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PeacefulChaos

what does 'busy' mean to you?

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Lots of my friends talk about being really busy. It seems to be generally accepted that 'everyone' has 'really busy', often 'stressful' days.

 

I'm not questioning people as far as whether they are busy or not, but I very rarely feel this way myself.

 

I don't feel busy at all. I don't consider my days to be stressful. Have I had busy days? Sure, but the majority of my life is, by far, not busy.

 

So what constitutes busy to you? I'm wondering if it has to do some with personality and if a person who prefers quiet, slow paced life (possibly an introvert, but that may not come into play here) has a lower threshold for 'busyness' than someone who prefers having a lot to do or is more fast paced.

 

Part of me is hoping that's the case, because if not, I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong by being not busy?! Lol!!

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Yeah I kind of feel like you do.  I have things I do such as clean, cook, school with kids, cart them to their 100,000 activities, etc.  But most of the time I'm kinda just screwing off.  :lol:

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It's cool to be busy. Fortunately I have no interest in being cool. To me busy means running around a lot. Boy scouts, gymnastics, soccer, youth group, volunteering. I know lots of busy people and they seem more tired than happy. I do tend to be busy when my mother in law calls. :leaving:

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I'm busy; there isn't a moment in my day when there isn't someone who needs me or something I should be doing. I do carve out some time to relax because I need that to stay sane, but really there is always more that needs to be done than I am capable of doing.

 

A typical day for me is homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the baby, taking care of the toddler, taking care of the bigger kids, breaking up fights, more cleaning, driving to gymnastics, driving to dance, more taking care of the baby, paying bills and taking care of paperwork stuff, handling home and car maintenance, doing laundry, more cooking, more dishes, trying to figure out kids' special needs...it is neverending and overwhelming. I am an introvert by nature but also pretty laid back, though I've got some ADHD challenges that make it hard to do things efficiently.

 

I take time to hang out on the WTM boards and to do genealogy, those are my hobbies. I just finished a master's degree so that is one  bit of craziness I no longer need to worry about.

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Some of my friends are insanely busy. I'd lose my mind. It seems to be a bragging point to be the busiest. Oh yeah well I have to do all that and bake cookies for this group and make a meal for that and take kids to overlapping activities and and and...

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So what constitutes busy to you? 

I am always busy. For me, when I am doing something that interests and absorbs me, I am happy and having fun.

 

I am busy and annoyed when I have to do things that I don't want to do, but have to suck it up and do them. e.g. cleaning house, fold laundry, cooking from scratch for every meal (serious diet restrictions due to allergy issues), taking DS to several classes and practices every day (he is very good at those things and needs to train at a high level to get to where he wants to be in a few years). I hate all the busyness that comes with them. I am left at the end of the day with many things that I want to do but never got around to doing because of the busyness. I hate busy-ness.

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I've found that most people(not all) say that to get out of doing things, or to show you how much more exciting they are than you/get sympathy, or to make some sort of point.   I also know some people who are terrible procrastinators and/or time managers and wouldn't be busy if they managed themselves better.

 

I know that didn't answer your question.   So, "busy" to me means, I can't wait on you!!!

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It absolutely has to do with personality.

 

Even when I home schooled 2 kids full time, I still worked at least 20 hours outside the home, and quite often worked 40.  I volunteered when my kids were in lessons/classes. And one, if not both kids, were in sports multiple times per week. My day was scheduled from when I woke up, until I went to sleep. I didn't have 'days off' and my slow days, still involved an 8 hours work shift. That was busy! LOL

 

I am ADD and can multitask like the best of them.  Quite often in the morning, between 7 and 8:30 am, while getting my kids dressed/out the door for school, I am baking muffins, making breakfast, packing lunches,  and making smoothies, checking dd9s backpack and signing papers, picking up the house and getting myself ready for work.  

 

Even now, I spread 40 hours of work, over 6 days a week, so I can still take dd9 to therapy.  Now that I am not homeschooling, I still have a special needs daughter and have 5 or 6, 1 hour long, standing drs appointments a week.Honestly,   I don't consider myself that busy any more.  Regular busy, yes....not Really Busy, like when I home schooled too.

