Ellen Mimi Owusu writes : I am busy

By Ellen Mimi Owusu

How many times have you used the expression” I am busy” and how many times have family and friends told you they are busy if you ask for a favour or you were just simply checking on them.

Personally, am stunned when I call or text a friend and during the conversation, their only excuse for not keeping in touch is that they are very busy!  I don’t know about you, but that statement just makes me somehow irritated; because this person on the other side of the telephone is saying to me they have a busier life than me and keeping in touch with me is not their priority.

I have come to the realisation that when someone tells you they are busy, it is not a reflection of their schedule but rather a reflection of your spot in their schedule. 
It is said, “nobody is ever too busy, is a matter of priority”. Sometimes I chuckle when I see people on social media expressing their shock and condolences when a celebrity passes away. I strongly believe these people might have a friend or relative they have not spoken to for years, and here they are grieving over someone they don’t know personally and have never met.
The question is, are you waiting for a friend or relative to pass away before you tell the whole world how much they mean to you? maybe when the person dies you will be less busy to pen out a few accolades for him or her on social media.
We must respect and appreciate the people who have time in their busy schedule for us and love the people who never look at their schedule when we need them.
If a friend or family member is always the one that checks up on you, don’t take that gesture for granted, because one day that person might stop doing that.
This is how I see it, the definition of “busy” is relative. For instance, if being in the middle of doing something let’s say cooking or on the phone with a friend and my husband calls, and I answer, am I still busy? You can be doing something, only to suddenly choose to do something else.
I was “busy” doing something but by stopping and picking my husband’s call, am I still “busy?” of course!   “Busy” is what we tell people who are not very high on our priority. We say we are busy because relative to whatever we have going on in that moment, or that day, or that week, or that month, they are not a high enough priority to make the time for. How many times have you told one person, “I’m sorry, I can’t, I’m busy,” and then minutes later you are doing something else for someone else. You weren’t busy. You just didn’t see them as a priority. 
A true story is told of a prominent man who is the CEO of a multinational firm. This man’s response to any request apart from work was that he is busy. When his Pastor asks him why he does not attend church anymore his answer is he is busy.
He is too busy to attend activities at his children school, too busy to spend time with his wife or sit down and have a meaningful conversation. Then one day after a routine check-up this man was told he has cancer! Suddenly, he was not too busy to go to church, pray, spend time with the family and do all the things he was too busy to do initially.
Sociologist Jan Yager opines, “The reason ‘busy’ shuts people down, whether it’s a friend or anyone else. What the person hears is ‘I’m too busy for you. Family and friends give us someone to laugh and cry with and share meaningful moments together. They also help us to cope with stress better.
It takes less than 10 seconds to text good morning, there are 24hours in a day, am I not worth your 10 seconds?  And next time someone asks you how things are going, pause before you fall back on the busy answer.
Instead, use it as an opportunity to say something interesting, “Be creative, say something that you’re engaged with or excited about; something you’re working on, something that you have done at the weekend. If something or someone is important to you, you will make time for it or them. Life is too short, have time for the people in your life.