I am not impervious to the fact that people generally leave busy lives. Work, appointments, family obligations, time with friends, time for yourself, all those responsibilities that each and every one of us has makes us busy by nature.
I understand busyness: I know busyness. I’m just as busy as the next person – I’m working on finishing the third book in the Collide Series, which just so happens to be the fifth book that I have written in a two-year span since I decided to actively pursue my writing career. I’m working on re-releasing the first two books (Collide and Consumed), while I’m also focusing my attention on readying the two books I wrote in The Damaged Series for publication with Booktrope. That alone comes with a lot of background work, a lot of little details that take up a surprising amount of energy and time. Then there’s all the takeovers and the little things I do to get my name out there. I’m busy doing this, and that’s not even all I do. I’m a parent, I have a huge family and a large amount of friends. I know that it’s important to keep all those relationships and friendships in good standing. When people feel ignored, they get hurt. Constantly bailing on someone because of “your busyness” hurts them, because it means you are never prioritizing them even just a little bit.
I know I’ve hurt people accidentally in the past, simply by getting distracted and consumed in all that I’m doing. But I make a conscious effort to come up for air and feed all those starving relationships and friendships, because people are important to me and I don’t want them to feel forgotten or insignificant because I was “too busy” to stop and think about someone else’s feelings.
That being said, I know that sometimes, certain things have to fall to they wayside. You can’t juggle it all and a lot of the time, you have to choose which balls you’re going to drop in order to continue juggling at all. I’m a pretty understanding person when it comes to that kind of thing; even if it stings a little. I know I personally get aggravated when I have to drop a few balls, because I don’t want to drop anything. I want to keep juggling it all perfectly. I want people to look at me and say “Look at how balanced she is! Look at the way she manages it all! Like a perfectly oiled machine!”
Unfortunately, I am not a well oiled machine, nor am I a master of time management (although I’m working on it). Sometimes, you’ve just got to decide what’s more important and do that, and pray that everyone around you understands.
But my issue lies with the fact that nobody owns their reasons for dropping the ball. Nobody says “yeah, I actually have to cut this out of my life because I don’t have the time to manage it,” especially when it concerns another person or is considered important to multiple people. Especially when it was once important to us.
We are too afraid of letting other people down; we’re too afraid of being seen as a human with flaws. We want to be perceived as perfect and capable, or at least…as close to those things as we can get.
I got hung up on that; that fear of disappointing those around me. I refused to face the truth and accept it for that it was: a fact. People change, people grow, priorities change and other things take precedence. You have to admit it to yourself sooner or later, though.
I can’t even say that “from now on, I’m going to focus on my family and friends, my writing, and any responsibility or obligation that pertains to those things and people“, because I was already doing that. I’d already dropped a few balls, I just didn’t admit it out-loud or to anyone else. Saying it would have made it even more real: saying it would have opened up the floodgates to disappointing people, but lying is never good and I was uncomfortable to the fact that I was lying to myself. Then I realized how I was contributing to this theory that we need to please everyone by effectively running ourselves completely into the ground.
I wanted to come up for air, so I did.
I’m going to stop letting my busyness be an excuse, but I’m also going to stop trying to juggle 50 thousand things at once. I’m going to focus and center myself so I can get to a better state of being.
If that doesn’t sound like some zen-like hippy crap, I don’t know what does.