Until when I’ll say ‘Sorry, I’m busy’?

15 Sep

Somebody once told me ‘life is what happens when you’re busy doing other things’

Now, that I’m older, and hopefully more mature, I completely relate to the quote,

And I regret all the moments I told someone: ‘Sorry, I’m busy’…

Was I really busy?

Or was it just the quickest and least painful excuse to refuse myself from:

Being there for my growing siblings, and not simply pretending to act as their stand-in mother’. I regret I was too busy to ‘taking care of them’ instead of being the sister and friend they needed me to be;

I’m sorry for always finding reasons not to talk to parents over the weekend, even though they were thousands of miles away and hearing my voice would have given them a great deal of joy;

Going outside with one of my children, and engaging in some made-up fantastic adventure, only because I was finishing up a work piece;

Being patient with my husband after he’d had a tough day at work;

Being there for a friend who tried to share the challenges and misfortunes of a declining relationship;

Now I realize that the dishes can always wait in the sink, the laundry will go nowhere if it doesn’t get done, but my kid’s childhood is too precious to be wasted way;

I discovered that listening to a friend in need, returning a phone call, sending a  ‘just because’ greeting card to a long lost classmate are way more valuable than any work deadline to be met.

I now understand the importance of enjoying a glass of wine at the end of a rough day, with the one I chose to be my partner for life is priceless – especially when he allows me to partake into his difficulties. I’m grateful I can be that person for him, listening, advising, finding a solution together.

I learned I can’t be busy when life calls in; life can’t be happening around me while I’m occupied with mundane chores; life needs me to do my part…

I hope to live every moment of my present and future, thoroughly, and will be glad to tell life: “It’s okay, I’ll take your call, I’m not busy…”

Post in response to the Daily Prompt, “Sorry, I’m busy”.

Other impressions on the theme


Posted by on September 15, 2013 in ART, FAMILY


Tags: , , , ,

17 responses to “Until when I’ll say ‘Sorry, I’m busy’?

  1. Melissa van Herksen

    September 16, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Raquel, I am having a bit of the opposite problem. I never tell anyone “Sorry, I can’t I am busy” then i end up not having time for the important things, having less patience with my kids and never having time for myself. Life is a careful balance, huh?


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 16, 2013 at 10:17 am

      The only thing I can do is to feel guilty and terribly sorry for myself…


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 16, 2013 at 10:19 am

      I know, Meli! You’re so like Leonel!!! He can never say ‘no’ to people, and then end up being super-busy-overwhelmed!!!
      And regarding that ‘life balance’ I’m so far off!!!! Too bad…


  2. expatsincebirth

    September 15, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    You are quoting John Lennon’s song “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy)” and he wrote it for his son Sean. – I completely agree with you. Don’t we often feel busy because we think other expect us to do certain things? And do we really expect us to do so whilst missing precious moments with our kids, our friends, partners etc.? I started to slow down when my kids, family, friends are around. The trigger was that my son did say something very reasonable to me (and he was about 3 years old). After he returned from his daycare and I told him “I’m busy” he said: “ok, tell me when you’re not busy – I’ll wait, but maybe I will fall asleep…”. I immediately stopped and decided that I didn’t want to loose any more time with being busy with “things” and started being busy with “people” 😉


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

      First, had no idea I was quoting Lennon’s song… what a great comment to the post – thank you! And it’s so true: it pains me when one of my little ones comes to me, and I think, ‘oh, boy, I do need to pay attention to them, but couldn’t they come at a different time?’ When I listen to my thoughts, I feel guilty for not having patience for them… and guilty for not being able to fulfill my commitments with the ‘adult world’… and guilty for not enjoying time with my family, due to work, or any other chores… It’s a lose-lose situation for a parent… I live thru this ‘Mea Culpa’ roller coster on a daily basis… At least, I realize things need to change, and are gradually changing… my family is the most important thing I’ve got, and I need to make time for them… especially for the ones who need me the most… thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing your comments!


  3. Lucid Gypsy

    September 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I’m sure you did the best you could at all those moments!


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 15, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      And I’m still trying to.. do my best… but it’s hard… 😮
      Thanks for stopping by, Gilly!


  4. mrylyn66

    September 15, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    Nice post, I was too busy to give it the proper answer it required….oh well, there’s always tomorrow…


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 15, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Absolutely! There’s always tomorrow! Isn’t ‘procrastination’ the word of the moment for our lives? Sometimes I believe I’m always looking for excuses not to get things done… and “being busy” is my favorite escape route! 😮
      Thank you for coming over and sharing your thoughts! Much appreciated.


  5. Felicia

    September 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    “I’m busy” is such a guilt filled excuse, ya know? I often find myself adding up the times I told my daughter “I’m busy” throughout our day together and wonder the same thing.


    • 3rdCultureChildren

      September 15, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      I absolutely agree… and I feel so guilty when I’m working [at the computer] and one of my kids comes telling a wonderful, yet endless story, and I find myself telling them the same thing: sorry, sweetie, mommy is busy… it’s an inherent guilt… you’re guilty because you’re working… you’re guilty for not having time for them… and you’re guilty for putting yourself into that situation… not really a way out, right?



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