I often say and hear from others that "I am busy." I find it as my go to phrase. And when I hear it, I get frustrated. I feel brushed off. I feel like I have been given an excuse. I feel left with very little information. Like, we are all busy so of course I know you are too. When I feel this way, I have to stop and think, how often do I say it and leave others feeling that way? And what does it even mean? So, lets get technical.
Per the dictionary, busy is "actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime". Great, that sounds about right. That sounds like most of my day. But let me make sure. Back to the dictionary, work is "exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something," and pastime is "something that serves to make time pass agreeably; a pleasant means of amusement, recreation, or sport." So, basically if I am not sleeping, then I am busy. And for me, sleep is busy because it is a way to "make time pass agreeably" as I LOVE sleep.
My point is, I am always busy, we are all always busy. I am busy doing yoga, typing, eating, talking, sitting there doing nothing, watching TV, reading a book, taking a shower, petting my dog, etc, etc. That when I tell someone that I am busy, I am not giving them any new information. I am giving them a vague excuse. My other option, to leave them in the experience of what is actually going on, is "I committed to XYZ and will not be able to go," OR "I am really not interested in that, maybe something else," Or a simple "no thank you." Or if they are just asking how are you? Busy is not an answer but "great, bad, joyful, angry," etc are a lot of good options, we just have to be truthful. How can we be more clear in our communication with others and get more real with ourselves that we are always doing something and we are the ones making the choice of what we are doing?