Here's how a typical daily interaction goes. (I'm talking about my own experience, but maybe you can relate.)
I pass someone at work at the YWAM base. We greet each other.
"Hi, how are you?"
Of course, there are many ways to answer this question, but those two seem to be the most common. I tense up when people ask me what I've been doing during the day. I get nervous: have I done enough?
I started to really chew on the idea of being too busy, after reading an older opinion article from the New York Times. My friend posted a link of Facebook (I had time for that apparently) and the author's argument definitely rang true.
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.
I've become so busy, that I rarely make time for other people. A student who will be leaving in a week attempted to have a deeper conversation with me over the weekend. But even then, all I could focus on were the tasks I needed to do. My focus was in the wrong place. I don't want to be too busy for people. I want to always make time when someone needs me.
And a simple place to start is in the words I speak over my daily life. Just as I did years ago, when I struck 'good' from my greeting vocabulary, I now feel convinced that 'busy' must go the way of the VCR.
'Busy' as a fall back response, needs to become obsolete, unless I actually mean it. There are legitimate times when I am busy. But even using last week as a reference, I had a lot of things to do, but I also found time to do other things. I found time to watch movie with a friend, Skyped someone from Ottawa (during work hours I might add), and had time to go on a five-hour detour, adventure with a colleague because of an overturned garbage truck.
I want people to know that they matter. That I can never be too busy for them.