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Why I Don’t Like the Word “Busy”

Recently someone asked me what I had on my roster for the day. I let them know I was planting in the garden, had 2 work meetings, lunch with a friend, an afternoon business meet-up, laundry and packing for a trip the next day. 

They replied with the expected,”You’re always busy.” to which I bristled and then paused. 

If I’m bristling I have an issue. What is it and what do I need to do about it?

I chose to work in the garden because physically I needed exercise and I knew it would help me mentally too. I had been sliding a bit emotionally, feeling that languishing feeling, and historically the physical work helps improve my mood and outlook.

Work is work and lunch with a friend is positive encouragement and self care. An added intentional act at maintaining my positive mental state.

I recognize that if I sit still for very long without being productive in some way, shape or form I begin to slide. I need the endorphin push I get from completing projects, creating, achieving, succeeding. By connecting with my own emotional, mental, physical beings I’ve learned what I need to stay even keel and happy.

What may be “busy” to some is actually a lifeline to others.

I’ve encouraged people to rename things. Graduation instead of retirement. Musings instead of journaling. Stretching instead of Yoga. I’m working on renaming “busy”. And every time I hear that negative tilt in the word I’ll consciously change it to something more positive. Succeeding? Achieving? Self-care. 

And perhaps, sharing with people why I’m “busy” and what it does for me, will bring more intention to my actions and minimize the bristle;)

“If you want something done, go find the busiest person in town and ask them to do it.”

When I was young this statement didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Why, on Earth, would you add to someone’s already full plate?! If they’re that busy aren’t they already carrying their own load? Why would they take on more?!?!

As an adult I understand the sentiment. The busiest person in town is busy because they get shit done. They’re productive and capable. They know how to dive in to achieve and succeed.

I also sincerely hope they’ve baked some self-care into their schedule so they can regenerate and continue succeeding.

Recently this concept has come to the forefront.

I’ve always had an aversion to being called “busy”. Often there’s an undertone of negativity or judgment behind the statement, “You’re always so busy.” When I hear that tone I bristle and I’ve begun to foster a negative attitude towards the word.


                                         with love,


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