You’re Not Busy

I need to get something off of my chest. It’s been bothering me for a while. I keep hearing it again and again and each time I do, it annoys me more.

I’m tired of people talking about how busy they are. In America, we are obsessed with being (or at least appearing to be) busy. And we act as if “busy” is the best thing you could possibly be. Who, after she’s lived her life and passed away from this messed up little world, wants her tombstone to read “That Chick Who Was Busy All The Time”? Maybe it’s that crazed Puritan work ethic that lives on in today’s Trump supporters. “If you’re not busy, then you’re lazy, and you’re not contributing to society and you probably get welfare checks because you want to steal from hard-working taxpayers just trying to make an honest living!!!!!”

People in other parts of the world (at least the parts I’ve lived in/visited) rightfully think this is insane. I remember telling people in Albania about how busy I was during the school year, and they just kind of looked at me weird. In other cultures, casually declaring how busy you are is the equivalent of announcing, “Oh, yes, I’ve been admirably engaged in worthy causes of distinguishable importance lately.” Constantly referring to how busy you are is basically just patting yourself on the back for being so industrious and productive, whether you actually are or not.

I’m sure there are people who disagree with me and think that one’s busy-ness is an intriguing topic of conversation as well as an adequate excuse for “why we never hang out anymore.” Well, I’m about to break your balls.


As if this quote couldn’t get any better, it’s a Basque proverb. 💃🏻

Why You’re Not Actually That Busy

  1. If you somehow have time to binge watch the entire first season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones in three days, don’t claim that you are too busy to go to the gym/spend time with loved ones/finish your novel. Everyone is given the same amount of time, it just depends how you choose to use it.
  2. Everyone is busy. Everyone has a job, a family, a hobby, a sport, school, a social life, errands, bodily needs, etc. that takes up his/her time. Anyone can make the argument that they are busy, even people who objectively don’t do very much. Saying, “I’m so busy!” is like saying, “I’m alive!” Everyone’s doing it. It doesn’t need to be said.
  3. Really, legitimately busy people NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT BEING BUSY. They don’t have time to. They just get sh*t done and move on to other sh*t. You don’t see Obama posting Facebook statuses like “You guys I am just SOOOOO busy with this refugee stuff!! Gotta take a break and hit up this Kardashians marathon lol.”
  4. Saying that you are “too busy” as an excuse for not doing something is not accurate. You have just chosen not to allocate time for that activity. Be honest (not necessarily with others, if you might hurt their feelings) but at least with yourself that everyone prioritizes what is important to them and how we allocate that time often reflects that.
  5. If #4 hurts your brain and/or heart to think about–as it did mine when I had this epiphany–re-evaluate your priorities and re-allocate your time as such. If you’re going to be “busy,” at least be busy doing things that are worth it.

Although this behavior is something I’ve noticed in others that has bothered me lately, I fully acknowledge that I do it just as much. Re-integrating back into American society was difficult in this respect. I felt like my busy-ness validated my existence, and still feel that to some extent.

I’ve determined that #5 is not a bad New Year’s resolution to have. Here’s to less excuses and more self-awareness in the year(s) to come.


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