Flight of the busy bee

screen of an iphone showing twenty unread emails

I thought being as busy as possible was a good thing but lately my friends have made me think otherwise.

Since moving interstate from Melbourne two years ago, I'd been filling up every second of free time with anything and everything. If I wasn't studying, I was working. If I wasn't working, I was volunteering. The more I used up my time, the less concerned I was with staying connected to my friends back home. I'd almost begun convincing myself that my social life wasn't anywhere near as important as my productivity. All I was telling myself that mattered was ticking every single item off my to-do list, no matter how late I'd sleep or how early I'd wake.

Recently, I made plans with a friend to catch-up over voicechat, convinced I'd let myself be free and have some down time. But in the end, I went back on my initial conviction and told them that I'd have to reschedule again... again. I was expecting the usual "It's fine, don't worry about it!" but instead, the message they sent back was how sad it made them that we hadn't been able to talk for, at that point, a couple of months.

This really forced me to stop and think. I realised that even if I'd begun to place less value on my social life, it didn't mean that my friends cared less about me. I sometimes struggle with the belief that my friends have a genuine desire to spend time with me. I would easily shrug them off thinking I couldn't be that important to them in the first place. The fact was that I'd not only been hurting my relationships with others, I'd been hurting my mental health, too. I felt awful.

I quickly rectified this guilt and rescheduled for a couple of days later and it was one of the most fun voicechats we'd had together in a long time. I still felt the residue of positivity across the days that followed; I felt warm knowing that though I might have not been thinking about my friend, my friend was thinking of me.

Is there someone you haven't heard from in a while? Shooting them a quick message to say you're thinking of them might be just what they need to get through the busybody lives we find ourselves in. And who knows? Maybe it's the exact thing you need too without even realising it.

Tagged in What messes with your head, friends, Wellbeing