I have a pet peeve that has been snowballing a bit and it is now no longer really a "pet peeve" but a major irritation!! It is seemingly so meaningless...but it has such enormous underlying threat. While this is a pet peeve of mine, I have found myself guilty of this so often, so this is mostly me admonishing myself. This pet peave is these simple words, "I'm really busy". The words or any combination with the words "I" and "busy" are so often used as an absolution from guilt of actually participating in people's lives.
Here's what I'm talking about:
1. "I'd love to go visit my daughter, but man, I've just been so busy...there just isn't time. "
2. "Wish I had the time to volunteer at my kids' school, but I am so busy with work, just can't do it."
3. "You would think that my neighbor and I would see each other more, but boy, we are both so busy!"
4. "My sister and I never get to see each other because our families keep us so busy."
5. "If I could get some exercise I could really lose weight, but I am just too busy."
6. "My kids haven't seen their grandparents in a while, but they are just so busy with school."
7. "I'm just too busy to take time for myself."
I could go on and on. What is so pathetically sad is that most of what we are busy has little to do with people and so much to do with things. If life is made up of relationships (person to person), then why do we spend such precious little time on those relationships?! We run ourselves ragged with "To Do" lists, chores, obligations, commitments, responsibilities and then what have we left to give to the PEOPLE in our lives....living, breathing, feeling PEOPLE, not objects that are incapable of receiving and benefitting from our time and affection.
I am determined not to forget a wonderful lesson that I learned from my dying mother. She lived for about a year and a half knowing that her death was close and inevitable. During all of our conversations over coffee and lemon tarts or chocolate cookies, she did not pine over jobs that she did not take. Nor did she say, "Wow, I wish I bought that cute top a couple of years ago". She did not long for another opportunity to give her car a better scrub or wish that she had completed more lists. What she would say to me over and over was, "Nickipoo (yes, she called me Nickipoo!), this makes you appreciate what is REALLY important." and "Everyone's time will come, don't take anything for granted". She did not long for more time to complete tasks but rather more time to spend with family, her daughter, her son, her grandkids and siblings that she very dearyl loved. THAT'S what life is all about - giving and receiving and pouring your whole heart and soul into the PEOPLE that we love and love us.
Sooooo, I'm swiping "busy" from my vocabulary and replacing it with "fully engaged"! Fully engaged in living life and participating in the lives of those important to me. Fully engaged in activities that feed my heart and soul and the hearts and souls of the people most precious to me.