“Hey you’re back! Congrats married man! I’ve been meaning to get back to you but just SO crazy busy! Hope you’re doing well. Would love to catch up. I was actually meaning to write you for so long but so busy. Hope the honeymoon was fab!”
This is an actual text message I received yesterday on my way home from the office. Verbatim. The author is a friend. Not a great friend, but an old friend. We were friends growing up, but in recent years haven’t stayed in touch as much, as we’ve gone our separate ways since graduating college in 2003.
For a little context, Alyssa and I got married May 15 on the Caribbean island of St. John and then went on a 2 week honeymoon to Vietnam. All in all, it was the absolute best month of our lives so far.
The above text is my friend’s attempt to “catch up”, to let me know she’s thinking about us. How kind. I suppose if I cared enough, I’d call her up and say, “Really? You’ve been so busy that you can’t pick up the phone and make a 10-minute phone call? We’ve known each other for 15 years and this is how you congratulate us on our wedding? You must be the busiest person in the world.”
But I don’t care. Why? Because she doesn’t. The way I interpret this text message is: “I really wanted to call and congratulate you on geting married, but I have so many things to do that I couldn’t make time to call you. The thing is, I just don’t care enough to make calling you a priority, so I figured I’d drop you this text message while I sit at the traffic light on Route 35. I know a phone call would have only been 10 minutes, but I just don’t have 10 minutes in my day (or month) for you. Hope all is well!”
It couldn’t be any clearer. I’m not hurt. I don’t blame her. To be fair, I haven’t made her a priority in my life over the last few years either. But I don’t fill her text inbox with the busy excuse. In this fast-paced world, we’re all at least a little guilty of getting caught up in the race, the contest to see who can be the busiest. It really takes some maturity to step back, look at your busy life, and make a mental list of priorities – what you want to do with your time, whom you want to spend it with, whom you want to keep in touch with, etc.
At this stage of my life (I’m 29), I’m married and will look to start a family soon. I know who my close friends are. I don’t want (or need) to make people like this text message author a priority. It’s a waste of time. My good friends and I make time for each other, regardless of what is going on in our lives. And that’s the way it should be. That’s why we’re good friends.
We all have things to do, places to go, jobs to complete, obligations to fulfill. Being busy isn’t a very exclusive club; anyone can be a member. I’m sick of hearing the excuse. How about you?