Why I no longer use the word busy

When you say to someone you are passing in the hallway, “hi, how are you” how likely are they to respond, “busy, but good!” That’s how I used to respond too, until I realized that I’m actually not busy. That’s why I dropped the word busy from my vocabulary. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot going on these days. I have five kids. I help run a fast growing digital agency and a nonprofit. I’m involved in my community. And, of course, my kids have extra curricular activities that have me playing taxi cab often.

But, at the end of the day I’m not busy. I know this because I still have time for what matters most to me. I finish work at 5pm or very close to it. I have dinner with my family every night at the dinner table. I have time to write, read, think, and occasionally to even build furniture for my wife! I have time for the things that truly matter to me and my family, which to me is the opposite of busy.

Busy is frantic. Busy is overwhelmed. Busy is packing so much into one day that there is no time to actually enjoy that day. Busy is mental exhaustion. I am none of those things because I choose not to be. I choose to do less, to miss opportunities, to say no to things that are good but not best. I choose to not be defined as busy. I also choose not to use that word longer. If you ask me how I am, I’ll tell you I’m terrific.