We’re all busy. More important, however, is that everybody else knows that we’re busy. Few street meetings or catch-up phone calls conclude without at least one reminder (lest we forget) that “I’m-we’re sooo crazy-wildly-insanely busy.” There seems to exist a fear within our community that we may be perceived as being idle. God forbid.

What exactly being busy means is open to interpretation. Are you making 15 shawls for sale in a community raffle? Are your parents from Buffalo visiting for the week? Is your contractor being particularly troublesome? Is your daughter’s horse in transit from Vermont? Are you finally clipping all those articles from the magazines you’ve been saving? Or maybe you’ve got three knee replacements to complete before Thursday. Whatever the case, I’m guessing you all feel busy.

But being busy itself is not enough. You must be busier than the next. Implicit in “I’m so busy” is “I’m more busy than you are,” and consequently “I work harder than you do.” This implication extends as well to social busy-ness. “Oh my goodness, we’ve been out almost every weekend night for the past two months, I can’t wait to just have a Lean Cuisine and watch TV,” means “I have more friends than you do.”

Ultimately, no one wants to be the last to leave the party. No matter the setting, we must exit leaving the impression that we have given all that we can give. We are needed elsewhere now and forever.

Still, there are a few things we should never be too busy to do. We should always make time to call our Moms, pat our pets, kiss our children and hug the person lying next to us. And even though he’d never say it, old Dad would probably like a call too.


Brad Woodger lives on Chappaquiddick.