Many years ago I knew a man who was phenomenally successful. He’d built his company from scratch in a very lucrative sector. By early middle age he was a multi-millionaire. I remember him saying to me when we were out for a drink one night that people often said to him they were ‘busy, busy, busy.’ He laughed and said to me “what a load of bullshit.” He knew they were trying to sound important. I knew him for some years and I observed that while he would work hard, he never went on about it. He made sure he used his time wisely and enjoyed his leisure time. I’m sure that along the way to his success he must have suffered many a sleepless night and been phenomenally busy but he never had the urge to whine or boast about it. The proof was in his actions not his words, he didn’t need to appear important.
Fast forward to now. Recently I’ve heard people say, “I’m busy” an awful lot and quite frankly I’m beginning to find it a bit insulting. Firstly, it seems to be an excuse at times for not being efficient and secondly, by saying it, it is as if the person thinks no one is busy but them, and the implication from that is that they are more important than anyone else. Not a good look in my book.
Other people have noticed this too. There are those that say they are ‘busy’ and those that excuse poor communication by saying they have been in ‘back to back meetings.’ Yes, we all slip up sometimes but come on, technology has never made it easier to keep in touch. It takes a nano second to send a text and not much longer to send a polite email. By leaving it a week to respond to a question, all you are doing is showing that you are rude or disorganised or both. The most successful people I know are actually the most accessible and often the most humble too.
Then today I came across this article which made for a very interesting read. It’s a potted history of how the cult of busyness came about.
The Cult of Busyness
Now we are all heading back to some kind of normality, it would be nice if the selfishness could take a back seat after all the trauma of surviving a pandemic and if instead of constantly saying, “I’m busy,” people could consider how to organise their time so that they can be more efficient in what they do and make time for others. If indeed they are that busy.
I’ve kept this post short because, y’know, I’m er, nope, not going to say it!
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Author: Petra Kidd
Norfolk UK is my home, I live in Norwich by the River Wensum where everyday there is something different to see and learn.
I feel a big affinity with the river as I grew up in Cambridge, another great river city. My childhood and teens involved many walks along the Cam where we would watch 'The Bumps,' raft races and as we grew older we enjoyed adventures on our punting pub crawls.
Growing up in a multi cultural university city definitely influenced my reading choices, I am a big fan of Japanese fiction, love French literature and enjoy Shakespeare. As a young teen I entertained myself with Jilly Cooper and Dick Francis and then became quite obsessed with Henri Charriere's Papillon. At school all I cared about was English, Art and French, in that exact order. When I finished with school I went to live and work in Greece for a wonderful year before returning to study English Literature and Sociology. At this point I read more classics like the Wyf of Bath, Wuthering Heights and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man plus poets such as Wilfred Owen.
My first UK full time job was with Heffer's Paperbacks where I devoured several books at a time, excited by the fact I could borrow what I liked. Bizarrely for me I remember reading The Zurich Axioms, I have no interest in the stock markets but it had me gripped. I can't remember why I picked it up but I have never forgotten it. Heffers introduced me to so many authors, via their books and sometimes in person. It was here I learned about all the genres, it fascinated me that science fiction and horror were so popular, I tried reading it all.
Aside from writing letters, it didn't really ever occur to me to write anything myself for many years as I worked my way through a variety of interesting and varied jobs. Then on a visit to the London Aquarium I became struck by an idea so powerful I sat down and wrote my first novel. It went nowhere as really I wrote it because I wanted to. I wrote another novel and again, didn't have the persistance or determination to take it further, I simply enjoyed the process of writing and my characters.
Then years later another idea struck me and during a severe bout of Pleurisy where I couldn't do anything physical for months, I wrote the Eight of Swords and The Putsi. This time I published them as ebooks and they became pretty popular. When I fully recovered, I had to concentrate on my business and looking after my mother who has various health issues and the writing went adrift again for many years until 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic hit the world.
March 2020 I moved to my apartment alongside the Wensum to live alone for the first time ever. During the first lockdown I began to write a diary and then the idea for a new set of short stories came to me and in February 2021 they will be published. The Covid-19 Pandemic is not simply a scary virus, it is a historical time and here we are trying to live through it. To many it will feel like a punishment but to me as a writer, in some ways, it came as a gift.
Please stay as safe and as well as you can. I hope to entertain you with my stories as we all try to get through this together, even though we are apart.
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