“When someone tells you I’m too busy… It’s not a reflection of their schedule; it’s a reflection of YOUR spot on their schedule.” – Steve Maraboli
The other day, I learned that a co-worker’s husband had passed away suddenly. He was in his early 30’s, was healthy and yet fate dealt him and his wife a hand neither deserved.
It’s been several days since learning that news and yet I still can’t rid my thoughts of this unfortunate reality. Perhaps not surprisingly, I’m thinking of my own mortality – I’m ten years the young man’s senior – and of course my wife and how awful it would be if I were to leave her too soon.
I’m also thinking of something we all say far too often and far too easily.
I’m too busy to spend time with you.
I’ve reached an age where I’ve seen firsthand how often people say “I’m too busy” as an excuse to hoard their own time for what they deem important.
And as saddening as it is to admit, I myself have been on the receiving end of such excuses.
Most recently, I’ve been repeatedly trying to make plans with someone – offering many options for dates and times as to not appear inflexible. Yet with all the effort and creative scheduling, the words “I’m too busy” still echo in the background.
Steve’s quote above is powerful. “It’s not a reflection of their schedule; it’s a reflection of YOUR spot on their schedule.”
Maybe I’m naïve, but I don’t want to believe that statement is true in this situation. The holidays are often a busy time of year for many of us and perhaps the added stress of societies current circumstances is increasing that busyness.
Or perhaps I’m simply deluding myself as they’ve made it perfectly clear that my spot on their schedule falls way at the bottom. It’s a lousy feeling to experience such unimportance, yet sadly I’m sure I’m not alone.
While I certainly cannot change the behaviors of others, I certainly can change my own. The untimely passing of the young man above has taught me an invaluable lesson – perhaps one of the most important in this life.
Time spent with the people who mean something special in our lives is something you cannot get back once it’s gone. We need to stop thinking that life is infinite – that we’ll keep going on as we are without any hiccups in the road.
If I was reminded of anything this week it’s that life is fragile and can be taken away from us without warning. Maybe the next time we’re so quick to say we’re too busy, we instead should say I’ve set aside this time just for you my friend. Wouldn’t that be a nice change.