My mother in law made a comment the other day that stuck with me. I can't quite remember the setting, but we were chatting over what our family's week was going to be like. She named some of the events taking place in her home, shared some about my brother-in-law's, and then when she came to us, she laughed and said "Well, you guys are always just busy anyway." And that was that.
It was a offhand remark that really wasn't supposed to mean anything, but it nagged at me. Her tone wasn't accusing, more just stating fact. And I didn't like it. Because she was right.
We are really busy. So busy in fact, that I realize I'm always to get on top of things without ever really getting to the bottom of things.
That's the thing about of human relationships. They don't function off checklists. Quick hellos and how-are-you's are only small supplements to what should be a solid foundation.
"Busyness" is a disrupter. When I ask how someone is, I ask to know how their lives are going, whether they feel bored, excited, content, or whatever it may be. But the response that I hear the most, and the one that I even personally dish out, is "We're doing good. Just staying busy."
Here's a consequence of that response.
Most people I know are not good at asking for help when they need it. They don't want to be a "burden". So they tentatively poke around to see where they can find help, and don't ask for it when they feel like someone is too busy. That's killer. If I knew that someone needed me, then I want to drop what I'm doing and help out when possible. But people don't usually ask. Maybe that's because they think everyone is too busy.
These verses from The Disease of Being Busy are fantastic.