Have you ever been busy?
Like really busy.
Too busy to call your friend and disturb them – maybe crack a joke, and then hang up.
Too busy to watch an episode of one of those sitcoms you watch when the only other thing to do is lie on the ground and ponder the meaning of life.
Too busy to scratch your itching arm. or back. or thigh.
I’ve claimed to be busy one too many times before. It always starts out with something. And then the indulgence follows, and before I know it, am BUSY!
In the one year I’ve spent unemployed, there are two types of busy i’ve experienced. I shall thus document my findings:
1. Caught up in the human strength and effort.
Here, i’m busy is very very believable – as in, even the person saying I’m busy believes they’re busy.
What the hell is that supposed to mean, bro?
It means, most times, being busy is not something the person saying it believes. It’s just a means to an end.
Let me continue to explain.
There come times when I get gigs. Graphics gigs to be exact. And as you know, concerts and parties and conferences don’t happen everyday – they are scarce and far apart [Annual conference, not weekly conference.]
Secondly, there are more graphics designers in Kampala than I care to point out (Start by counting every person you see on Nasser Road; yes, even the ones carrying plates of food and juice in plastic cups). This means that of the gigs that are available, I don’t get ALL of them, or say an influx of them that I have to delegate to a team that I employ. No.
So, when a gig comes in, I’m excited. Because money -> rolex -> good day! If it’s a good gig, money -> rolex + pancakes + minute maid -> good day!
Now, when I’m doing the design work (design clients never have time. they want their work yesterday. ALWAYS.), there’s usually not a lot of time, and instinctively, my mind blocks out everything else because I presume that I’ll focus better that way, and get the work done in no time! This is when I tell people I’m busy.
Here’s the catch. It all started with me telling myself that any ‘interruptions‘ are detrimental to my work. I believe that this is all a weight on my shoulders, and that I must accomplish the work or else my reputation (or whatever little of it I have) will be lost.
And that’s when the person narrating pauses the video of me entrenched in my laptop, fidgeting with Photoshop.
“Do you think the thought that this gig came from his Father even crossed his mind?”
“Did he stop to acknowledge that the skills he has have been deposited in him by Father?”
“Does he realize that the will to do these things is also from Father?”
“Does he even know that he wouldn’t be alive right now, if it wasn’t for Christ?”
He’s ‘busy’ – ask that stuff later.
2. Avoiding living by maxing.
Mehn.. Here, you don’t even get to say I’m busy.
You only hear people tell you how they wanted to call you that time but you were busy, or how they whatsapped you and you never replied so you missed the party because you were busy..
Picture a scenario where you’re working a job for most of the day, and you’re pretty good at it!
Even the boss knows your name because when stuff goes wrong, you swoope in and save the day without asking for a pay-raise (because you’re cool like that).
It’s pretty awesome everytime you’re at work – even if there are no birthday cakes, boss is present, and weekend is nowhere in sight! It’s still awesome – because you’re a ninja at what you do there! To paraphrase MC Hammer, they can’t touch you!
Pick any other area of life, really – even if it’s not work. It might be church, home, on the video game, during a match – anywhere.. There’s that one place your inner beast comes out without even trying, and you get all the shit right on the first guess! You’re a sensei there!
Then, when it comes to other spheres of life (yes, life has volume, hence the irony in the phrase ‘the circle of life‘!), things aren’t as smooth. You have to work EXTRA hard to get average ROI. You fail and fail and fail. And fail some more. You’re regular. Like those guys you condescended upon in your realm..You suck. Seriously, bro, you suck!
The seemingly perfect solution then presents itself – why be uncomfortable in places where you’re not as good, when you can have a smile on your face all day, in that place where you’re king?
Ding ding ding! FLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!! Return to place_where_am_king and NEVER return!
And so you stay in that office. In that prayer room. In that kitchen. On that video game. You stay there because you are too afraid (naturally) of being weak, too afraid to suck at something, and too proud to accept to learn.
So you become busy, and the results are awesome!!! and you give that thing MORE and MORE time, and you even get a No-bell piss prize! Your work cured cancer, fed the hungry, and even taught mosquitoes to fly without making noise.
Good for you.
But remember, everytime you leave that place – and you WILL have to at some point – your other ‘lives‘ will be waiting for you..
We can’t run from life. Not for long, anyway..
It takes maturity (a choice) to learn to prioritize what is important, and what is not, and to follow through on those choices we’ve made.
Being a christian, I believe that above all else, one’s life should reflect their joyous submission to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ – be it in the kitchen, the office, the bedroom, that kameeme in that taxi, and even when nobody is watching.
This is my challenge to you (and myself):
Are we ready to stop being busy?