘hectic’ and ‘crazy’ cropping up time and time again. By telling people just how busy we are is like self-validation that we’re doing well and succeeding in life. But by convincing myself that I’m too busy, am I rejecting new possibilities and closing myself off to new opportunities?
I’ve set myself an experiment. The next time someone asks me how I am the ‘B’ word is banned from my vocabulary. By banishing ‘busy’, I’m hoping it will open up chances to have genuine conversations about the things that are happening in our lives. It’s a work in progress and I’m definitely not all the way there but as Hanna Rosin writes we can take one thing off our to-do lists, which is telling everyone how busy you are.