Busy. It does not exist.

Henry Ptacek, Graphics Editor

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Am I really busy? I often find myself going on and on about how busy I am. I seek sympathy from my friends as if they don’t have just as many things to do. I want to win the “Having The Most on Your Plate” competition. I don’t allow myself to have meaningful interactions because I protect myself with a simple “You know, I’ve been busy”. I’m beginning to understand the detrimental effects the simple four-letter word that busy has.

Human nature craves empathy, and busyness is a conduit for seeking sympathetic consultations. I have used my busyness as a crutch that leads me to complacency. If I constantly come to believe I am truly busy, I think I’m always accomplished. Inaccurately, I will believe that I’ve already done so much that I can finally take a well-deserved break. Repetition and affirmation of my a single period of busyness yields a break in productivity. In another week it will become untrue that I am busy because I’ve taken my time to rest. Ideological I don’t believe in rest. I may have obligations and my insistence upon my own busyness had made me falsely believe in my own productiveness. Such are the effects of the sentiments that we convince ourselves of. Past the letters, busyness has become a word tied to negative connotations to seek sympathy, or, it is used to create a facade of progress and productivity when, in most cases, there is little of either.

The word busy as defined by Merriam-Webster is to be engaged in action. However, this word has multiple connotations in society, contrary to the simple-seeming definition. These connotations capture the often-negative meanings of the word and are the meaning beyond the denotation or definition. There is a distinction between having a great deal to do and continuously engaging in an activity, and when we say we are busy, we generally fall into the category of the former. Doing something and merely talking about doing something are two very different things, the stark differences between the two have become muddled in our use of the word.

People use the word busy to garner sympathy or reverence. In reality, every person has obligations and even more responsibilities. This constant barrage of activities is common to everyone, so the hope of people to imply significance with this word is unfounded. By its connotations, nobody is “busy”, everyone is just living their lives, each of which is equally “busy”. The constant of doing “things” is an overwhelming theme in the lore of the universe. Stuffs, things, activities are always happening in everyone’s lives. Being busy, by its connotation, does not exist. We can guide ourselves by the relativity of busyness. If we start to understand that most people are all in the same boat then “busyness” loses its meaning. Refrain from thinking that you’re overwhelmed with being busy; just be content that you are experiencing the common ebb and flow of life.

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