BILL MCQUARRIE PHOTO Agree or disagree with Bill McQuarrie’s North Island Rising column? Send a letter to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

North Island Rising: The ‘busy excuse’ has penetrated our psyche so deeply

“Telling people how time-starved your life has become, is a way of bragging about one’s importance”

How often have you heard or maybe even used the excuse that begins with, “Sorry I’m late but I’ve just been so busy”?

It is today’s most overused excuse and a not so subtle way of letting everyone know just how overworked, important and busy your life is.

The busy excuse has penetrated our psyche so deeply that even a simple question such as – How you doing? – will often be answered with, “Busy”.

It is an invitation to ask, how busy and that provides the needed opening for one to roll out the story of their super-charged life. Telling people how time-starved your life has become, is a way of bragging about one’s importance without giving the appearance of actually boasting.

But the verbal swagger is there and is easily recognizable. Being late for that meeting or even something as simple as coffee with a friend and breathlessly apologizing for your tardiness with the ‘I’m so busy’ excuse, sends a clear signal.

You are telling your companion that you see their time as being less valued than yours and can be sacrificed in recognition of your far busier and active life.

The messaging clearly states, “I kept you waiting because unlike me, you obviously had nothing better to do with your time.”

If you took a moment to think about it, claiming your busy is more important than someone else’s time, could be seen as a rather rude and lame attempt to embellish your own self-importance. Are we really as busy as we claim or are we unknowingly turning busy into a means of boosting self-worth?

Are we enrolling our children in every imaginable organized sport or activity because they need and want to or because we always feel kid-care-guilty and have lost touch with what quality time really is?

As a child, if I needed help with my baseball game, my parents didn’t enroll me in and then drive me to a series of baseball camps or blame my coach.

Instead my father and I would spend an hour or two on a Sunday afternoon tossing the ball around, trying new throwing techniques and most importantly, just talking and kidding around. We seem to be losing or have already lost that ability to connect. In its place is an almost masochistic frenzie to organize, plan, digitize, scrutinize and project-manage our lives and that of our family, down to the last minute.

Life has been distilled to a list.

Yes that list and there seems to be no place or time for spontaneity.

And daydreaming type idleness is the obvious work of the devil.

Maybe there is a reason we can’t sleep, are constantly exhausted, have trouble communicating in person, don’t eat properly, are surprised teachers know our kids

better than we do, actually believe we’re good at multitasking, spend more time with our phones than with real people and seldom feel truly satisfied.

Being busy is not a badge of honour or a means of demonstrating how important we are and maybe it’s time we recognized it as an indicator of something gone wrong.

Bill McQuarrie has lived and worked in BC for over 50 years.

A former publisher and more recently an entrepreneur in the science and technology field, Bill retired to Port McNeill where you’ll find him still pursuing his passion as a photo journalist and political opinion writer.

You can follow him on Instagram #mcriderbc or reach him at billmcquarrie@gmail.com or maybe even bump into him fly fishing on the many streams in the area.

Just Posted

Oscar Hickes: The longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island has been cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Port McNeill council wants to see a plan on how to protect and invest tax dollars

“if we can make $40,000 or $50,000 in interest, why not, as it could reduce taxes”

Claire Trevena’s MLA Report for the North Island

“As we head towards Christmas, I, like everyone, hope for a resolution to the strike”

Port McNeill’s annual Christmas Craft Fair

With upwards of 600 people attending this one-day sale, business was brisk.

Manhunt: Port McNeill RCMP catch suspect on the run

Chester was transported to the hospital for injuries and then to the Port McNeill RCMP detachment.

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Trustees ask for more help after tearful meeting on B.C. school’s ‘toxic’ stench

Enforcement has ‘no teeth,’ school trustee says, while kids become sick

One of B.C’s last surviving strip clubs baring all again for Christmas charity

25th annual event is Sunday and raises money for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.

Most Read