 

Lots of people would go a bit crazy working around my schedule, but for me, it is normal.  It is just my personality.  During times of my life when I didn't have things I had to do, I found things to do, like volunteering 40+ hours per week at schools on auction committees or painting murals, or painting classrooms....etc.

 

 

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I absolutely has to do with personality.

 

Even when I home schooled 2 kids full time, I still worked at least 20 hours outside the home, and quite often worked 40.  I volunteered when my kids were in lessons/classes. And one if not both kids were in sports multiple times per week. My day was scheduled from when I woke up, until I went to sleep. I didn't have 'days off' and my slow days, still involved an 8 hours work shift. That was busy! LOL

 

I am ADD and can multitask like the best of them.  Quite often in the morning, between 7 and 8:30 am, while getting my kids dressed/out the door for school, I am baking muffins, making breakfast, packing lunches,  and making smoothies, checking dd9s backpack and signing papers, picking up the house and getting myself ready for work.  

 

Even now, I spread 40 hours of work, over 6 days a week, so I can still take dd9 to therapy.  Now that I am not homeschooling any longer, I still have a special needs daughter, have 5 or 6, 1 hour long, standing drs appointments a week.Honestly,   I don't consider myself that busy any more.  Regular busy, yes....not Really Busy, like when I home schooled too.

 

Lots of people would go a bit crazy working around my schedule, but for me, it is normal.  It is just my personality.  During times of my life when I didn't have things I had to do, I found things to do, like volunteering 40+ hours per week at schools on auction committees or painting murals, or painting classrooms....etc.

 

I agree that it is personality. If my life is not filled to the brim with interesting things I get antsy and I go out and find more things to occupy myself. I didn't have to have six children, I didn't have to homeschool, I didn't have to do a master's degree, I didn't have to put the kids in multiple intensive activities. I did all those things because I wanted to do them and wouldn't be happy with a quieter schedule.

 

Now, things get difficult because I fill my life full of what interests me, but still have to cope with the day to day necessities. The cooking and laundry and chauffeuring and bills and yardwork and doctor and dentist and orthodontist appointments and whatnot all add up. Then I get overwhelmed and feel like I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. But really if I weren't busy I wouldn't be happy.

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I can totally see where personality would affect your definition of being busy.  For me being busy means having at least one outside the home activity every day.  Even a small errand turns into a major production with my crew, dentists visits are usually a half day ordeal, grocery shopping is most of an afternoon, etc.  I come home and need and hour or two just to regain my equalibrium.  So one outing per day is about my limit.  On the other hand I know people who run from activity to activity and are happy with it.  If they have a day at home, they are looking for someone to get together with because they go stir crazy with down time. 

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Busy means to me that I am in a time period where I run to and fro and have more on my schedule than I would like to have. Less time to exercise, cook favorite meals, relax, etc.

This can be work related or season related, i.e., holidays or demanding academic semester.

It is not a state that I consider normal, however, for some people my "normal" schedule either seems busy or very laid back depending on who I am talking to.

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to me is over scheduled.  Where you are running crazy all day long with no rest.  

 

I do not consider our family  busy.  We do school.  We usually have some down time in the late afternoons.  Mon is DS scout night.  Tues is DD scout night(only twice a month).  We usually have 1-2 weekend scout things a month.  And church Sunday morning.    Usually there is at least one more thing a week....a Dr appointment, a get together, an extra church event.  But we have down time.  Are some days 'busy', sure.  But overall, we are not busy like I see other people.  

 

I only have two kids though and with only 1 car, we are limited in our activities.  When dd is playing Volleyball she adds a weeknight practice and Sat morning games to our schedule.  If ds did a sport it would be the same.  I know last year we were out of the house every day and were 'busy' by definition.  We all hated it, kids quit almost everything, and life is much better now.  

 

It is hard to connect with people b/c they are very busy. And that can be lonely.  Larger families especially have no down time to just hang out.  Which is sad to me.  Luckily we enjoy our family time.  We play a lot of games together.  Kids video game some.  DH does too.  I like to read, so I don't mind those digital days for them.  No regrets not being busy.  It works for us. 

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I have periods in which I'm busy.  This month is not one of them, thank goodness.  

