“Sorry I haven’t called you in awhile, but I’ve been soooo busy with work.”
“I’d love to meet for a play date, but I’m too busy. Can we try another time?”
“Man, I wish I could make it to the gym with you, but I’m overly busy that day.”
We’re all guilty of being too busy, myself included; life tends to get in the way, I get it. But instead of saying, I’m too busy, we should admit instead, it’s really not a priority.
We make time to shower before work, don’t we? Or how about eating? Sleeping, going to the bathroom, getting to the gym? Maybe you even make it a priority to browse the internet 50 times a day? I bet you make it a preference to do one of the above mentioned; I know I do, but somehow I seem to always mutter “I’m too busy” to myself and others in my circle.
When women, moms especially because we’re so taxed, get invited to a girl’s night out, a play date, or even coffee with the bestie, it’s too easy to say you’re too busy, when in fact, it’s just not a priority for you. I’m willing to bet if your friend said she needed to meet for coffee to talk about her husband who’s been cheating on her, or even the friend who wants to get together to discuss her daughter’s recent diagnosis with cancer, you’d make it a priority to meet with her versus say you’re too busy. Why do we personally use the phrase “too busy” when in reality it’s not a priority?
Don’t get me wrong; I realize we live in a society today that is over scheduled and over booked. And I understand raising a family takes up much, if not all of your time. But on the flip side of the coin may lie the real truth. Sure we may be overly unavailable, but what about the cold hard truth? Rather than tell your friend you’re too scheduled, be honest with her. Tell her you’d rather not. Explain to her your days are too full and when you do have a moment to yourself, you’d rather spend it with your family, having some alone time, etc. If the friendship/relationship means anything to you, (which it may or may not, truth be told) schedule something; let’s not use the same ol’ line of being overly occupied. I have a feeling your friend will more than understand rather than feel put off or even a little neglected.
I work outside of the home, have five kids, a husband, and I’m pooped at the end of the day. I have friends, kids, a husband, and family that all want to spend time with me. Do I really want to have a girl’s night, play date, or even coffee with them with my busy life? Yes, I do. I love the fact they love me and want to spend valuable time with me. In order for me to make those in my circle feel appreciated, valued, and loved, I make the time I spend with them a priority versus telling them my schedule is more important than they are. It’s so hard; I struggle immensely on keeping up with my relationships. I fail miserably at staying connected at times, but how does one even attempt do it? What works for me: I schedule the time. Just like we schedule a dentist appointment or even line up a time slot to get our hair done; I schedule the time with the people that matter to me. With my husband, we schedule date nights. With my kids, we have a board game or an ice cream night. With my girlfriends, we have a pedicure date or even a BBQ where our families can all get together. I literally write the day and time down in my calendar; I make it important to me despite my active lifestyle.
As the saying goes, “You gotta understand the difference between someone who speaks to you on their free time and someone who frees their time to speak to you.” What a powerful saying, isn’t it? I know after I read that line, I felt immense guilt for how I’ve treated others in the past, my own family included – putting my busyness over my relationships. I never want to make someone feel as if I’m too swamped for him or her. There will come a day when that person no longer resides on Earth, then what? Will you be too busy to pay your respects? I sure hope not. Rather, let’s take the time to take a time out from life for a few moments if you happen to be too busy, like we all are. Rekindle those relationships that are indeed important to you. Let’s make the time…let’s make it a priority…unless you’re too busy.
*Article first appeared in Idaho Family Magazine*