Reading Andrea’s post about busy-ness reminded me of a change I made awhile ago. I decided that I wouldn’t reply to people that I was “busy” or “too busy” when they made a request. Because it seemed that I’d fallen into a pattern of using that excuse to get out of doing things that weren’t important to me. Instead, I started replying with a more specific response, either letting them know what was precluding me from attending their party/concert/kaffeeklatsch or explaining that I couldn’t help them because I had another responsibility that was taking priority at the moment.
Doing so gave me the opportunity to affirm my priorities, such as replying that I couldn’t attend an event because I wanted to spend time with my daughter that night, or I couldn’t join in on gathering because it was a morning that I needed to be out on the ocean, getting some exercise. I’d like to think that it made my relationships with my friends and associates more authentic, too. Because I was able to honestly respond to their requests with an affirmative “Yes, I will attend,” or a “No, I have another engagement that will take precedence on my calendar.” I’m not sure if that was how it was received, but it made me feel better than just the canned reply of “oh, I can’t–too busy.”
But, additionally, I have been trying to take more time for friends lately. A chat in front of the fireplace, taking a yoga class together, or even just a brief phone call. I don’t want to ever be “too busy” for friends, and it feels good to make time with them as a higher-priority item on my list of possibilities.