 

For me it is when my week is so full that I can't even squeeze in an unscheduled bathroom break.  It is when I'm juggling going to college full time, raising three teen daughters, taking two of them to their activities, volunteering at co-op, working part-time, AND keeping up with all the household stuff.  It is when I haven't even seen my lovely flower garden in the daytime in months, and I've almost forgotten what my husband looks like!  (This was my life last semester, and I worked hard to re-arrange my schedule and drop some things so it will NOT be repeated this semester)

 

 

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I think for me it depends on the context a bit...

 

When people I haven't seen in a long time ask what I've been up to, I often say, "Oh, keeping busy with the kids and homeschooling and their activities."  I don't necessarily feel "too busy" most of the time, but I am just trying to give a general impression that we aren't sitting around all day...LOL!

 

When we've had seasons with lots of extra appointments, special activities, deadlines for a particular volunteer responsibility, husband traveling so I have to bear a greater share of the load at home, etc...then I "feel busy" because I don't have enough down time or enough sleep.  I often have "seasons" like this for a few weeks at various times during the year, but I try not to let those seasons dominate my year as a whole.

 

I usually think someone else is busy if they have so many commitments in their schedule they can't fit me/us in or they make me feel like they have just a very tiny sliver of time to offer me.   "Sure, let's get together to discuss XYZ activity we're planning together, but I am really only free between 2-3pm on Wednesday and then I have to go pick up my kids but I can't do it any earlier than two because I have yoga class."   Or whatever.  I mean, each to their own and they may be perfectly unstressed and fulfilled in their busy life...but it makes me feel like they are too busy for me (or for whatever they have committed themselves to that also involves me.)

 

 

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I'm busy and I hate it.  I just hate it.  I do not say, "I'm busy" as a way of showing off or trying to one-up anyone.  It means what a PP said:  there is not enough time to get the things done that need to be done.

 

It can be a personality thing.  I love reading for hours at a time.  I love taking an hour to set up a picture for my photography hobby.  I do not love cleaning or teaching or planning for teaching or cooking.  And yet what needs to be done every day all day long?  Cleaning and teaching and planning and cooking.  I feel like I"m smothered under non-stop chores.  I haaaaate it. 

 

Yesterday I was up at 7:30 and went to bed at 10 and in that time I was teaching, cleaning, cooking, and planning the entire time.  I did take time while I was eating my 3 meals to read WTM forums.  But other than that I was busy and not very happy about it. 

 

Wait!  I watched 20 minutes of a Sherlock episode.  I didn't feel busy then.  I was happy then. 

 

So, busy is when I have more to do than I have time for AND the things that I have to do are things I don't want to do.  I'm busy all the time.  I wish I could get all my "have tos" done before 6 or 7 at night, so that I'd have 3-4 hours each night to read or watch a show with DH.

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Leaving the house busy is harder for me than at home busy.

 

I stay very busy at home with the farm, but I handle it better than going places.

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Busy also feels (to me) like no matter what I'm doing, there will be more to do, and I can't get anything done well because I'm scrambling to keep up with everything I have to do. 

 

I remember before kids, when I would work 9-5, eat my tuna helper and microwaved broccoli (about 4 nights a week) and then watch tv or read until bed.  Weekends were spent reading all day Saturday and then dinner out with friends.  That's the sort of life that makes me happy. :)  I'm a quiet bookworm at heart.  I crave lots of downtime.

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I have many stressful days but that isn't because I'm busy. They are stressful because I have 4 young kids who seem to always want to be touching me. I don't like being over touched so it is stressful to be overstimulated.

 

Busy to me is when I have a long list of things to do that I can't possibly get done in the ti me allotted. I generally don't feel stressed out on the rare days that are truely busy. I'm too busy to even think about getting stressed out.

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I read an article years ago about "busy is the new rich" and I think it is true. Being "busy" = being important, needed, useful.

 

I have a friend who is forever telling me how busy he is. He has two kids, I have five yet he loves to let me know that he is the busiest guy in town. Whatever. He can have the title if he wants it.

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I have friends who are always "busy".

For example-

drive spouse to train station

Get kids off to school

Make phone calls to schedule dr. appointments, follow up phone calls, chat phone calls, schedule something calls

clean/laundry

run errands-dry cleaner, groceries, shopping

pick up kids from school/drop off at activities

make dinner

pick up spouse from train station

clean up dinner/straightening

attend meetings/book club/gym

go to bed and start over the next day

 

I am exhausted when I chat with her.  But she seems to thrive on the constant activity.

