“Are you keeping busy?”
With some listening, you realize the question you were asked isn’t actually about you. The question is about the other person. She’s looking for someone to affirm her belief that being busy is the same thing as being worthy.
Three of my favorite ideas on the disease of busyness:
“Every time people contact me, they say, ‘Look, I know you must be incredibly busy…’ and I always think, ‘No, I’m not.’ Because I’m in control of my time. I’m on top of it. ‘Busy,’ to me, seems to imply ‘out of control.’ Like, ‘Oh my God, I’m so busy. I don’t have any time for this ****!” To me, that sounds like a person who’s got no control over their life.” ~ Derek Sivers
“Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.” ~ Tim Ferriss
“Staying occupied is a socially sanctioned way of remaining distant from our pain. How often do we hear that someone who has just lost a dear one is ‘doing a good job of keeping busy?’ If we stop we run the risk of plunging into the unbearable feeling that we are alone and utterly worthless. So we scramble to fill ourselves — our time, our body, our mind. We might buy something new or lose ourselves in mindless small talk. As soon as we have a gap, we go on-line to check our e-mail, we turn on music, we get a snack, watch television — anything to help us bury the feelings of vulnerability and deficiency lurking in our psyche.” ~ Tara Brach