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I’m Not Too Busy

This is one of my favorite pictures my husband has done lately.  It is a HDR texture blend from his collection.  This was taken on our museum trip during our Minimalist Christmas.

Minimalist and simple living is so much more than just decluttering the house.  lets go deeper.

How conversations so often go:

“Hey, Sally.  Haven’t seen you in forever.  How’s it going?”

“Hey Jan.  It has been a long time.  Just been busy


“Hi John, How are you?”

“Hey Bill.  I am sure busy this time of year. You?”

Busy as always.”

It is like so kind of life rite-of-passage.  Busy.  It is often true.  My husband texts me during the day and asks how it is going, and usually, I can usually honestly answer busy.

But why?

Why can’t it be Good, Great, Engaging, Exciting?  I used to think always answering ‘Good’ to the question of ‘How are you?’ was unoriginal and closed, but ‘Busy’ is far worse.  It seems like people almost have to prove they are working hard, right up to their limit, to earn a status in life by claiming to be busier than everyone else.

Just like happiness, busy-ness is a choice.

What is busy anyways?  Fully occupied, crowded, no more room.  All to often, when people use the word busy, what they really mean to say is ‘too busy’, like there are things that they want to fit in their life, but feel they can’t make room or time for.

Busy is a time measurement and everyone living has the same amount of time.  Most of us have the same requirements of our time:

  1. family and friends
  2. sleep
  3. work
  4. eating and hygiene

But somehow, more and more people are trying to live a life where everything doesn’t fit.  Or, when other people ask, they want to portray living this crazy life so that they fit in and establish their societal worth.

I have been thinking on this word for the last few months, and it has repelled me more and more.  Busy is usually a negative word.  It is a controlling word, and a word-wall built up to protect and hide.

Busy can be created by choice by trying to fit to much into my life or, busy can be a frame of mind.  Sometimes, if I only have one or two big things needing to get done in my day, they make me feel like the whole day is busy, when it really isn’t.  I then carry a busy, behind feeling with me all day for no reason.

So yes, usually my life is busy.  I am trying to work on my blog and writing, while trying to help my husband with his business, while trying to home school the children, while trying to maintain order in the house.  But life is a choice and busy-ness (in the overwhelming feeling of it) is a choice.  Most things that I allow myself to get worked up about are things that can wait another day, or even another week.

I have tried over the last month or so to never answer with the word busy in the sentence and I am going to try, in word and in thought, to remove it from my life in 2012.  The minutes, hours, and days of my life are mine to chose, mine to have and give.

I can be focused, dedicated, or engaged in the present, but I never need to be busy.


  1. Reading this reminded me of a text message I had from my brother yesterday. He started a new job a week or so ago and having not heard how he’s getting on I decided to drop him a quick text to find out. His reply? ‘Busy, very very busy! But good yeah.’

    After reading your post I’m left thinking about his reply again. I mean, what does ‘busy’ really mean in his context? (Fear not – rhetorical question.) I still don’t know if he is enjoying his new job, settled in a new city 10 hours drive from where he usually calls ‘home’ and if his colleagues are friendly!

    So I agree, busy is a pretty rubbish word! Oh but on a more positive note … your husband’s photo is beautiful. Please pass on my compliments. 🙂

    • I will pass on the compliment thanks!

  2. That’s a good way to look at it! My favorite response to questions about how I’m doing is “better than I deserve.” 🙂

    • Yes, that is a great one. I need to start using that. Was that a Dave Ramsey thing right?

      • Actually, I have no idea where it came from originally, but I borrowed that saying from my former worship pastor. 🙂

        • Maybe Ramsey got it from him 🙂

  3. Hi Lori, being “busy” is most definitely a rite of passage or some sort of status symbol at my job. Because if you’re not “busy”, then perhaps you’re not earning the company as much as you should be. I definitely hear the “b” word often in the halls…well, maybe I used to before the recession hit.

    Like you, I’m also recoiling at using that phrase in my vocabulary. But let’s not replace it with “living the dream”, ok? That one is way worse. 🙂

    • agreed 🙂

  4. Danielle Danielle

    Love the Dave Ramsey quote. My hubby uses that. Great post. I certanly have to look at life in a different view than “busy”

    • great! Glad you liked it!

  5. Oh dear, I’m so guilty of this. Okay, time to change that automatic response!

    • oh me too. I have done it for years. I just started thinking about it a bit ago and then it was so obvious to me how much me (and others were doing it)

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