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People often assume that because I have six kids and I homeschool all of them that I must be busy.  Not really.  I have plenty of time to relax and hang out here or do other things that I enjoy.

 

Some days are busy, but not my whole life.

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Oh boy. This is a huge pet peeve for me. I hope I don't offend anyone by my response. I honestly don't like the "busy" phenomenon. Who doesn't have stuff to do? Why should we define ourselves by how much we have to do? I hate when I ask how someone is and they reply with "busy." It seems like an avoidance tactic to me. A way to avoid being present with oneself and others. Busy is not a qualitative description but a quantitative one and it seems to be important to people who seek external approval for their existence. Forgive me if that sounds harsh.

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I feel busy if I have to leave the house too often! More than 3 times a week feels crazy busy to me.

It's a good thing that my kids aren't in school lol!

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Oh boy. This is a huge pet peeve for me. I hope I don't offend anyone by my response. I honestly don't like the "busy" phenomenon. Who doesn't have stuff to do? Why should we define ourselves by how much we have to do? I hate when I ask how someone is and they reply with "busy." It seems like an avoidance tactic to me. A way to avoid being present with oneself and others. Busy is not a qualitative description but a quantitative one and it seems to be important to people who seek external approval for their existence. Forgive me if that sounds harsh.

 

I think you hit the nail on the head! 

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My busy seasons are the times when I feel like I spend my life in the car, generally for kid activities. There are two months in fall and two in spring (soccer and cross country, soccer and track) that are really busy for me. I feel like I have a 6-hour work shift of driving kids around starting at about 2 and ending when I get disabled dd into bed. Then I can relax. But I'm not actually doing much or accomplishing much--just driving kids around. I still feel very busy doing it. I wouldn't mind as much if I could be at home with an hour or two of uninterrupted time to prepare and enjoy a nice supper. But everything tends to be schedule around dinner time.

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To me, busy is when...

 

The "to do" list is longer than the available time--and doesn't seem to get shorter no matter how long/hard you work.

 

Over a significant period of time, needed project(s) you've been trying to get to keep getting pushed down the list as newer, more urgent matters take priority.

 

Over a significant period of time, there's no real chance to recharge or pursue a personal interest.

 

The thought of getting together with a friend or doing something that should be good for you is stressful because you feel pressured by all the things you won't be getting done in that time.

 

You collapse into bed in exhaustion more nights than you don't.

 

 

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Oh boy. This is a huge pet peeve for me. I hope I don't offend anyone by my response. I honestly don't like the "busy" phenomenon. Who doesn't have stuff to do? Why should we define ourselves by how much we have to do? I hate when I ask how someone is and they reply with "busy." It seems like an avoidance tactic to me. A way to avoid being present with oneself and others. Busy is not a qualitative description but a quantitative one and it seems to be important to people who seek external approval for their existence. Forgive me if that sounds harsh.

 

Yeah, and I think for some people, their version of busy is a choice. Yeah, you signed your four kids up for 5 activities each. You volunteered for scout leader, and you're working a full time job. You're going to be busy. Don't complain about it.

 

Some people say busy cheerfully and you can tell that they are enjoying their busy. Others use "How are you?" "I'm just SO busy." as an opportunity to whine. I hate that, especially when they have chosen the busy.  It's okay to not have a commitment every evening. It's okay to have down time. They're not better people for being so "busy" if it's not something that they love.

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My 2c worth:
People are busier now than in the past, but it doesn't have to be that way. Many/most people have fuller schedules than their parents did, however this is largely a choice. When I was the age my daughters are, I played one sport and two musical instruments, and that was as much as, or more than, most kids in my school did. Kids now probably have twice as many organized activities.
Also people seem to take pride in how busy they are. If somebody is calm and unhurried, that is no longer viewed by many people as a positive thing. It's as though some people assess their own important based on how in demand they are, and conversely assume that a less obviously busy person is less important or less industrious.

A related phenomenon is the admiration of multitasking. They psychologists tell us that multitasking doesn't work well for most tasks and most people, and yet multitaskers still seem to get looked up to. 

