“So sorry I haven’t seen you, we must catch up. I’ve just been sooooo busy! Let’s catch up soon.” – How many times will you have that conversation in the next few weeks and months? The start of another year can suddenly bring into sharp relief the relationships where we somehow have not caught up since sometime in 2016.
Here’s the thing. Life has never been busier. But if a relationship is truly important and of value, we will find a way to make time and make it work. Whether we catch up with someone or not says significantly less about the amount of entries in our diary and much more about the inherent value we are placing on spending time with that person.
I can’t afford it means “I’ve chosen to prioritise that spend on the mortgage rather than the shoes”. On the petrol rather than the gig tickets. Or the weekend away rather than the garden supplies. We understand that there is a certain amount of money available and we need to make choices. We say “I can’t afford it”, whereas actually, the truth is a far more empowering “I’ve chosen to prioritise the money in a different way”.
And so it is with our time. We can smooth things behind “I’m just so busy”, but actually the truth is a more empowering, “I’ve chosen to spend my time with other people on other things”. It’s just that that is not as socially acceptable to convey! “I’ve been so busy” is the handy social nicety that covers up our true priorities.