The busyness contest. Have you noticed it lately? I believe that it’s the plague of our time. The opening gambit of our conversations now seems to be listing to each other how many activities we MUST engage in over the next day, week, month, year. And sadly this is the often the only substance of our conversations. It’s the new one-upmanship, almost a competition to see who can evoke the most sympathy by proving they are the person most terrorized by this dreadful disease. Don’t we have anything else to talk about other than what really amounts to our poor time management and lack of conscious choice about how we will spend our time?

I for one am heartily sick of it. And I am as guilty as the rest: ‘Oh sorry I haven’t called you; I’ve just been so BUSY lately’. I made a new year’s resolution this year to stop saying talking about how busy I am. I can’t say that I have always been successful. However, I have noticed a solid lowering in my daily sense of urgency since I have stopped winding myself up time and again by listing off the impossible amount of activities that I am unwisely attempting to cram into an unrealistically small space of time. Also, if my time is indeed limited, why not chose to spend it focusing on more interesting interactions with people than this boring listing thing?

Keep in mind the next time you open your mouth to start the ‘I’m the king/queen of busyness’ gambit that the person you are talking to is likely suffering your illness too. Let’s help our friends and the human race in general by refusing to participate. Let’s not be ‘listers’. Remember it is most often YOUR CHOICE to be this busy. You CAN quit your job, work less hours, buy less stuff, get to know your kids, watch less horrid TV, and so on. And how about showing some interest in another person rather than using them as some sort of vessel to impress with your ‘in-demandness’. Stay tuned for more on what we can do to come at this disease from other angles.