Some people just give the impression of busy-ness because they make a meal of things that other people might take in their stride. I'm sure most of you know a person for whom everything seems to be a big deal, an epic saga. Often we can choose whether to run around like a headless chook or whether to make a sensible plan and carry it out, one thing at a time.

I am very introverted, so 'socialing' tireds me, but for me this is a separate thing to busy-ness. 

Also I think that people tend to confuse busy-ness with stress, so that a lot of what makes them feel busy is actually lack of mindfulness and presence. It's tiring doing what needs to be done at the same time as worrying about ten other things.

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When I have to pull out my organizer to figure out if I can meet up with a friend for coffee, I say I am busy. I guess I say I am busy if my day is scheduled.

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 I often answer my friends that I'm busy but I'm not going for any awards, I just always feel like I can barely keep my head above water.  I never follow it up with whines or complaints & I'm not saying I don't love my life or that I'm not happy - I just feel busy.

 

I think it is mostly personality - I would be happy not leaving the house for days so having 4 kids & activities to go to wears me out.  We don't really have that much compared to most people I know.  We do TKD 2x/week followed by piano 1x & vision therapy 1x/weekly.  So 2 days a week we're gone from 11-4-ish.  Scouts 1x/week in the evening & occasional baseball practice.  So getting schoolwork done, keeping up with the laundry, the housecleaning, the meal planning, and time for myself plus getting enough sleep & exercise - I feel really busy.  But I don't think our schedule is much different than most other families I know - although some of them would not say they are busy.

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Busy is when the activities I need to do become burdensome.  

 

That, and I'm too stupidly tired to do anything enjoyably productive when I do have the time.

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I feel busy when I don't have all of the free physical and mental time I want.  And that can vary.

 

I'm goofing off right now, but I didn't get much good sleep last night, worrying that my pipes might freeze.  We had co-op today, I've done some financial stuff, I've researched a trip, I got a load of laundry in, I pumped gas in single digit temperatures, composed an email in my head (that I still need to type,) returned my sister's texts,  I've walked the dog, I've made a shopping list, I've added to my to-do list, I've thought about my co-op class's next lesson plan, looked into pet boarding and checked vaccine histories...  I haven't been running around like a maniac, but I feel busy, busy, busy today.  Probably because of the crummy sleep.

 

 

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I only have a negative association with "busy-ness" at this point. I agree with many others that it's like a merit badge that people wear, when, if it's even true that they're busy it's the result of the chaotic environment they created themselves.

 

It's a put-down to others to say "I'd like to do xyz but I'm just too busy." No, you just haven't prioritized xyz for whatever reason. You could do it if you really wanted to. Don't knock me for making it a priority. 

 

Don't volunteer to do a task and then fail to follow through because things just got busy. Life is busy for everyone. Don't make commitments if you're too busy. 

 

Don't answer a public call for volunteers with a long list of "well Monday my kids have dance, Tuesday they have gymnastics, Wednesday they have soccer..." Just ignore the request or say you can't help at this time. You are just humble-bragging and guess what, I don't read that and think "Wow, what a supermom!" I think "Why do you do that to yourself and your kids?" 

 

Don't walk around the office all day chit-chatting and then complain in meetings how you just aren't getting enough sleep because you're so busy at work. No, you're socializing at work. You like to look like you are so overworked and you create this illusion by wasting your time and others' time all day. Sit down at your computer and focus on your job and you'll get to leave at the same time as everyone else. You just look like someone with poor time management skills to me. You don't look busy. (This is an oldie from back in the day). 

 

Sorry, I guess I had to vent. :) I realize there are times when people really are stressed, overwhelmed, and truly busy. I mean, we just finished the holidays and there's no shortage of stuff to do then. It's just the people who seem to think no one else knows what that's like that bother me. 

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When I say I'm busy, it means obligatory things are taking up almost all of my time. When I was taking classes at college, while homeschooling, while working PT, while maintaing a board position at co-op, I felt very busy. I also feel very busy when there are conundrums in my life that I am trying to puzzle through; things that are not easily put to bed make me feel crazy and stressed and (literally) keep me up at night.

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Well, I guess I feel like my Dh is the busiest person I know and he only kind of created the busyness himself (He has two jobs that require him to work lots of hours. One is the army reserves and you can't get out of those contracts and the other is his dream job). Of course, by extension, I feel super busy because I pretty much do every child/household related task. I only have four kids and some times are busier than others. I definitely don't think it deserving of an award. If it were up to me, I wouldn't be this busy.

