One Word. For 2010: Busy. For 2011: Full. (#reverb10)

Like most of the folks I know, my life is what is commonly described as “busy,” and 2010 was no exception. My main job is to direct the UMKC Women’s Center. In addition, Iamtemporarily serving as Acting Director for our Women’s & Gender Studies Program, and teach 1-2 courses per semester. Add to that committees, Staff Council, service to local and professional groups, what seems like a zillion social media accounts, and a personal life — and I have what by and definition could be described as a “busy” life.

BUT. I hate the word busy. In particular, I hate the way it’s used as competition, the way we brandish our “busy” lives at each other in attempts to one-up the other person. The way folks use “busy” as an excuse for anything they don’t want to, as an excuse for avoiding responsibilities, or as an excuse for not having a life outside of work. I am tired of people saying “oh, we really should together, but I’m just so busy.” We make time for what we value, so if you say you’re too busy to see me, you’re saying you don’t value our friendship. Which is fine. But please just acknowledge that and move on. Stop insulting me with the “I’m so busy” line. Similarly, don’t sign up for a committee or other responsibility and then be too busy to actually do it. Just say no in the first place.

So, in 2011, I resolve to stop telling people that I am “busy.” My life isn’t busy. It’s full — full with meaningful work, a husband who still makes me laugh after 12 years, friends and family, good food and wine, and more books than I can get to in a lifetime. In 2011, I will embrace my full life and leave busy behind.

Note: This is my first post in #reverb10, an annual event and online initiative to reflect on your year and manifest what’s next. Each day has a prompt. Today’s prompt is: “One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you?”