Pearl Lorentzen

Recently, I realized that my pat answer to the salutation, “How are you?” is “Busy, but good.”

I also realized that often I mean “busy, and good,” as I find a certain level of busyness fulfilling.

At other times, I mean “busy, but surviving” and sometimes what I really mean is “busy and stressed.”

Much of what I am busy with is fulfilling work, volunteering or hobbies. I enjoy all of these things, but I also need time to rest.

Words have power. I’ve realized that the part of the saying “busy, but good” which makes me feel like I’m surviving and not thriving is but. But makes busyness negative, when in actual fact some of the time, possibly 50 per cent or more, busyness is positive or at the worst neutral.

However, overindulgence in busyness or leisure, eating or not eating, etc. makes something negative.

Most things in moderation can be good for a person. When it comes to busyness, there are two extremes – people who volunteer for everything and those who never volunteer. I have been on both sides of this depending if I have energy or am burnt out, usually from over-volunteering.

However, I’ve never found a hard rule of “just say, no” useful. It increases my stress, because I feel pressure to refuse fighting with the pressure to accept.

I believe there is a simple phrase that people on either side of the spectrum can use to help them find a balanced middle ground.

“Let me think about it, so I can see if it aligns with my healthy boundaries and schedule.”

This item is reprinted with permission from the High Prairie, AB, South Peace News. For the complete article, click HERE

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