 

I try not to ever say I am busy, because I do think most people are busy or as busy as they want to be. Usually, people fill up their lives with as much as they can handle, so they truly are busy. My mom is currently "not busy" as she is just working 40 hours a week and volunteering a few. Her New Years resolution is to get a part time job and find a group of friends to play cards with. I think when people don't feel busy they try to fill the time until they are busy.

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I don't think the people I know are doing it as a merit badge/competition for busiest person type thing.

 

At least I don't *think* they are.  

 

A lot of them really seem genuinely stressed by it.  And I don't envy that AT ALL lol - I think that since so many of them lead similar lives to mine (homeschooling a couple kids, limited activities, etc) I just end up wracking my brain like Am I forgetting to do something?  I mean, I don't focus a ton of attention on it lol.  ;)  It's just something that's a curiosity to me because I don't know what all makes everyone feel so busy.

 

But, as far as the personality factor, I'm one of the more fast paced of the group.  When I do feel busy, it is all the more exhilarating of a life for me.  I do recognize, however, that because I'm more task oriented than people oriented, when I'm busy, it's not me or the tasks that suffer, it's the people around me.  So since having kids and all the different ways that my life has changed in the last 15 years, I lead a much slower paced life than what I ever imagined, and have learned to love it.  :)

 

I just try to keep it in mind when I'm itching to go out with friends and everyone hems and haws about it because they're busy.  These are best friends so I know they do want to go - and there are factors of every person's life that make it busy.  And while I can happily go from one event to another in one day, not everyone has the personality to enjoy that - they enjoy being at home (DH is like that).

 

It's just interesting.  :)

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I have a simple definition - I am busy when I am doing something (anything), that's it. Right now, I am busy on the computer. Earlier, I was busy putting the dishes in the dishwasher. This afternoon I was busy driving to an appointment and then to the store. Later, I will be busy relaxing and watching tv. 

 

There have been times in my life when I have been busy and overcommitted, busy doing the wrong things, as well as busy and stressed out about something out of my control (such as an illness). Both being overcommitted and doing the wrong things cause stress, but it is stress that I am choosing and by making different decisions, I can mitigate the stress. The choices I make impact how well I am able to deal with stressors that are out of my control. If I am doing the right things for the right reasons and not doing things I shouldn't be, then I have more energy to work through being busy and being stressed out about something such as an illness. It also makes the circumstances surrounding the illness easier to manage.

 

A lot of this boils down to setting priorities. People largely spend their discretionary time doing things they have chosen to do - even if it is something like driving a child to soccer practice (soccer is big around here, so I'll use it as an example). The parent chose to enroll their child(ren) in a soccer program and are therefore choosing to spend their discretionary time driving to practice. That is just a higher priority for them than it would be for other people, and that's fine. But, I can assure you that getting up at 7:00 am to take my child to soccer practice on a Saturday morning only lasted for two seasons. Why? Because there were other things, like Saturday morning family pancake breakfasts, that were higher on our priority list than having our son play soccer. Was I busy on Saturday mornings after we dropped soccer? Why, yes, I was. I was busy eating pancakes with my family. 

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I am busy. I like being busy- I do get more done when I am busy as long as it is creative and movement oriented busy. The last two years have been too busy- stressful and non-creative busy. It's not rejuvenating, it's wearisome.

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For me busy means moving from task to task with little down time until evening. When my kids were tiny, I was busy chasing them. When they were in elementary school, we stayed busy with their various activities. However, as teens, their activities last longer than an hour and often don't require me to drive, or even be there. I have more free time now. I was happy during the busier phase, so it wasn't stressful overkill, but I do enjoy the luxury of older kids who are happy if you throw food at them a few times a day. Now I have time for MY activities and I love it. I tend to enjoy the phase I'm in, but not miss it when I move to the next one.

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I think if someone (*cough* me *cough*) says, "Oh thanks for asking us, but we're just really busy," it means, "I don't want to offend you, but that's the last thing I want to do." I use it mostly when family members invite us to church functions.

 

Unless someone details the activities keeping them from doing whatever it is, I assume it's a "thanks, but no thanks".

