Walking down the street, wearing your favorite green high-tops and a black and white striped sweater over slim jeans (you could be a guy or a gal), you pass a homeless person, a few small birds pecking at some seeds on the sidewalk, and a rosebush pushing against a fence, pale pink buds threatening to burst open.
You see none of this. Vaguely aware that you did pass the homeless person (he asked you for spare change), but you couldn’t pick him out in a line-up. Never mind the birds and the nascent rose blossoms, you couldn’t pick them out, either (good thing birds and roses don’t suffer the humiliation of police line-ups).
No, you didn’t see the birds or the roses or the lady with the yellow hat (lady with the yellow hat?) because you are busy. Busy-busy! As you continue along your trajectory, serious and focused, your friend, a woman you haven’t seen in forever, comes out of the coffee shop and lands right in front of you. You stop, pause, and feel irritated that this woman slowed your roll, but then recognition kicks in and you realize that it’s Susie.
Susie, Hi! You exclaim (note exclamation mark for veracity of statement). Susie asks you how you’ve been and you reply, the same way you always do when asked this question, busy. I’m really busy.
Ah, busy, so important-sounding, such a modern affliction. If I had a penny for every time I asked someone how they were doing and they replied, “busy” well, I’d have a fistful of pennies.
What is it about busy? Why are we so freaking busy? Yes, I know all about the day-to-day pressures, things to be done, and read, and watched and eaten and ad infinitum, but do you ever stop to wonder why busy has become our, your, buzzword? Why, when someone wants to know HOW you are, and instead of replying sad, happy, grateful, you blurt out busy?
Busy is the veil we are afraid to lift for fear we will have to actually take the pulse of our life. If we stopped long enough from our busy, we might have to consider our jobs, our relationships, or the way we live. Does your relationship feed you; do you feel like you are loved and the beloved? Your job, it pays well, ok, maybe not even that, but hey, you have benefits, right? And you feel like you die a little bit each day you head off to work, don’t you?
I challenge you to lift the veil of busy, even if just to peek out a bit and notice what you might be hiding from with all that activity. Sit quietly, meditate, assess your one all-to-brief life and ask yourself if this is the way you want to be doing it. Is it fulfilling? Do you feel intimate with the idea of joy? Are you doing work that you love? Or are you just…busy?