Almost everyone I know believes they are the busiest person on the planet. When taken to its logical conclusion, of course, this is an impossibility in that everyone cannot be busier than everyone else. Still, it annoys me greatly to hear many of my friends and acquaintances, some of whom are not employed and none of whom own and manage a business, extol their poor time management skills by exclaiming, “I’m so busy.” My mother taught me, many years ago, that most people have plenty of time to do the things they want to do, not to mention need to do. For example, if one is a parent whose child is a team member on a traveling baseball league, one will usually find time to spend weekends driving across the land to attend the child’s baseball games. If this leaves time for little else, then it is because the parent has made the choice to participate in traveling baseball over other, equally reasonable, choices. Saying, “Oh, I’d love to do such and such, but I’m just too busy traveling to out of town baseball games” is not a real assessment of the situation when one could just as easily do any one of a number of other things. Some people value a clean house and they spend countless hours cleaning their house instead of doing something more enjoyable. Due to the fact it is possible to hire a professional housekeeper, thereby freeing one’s time to go to the beach, etc. instead of cleaning house, it defies logic to say, “I can’t join you on your outing because I have to clean my house.” The point of this post is that people have priorities; priorities vary among people; and most people make time to do things high on their list of priorities. Not having time to help someone who is experiencing a personal crisis; not having time to call a friend who has just had surgery; not having time to explore one’s surroundings; and not having time to do some other important things is, in my experience, usually a result of failing to prioritize one’s goals. Decide what is important to you, then do it. Being “too busy” is a poor excuse to avoid doing things.
Melissa wrote this soon after again engaging in one of her priorities – helping others. She has done this since way before she became a psychologist. A friend in need, to her, is a priority. In her life, when the need is there, she is. And thus, the post. Partly out of frustration, perhaps, is that her priorities and those of others don’t always align when extra help is needed. But lately, she’s been working on something and getting strong support in a way that is heartening. The broader post is it seems one can do something, if they want to, within limits of course. That may involve going beyond one’s “comfort zone” and doing something new, different, even scary. Like dining out alone, going to a movie alone, visiting someone out of town, or traveling to a new place. These experiences will likely be good ones if one just gives it a try. Certainly, it will be more rewarding than staying home to wash the laundry or one’s hair. Don’t mask your fears by claiming them to be priorities.