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Don't walk around the office all day chit-chatting and then complain in meetings how you just aren't getting enough sleep because you're so busy at work. No, you're socializing at work. You like to look like you are so overworked and you create this illusion by wasting your time and others' time all day. Sit down at your computer and focus on your job and you'll get to leave at the same time as everyone else. You just look like someone with poor time management skills to me. You don't look busy. (This is an oldie from back in the day).

Word. B.) I worked with someone who constantly kept her inbox stuffed with a ton of crap, so much so that she had to get a double-high slot to contain all the heaps of clutter she stuffed in there. It was like a cheap sausage - 90% filler, 10% meat. Also, when she was working at her desk, she would spread piles of files, binders, papers, mail, checkbook - everything strewn all over. I think she liked the illusion that she must be SOOOOOO productive! But really, she just worked on things in a scattered way, rather than completing a task, filing all those papers, and putting the files away.

 

Drove me batty.

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Some days at work I have patients scheduled one right after another with barely enough time to drive between them. That is "busy" to me. Also, we times when my kids have gigs and lessons with travel in between so we have no time for anything else for a whole week and I feel like I am never home except to sleep. That is busy.

 

If I am home and doing things when I feel like doing them, I am not "busy" even if I get a lot done that day.

 

If someone asks me to do something but I have something else scheduled at that same time or I can't possibly drive to another place this week, I am "busy."

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I feel busy. There's not a day when I don't have to leave the house for months on end. I have a to do list that's never done. I sometimes run late and I'm a very on time person. I don't have a lot of time to myself or the pursue my own hobbies. I'm not busy because it's cool or I'm trying to be supermom or something. And yes, at times I'm quite stressed. But everything on my to do list is things I genuinely want to do, or simply must do.

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I think if someone (*cough* me *cough*) says, "Oh thanks for asking us, but we're just really busy," it means, "I don't want to offend you, but that's the last thing I want to do." I use it mostly when family members invite us to church functions.

 

Unless someone details the activities keeping them from doing whatever it is, I assume it's a "thanks, but no thanks".

I get that.

 

I realize I often say I'm busy when I'm talking to an acquaintance I don't see very often, like "how have you been?" "Oh, you know, busy." But that's just me being lazy and not wanting to go into too much detail.

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This is quite interesting for me to hear that some people find the word busy used like a 'merit badge' or like it is dismissive. 

 

If someone asks me to dinner or to an event, and I say "I can't because I am busy" it doesn't mean any thing other than that.  "I already have something planned".  I don't feel like I need to outline my entire day to justify that I am already scheduled for that time block.  The word 'busy' is just a quick easy way to say it.  I shouldn't have to explain that I might have to go back to work to pick up a few more hours that night, or that it is the only 3 hour block of time that I don't have anything scheduled and honestly....just want to be alone for a few.

 

It is fine to think that others aren't any more busy, than they want to be....unless they have a child that needs extra care, an adult who needs care, a home or animal that needs it, or life style that necessitates that.  

 

I have a special needs daughter (my great-niece) who has standing therapy appointments 2x per week.  My other daughter and I both have standing PT appointments for genetic back issues.  Those are not something I thought of when I planned kids.  I didn't think that raising one extra child, was going to be like raising 4 of my older kids all rolled into one!  It didn't think that my daughter and I would have accidents that result in thousands of dollars of therapy...that I have to work to pay for.  Healthcare was different when I decided to have kids.  Even taking on dd9 was different when we took her on.  When we agreed to take her on, we were getting $500 per month to help raise her, now it is under $300,  and.... we haven't had any money at all, since September.  That difference has to come from somewhere and that means I have to work extra days to make up the pay.  She doesn't cost less to raise, we are just paying for more and more of her care.

 

If someone asks why I work 6 days a week, I don't explain all that.  I say "It works best for our schedules.  We are pretty busy and it helps to spread out my work on more days so I am off when the girls get home from school."  I don't say that we are on the verge of being behind in bills, and if I didn't work 6 days, someone would have to drop much needed therapy! That is TMI....and if someone says "wanna go to a concert on Tuesday", it is much easier to say "I'm busy".

 

Luckily my personality likes to have a busy life style, but honestly, it wouldn't matter if I liked it or not.....It is, what it is, and you can pretty much count on the fact that I'm busy.

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