Many years ago, near the start of my broadcasting career, I was offered a big-time morning show gig in Toronto. So was my on-air partner. He turned it down fairly quickly and I think our boss thought I would just as quickly follow suit because, as the lowly chick sidekick, Big Toronto Station wouldn’t want my solo ass without the Big Manly Kahuna. We were a team and a darn good one. Boss-man assumed we’d both stay. Of course he threw a bunch of (bribe) money at my colleague and not a single penny at me. His reasoning was – and I quote – “Sorry Vickie, there just is no more money.” And I naively believed the budget was tapped.
But crazy as it may be this Toronto station was still throwing all kinds of money and perks and fabulous things my way. And I was really tempted. So my morning partner (who did not want to lose me) said “Vic, now you listen to me. There is no such thing as “no more money. There is only ‘no more money for you‘. So you get back in that office and tell him what you need. Because once he realizes you’re serious about leaving guess what? There will be more something … for you.”
Turns out the something was an extra two weeks vacation per year and a car. A fancy, brand spanking new, super sexy top-of-the-line car. My belief was that, being radio, my boss had pulled a contra deal with the dealership. That the extra holiday time and bartered car were things he could give me even with no more money at his disposal. I was wrong. I found out later that the station was actually paying the almost $500/month lease! So as you can see, there was more money. Even for me.
Which brings me to friendship, socializing and accountability. Because when you want to spend time with someone and they tell you that they are “too busy” what they really mean is they are too busy for you. They are not too busy to do all of those other things that are causing that busy-ness. Much like the money that was actually there for me, the time could also be there for me. So when they say “Sorry I’m too busy” what they really mean is “I am just too busy for you.”
I wrote a blog a few years back called The Friendship Totem Pole and this speaks to the same principal. We all stack our priorities. And even though those priorities can shift position daily we stack them according to our choices. That’s not to say that the single mom working three jobs and ferrying her kids to ballet class and soccer practice has much choice. And don’t yell at me okay … that is just an example. We all have commitments and responsibilities. But then, most of us also have the luxury of choice. We can decide where, and with whom, to spend our leisure time. We can choose our friends and our drinking buddies and our hobby pals and our dinner party guests.
So here’s the thing – if you keep choosing someone and they are too busy to choose you, maybe it is time for you to make some new choices? What is that expression? Don’t make someone a priority when they are only making you an option.
I am a huge believer that it is better to suffer with the knowing than suffer with the wondering (and yes, that is a Vickie quote). And I’ll tell you what, it is hard to swallow that there really is no time/money/whatever for me. I’ve made a career out of being available, giving, caring for, cooking for, celebrating and facilitating. So when I finally have to accept that someone is too busy for me, yeah, it kinda stings.
Don’t worry. I’ll get over it. And SO WILL YOU.
When someone is too busy for you, let them go. Let them go be busy and you go get busy with with folks who are not too busy to fit you in. That is your tribe. Those are your people. Whatever you thought you might share with those busy bodies is an illusion. Or a desire. Whether based on history or fantasy if it’s not happening because they are too busy, let them go.
If they ever decide to get un-busy, you can still be there with open arms.
Like I said, busy-ness is all about choice. Now go make yours.