Monday, February 27, 2012


Busy. It's a word we all use a lot these days. And we all feel justified in using it. Life is fast-paced, we have a lot of stuff to accomplish, and we have only 24 hours each day to complete our daily to-do lists. But, recently I have come to redefine the word. Busy, to me, is an offensive four-letter word. At best it's an excuse and at worst, a lie.
And it kills me that I am among the worst offenders.

I am so guilty of 'busyness.' Every day I tell myself, "I don't have time to read that blog post and leave a comment." or "I'm too busy to keep up with friends." or "I know I should e-mail my relatives and update them on my life, but I just can't take the time right now." or "I have too much to do to look at someone's Facebook pictures of their recent trip and like a few pictures or make a comment or two."
But I'm wrong. Very wrong. And, when I take a minute to stop and think, I cringe at my foolish priorities.
I DO have time. I'm NOT too busy. And I constantly have to remind myself of this because my brain continues to tell me otherwise. So I need to include my heart in my daily decisions.
And, slowly, slowly, I have come to realize that people are more important than things, schedules and, dare I even say it, jobs. My relationships with my husband, my family, my friends, and even my casual acquaintances, are a thousand times more important than the silly things I tell  myself I need to do every day.
I am an organized person. So my brain constantly tries to help me stay organized by finding little nonsense jobs with which I could fill up all my time. As much as my silly noggin wants me to believe it, cleaning up my e-mail inbox, downloading pictures people have sent me, combining two similar documents in Google Docs, storing recipes in text documents - while they all have value and would help to declutter my life - are NOT important. They can wait for a down-time when I find myself saying, "Hmm, I have a few minutes with nothing to do. What could I accomplish right now?"
How I wish my e-mail inbox looked (it rarely-to-never does)

Many of you might not know this, but my two primarily love languages are Words of Affirmation and Quality Time. And, the way I see it, it's easy to combine these two. My mum, my grandma and some dear friends often take time from their days to drop a quick comment on one of my blogs. I love finding their words of love there and reveling in their care for me. I am always especially amazed when my grandma comments. Just a few years ago she didn't even own a computer. Now she sends and receives e-mails daily, regularly comments on any blog posts my family members and I write, and even occasionally comments on status updates or pictures on Facebook. And all this is in addition to spending time every Tuesday with my grandpa visiting people who rarely get out of their homes or live in nursing homes, and always writing thank you notes for anything someone does for her. I dare say her love language might be Words of Affirmation as well because she is sure a pro at doling them out. And just in the past few days I received two sweet messages on Facebook. Last week my friend, Kezia, wrote to thank me for a blog post I had written about her. And yesterday my sister, Becky, wrote me a quick three-word note. It was absolutely golden to me. Just a simple, "Love you sis!", but it made my day. Both short notes gave me the gift of words as well as the gift of a few seconds of their time. What a simple way to let me know they loved me and are thinking about me, but yet what a profound difference it made to me.
The sweet notes from people I love

It's a lesson I don't want to forget. I want to adopt it into my own life. So my new pledge is to take a few breaks throughout each day and try to make a tiny difference in the life of someone I know and love. People who are here on this earth right now and just waiting to have someone remind them they are loved. Just a 'like' or a word or a comment or a quick e-mail. Just something to show that I care, that I read or heard, that I understand, that I love. I want to find out their love languages and learn to effectively give them the love they crave in the exact languages they can understand. I hope you'll join me in this goal. Together, in our own simple ways, we can spread love and caring around the globe to the people who mean the most to us.

*Semi inspired by this blog post


  1. So true, Ali. I'm horrible at returning phone calls but really, when I think hard about it, I could take some time off of the computer and MAKE TIME! Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Hi Ali ~ man, as soon as I saw the title in your post I knew that I had to read the whole thing all the way through and COMMENT! (*_*) People being "busy" is one of my all time pet peeves. I feel like people use the word to almost make themselves look and feel important, as in "I'm soooo busy" all of the time. Say what? Just what the heck are you "so busy" doing? I actually adopted a practice awhile ago when people say how busy they are and ask how busy I am...when they say "oh, I'm soooo busy all of the time, you know how it is" answer is pretty much always NO! And do you know what, it makes people mad! Hahaha! It really takes people by surprise. They totally don't know what to say. It's almost an attitude of "how dare you not be busy, I am"! I could go on and on, but I totally agree...stop with the "busy-ness" people, drop all of the stuff that totally does NOT matter and live a more happy, connected life with the people you love! xo

  3. I am thankful for your timely email.
    Just yesterday my friend on 365 Project ( a photo site ) wrote about the loss of his 50 something year old cousin. Joe implored us all to take time for our families most of all not put work and busyness ahead of relationships.
    It was so well put.
    I love you and really appreciate all your meaningful words.
    Thanks, Stacy for your take on this busy life excuse too.
    It only takes a moment to say hi on the street, it only takes a moment to share a smile, it only takes a moment to hit like on fb. Simple things but to some downhearted person, it could mean so very much.

  4. When I logged onto FB this afternoon, all of the things that I need to do this week were shooting through my brain, and all I could think about was how little time I have to do everything. Thank you for this providential reminder. Relationships are what we can carry into eternity, but all the material things we cannot. Praise the Lord. Time to refocus priorities . . .

  5. ewecker@telus.netFebruary 28, 2012 5:40 pm

    Thanks , Ali for the kind words. I was busy today but not to visit at Sutherland Hills and make a new very dear friend. Someone I had never met before. We had prayer together and she begged us to come again, anytime. She is lonely.

    This afternoon I was busy visiting Auntie Beth and spent time reading to her. She absolutely loves it and keeps begging me to read more. I am so glad she is still here for me to spend my "busy " time with.

    Tonight I will spend time doing some of the things I did not get time to do today. Some how or other, they are still here. They did not run away.

    You have many words of wisdom for your young age. Thanks a million.