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Too Busy for Words?

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Too Busy for Words?

Loretta LaRoche
Loretta LaRoche More by this author
Sep 21, 2010 at 03:30 AM 0 comments

I have a very dear friend whom I’ve known for years. We now live several hundred miles apart and don’t see each other all that often, but we make it a habit to talk on the phone at regular intervals. A few weeks ago it occurred to me that we hadn’t spoken in quite some time, so I called her at home, and got her voice mail: Hello, please leave me your name and number and the reason for your call, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

Two days later she called me from her car phone. “Hi, it’s me. I’m so sorry I haven’t called in such a long time. Things here have been just insane! I’ve been working so hard it’s unbelievable. I had to work on a project all weekend, and when I wasn’t working, I had to take the kids to a birthday party and two play dates. I haven’t had a minute to call. I’m so overwhelmed. I just don’t know what to do.” I didn’t know what to say to her.

How absurd! We haven’t spoken for a month. Then she takes the first ten minutes of our conversation to tell me that she’s too busy to talk to me.

Divulging every ounce of our daily “doings” has become a fact of life. I don’t know when it started, but I can’t recall my grandmother or mother having a need to report how busy they were to everyone that came across their path. Perhaps we’re hoping that someone will come to our rescue if we appear as if we’re going to have a nervous breakdown.

I have to realize that the only one who will rescue me is me!

Unfortunately, we are also in an era where “real” listening has been replaced by practicing what you’re going to say while the other person is talking. Whoever you’re telling how busy you are is chomping at the bit to be even more fatigued and overwhelmed.

I am beginning to wonder if we really want relief or has the mindset of a neverending list of tasks has become the new model of self-worth? If so, we are totally missing the point about what it means to live a fulfilling life. I doubt that at the end of our days people will be eulogizing how busy we were. I would hope that we will be remembered for the joy, laughter, compassion and understanding we brought to our friends, co-workers and family. Now that’s a busy that’s worth it.

Lighten Up Your Week:

Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile. See if you get through the entire call without doing the dishes or peeking at your computer. Just be present and enjoy the conversation. Can you do it?

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