That's been my default reply when someone asks me how I'm doing or how things are going. I honestly cringe every time it slips out of my mouth, but it's the honest to goodness truth.
I don't say I'm busy as a way to validate myself. I also don't say it to sound impressive, because being busy isn't impressive to me. It's exhausting, and as I've said previously I'm consciously working to find ways to cut back, reduce my commitments, and give myself more time and space to relax.
It's not going great so far. I'm a people pleaser and I tend to take on more than I should. I want to do ALL THE THINGS but unfortunately it's just not realistic or sustainable long-term.
Some of these things are exciting and fun, and I truly want to do them. Others I've picked up out of feelings of obligation, guilt, or not wanting to let other people down. It's a tricky balance for sure.
One thing I am certain of is that I never want to be the person who puts their friends and family on the backburner. I have several loved ones who are going through some serious stuff right now, so I feel more strongly than ever that I need to have more time to dedicate to my friendships. I want to be there for them, to be a support system, to lend a sympathetic ear or whatever else it is they may need.
I'm super lucky to have friends who are understanding when life gets busy. We don't get to talk as much as we'd both like. I know that if they ever needed me or vice versa, we would be there for each other. Even if we don't get to talk super often or know every detail of the day-to-day… we know deep down that we love and understand each other. I am so thankful to have those women in my life, and they know who they are.
Lately, I've had several friends share some seriously heart-wrenching things that they are going through. From marital struggles, fertility issues, parenting difficulties, business failures to health concerns… the people I love are going through some tough stuff at the moment. Knowing how to respond in these situations is never easy. I feel each of their pain so deeply in my heart and wish I could offer the right mixture of words to make their pain go away, but I know that's not possible.
More often than not I tend to talk too much. I have always been a “fixer” — I want to help to find a solution or talk things out, but sometimes that's totally not what the person needs. It's been a struggle of mine, learning how to handle these situations, deciding what to say or what not to say. I wish I could do more, be more, give more to each of my friendships, but time and other resources are limited. When they live thousands of miles away, it can be even harder to figure out what to do.
When your friends are hurting, how do you help? In these busy, go-go-go times that we live in, how do you find time to tend to your friendships?
As I was writing this post, I decided that sending a card would be a good idea. I have several friends who I want to reach out to and send a little note, but I don't really have a ton of extra time to go pick out cards and write them by hand, pick up stamps and head to the post office. Then I remembered about Postable – the free online address book service that I've been using for several years. I've been using it quite a bit lately to send little notes to friends and family because it's super convenient and they do all the work for you (other than deciding the message to go inside.)
While I really would prefer to hand-write my own cards, Postable is a great alternative because it's seriously just so convenient. Plus, they've got a ton of gorgeous card designs from companies like Rifle Paper Co. and One Canoe Two, so they are high-quality cards like you'd pick up at your favorite local boutique stationery store.
Hopefully the sincerity of the message outweighs the fact that it wasn't actually written by hand. In the end, I really do think it's the thought that counts, and hope that the little notes I sent will serve to brighten their days and remind them that I love and miss them all!
Hey, in today's modern, busy world, even a card written by a robot has to count for something, right?