Why is whining about being busy the latest trend?
"How are you?"
"Busy … So, so busy … So incredibly busy … Busier than ever … Just so busy … Could not be busier".
Have you noticed how busy we all are? Or how busy we all keep telling each other we are?
Ask anyone how they are these days, and most times, the answer will be "busy".
Then, the person will ask us how we are, and we will say "Oh, so busy", and before we know it, we are locked in the widespread, 21st century competition of "Who is the busiest person here?"
"Oh hi Sarah, how are you?"
"Busy, just flat strap, you know?"
"Oh I know, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I get up, I feed the kids, I go to work, I come home, I cook dinner, and then Doug and I try to help the kids with their homework and then I go to my pilates class and do a little bit of paperwork and then I just collapse into bed."
"Well, I WISH my life was like that. I do all of that, but of course you know I am also studying for my Master's Degree, I am running the school fete, and Henry's entire family lives with us."
Now, do not think I am mocking these entrants in the who-is-busier stakes because I do it too, and you know what? I win.
That's right, you busyness amateurs, I win because this morning I got ready for work in my car. And when I say got ready, I mean the whole kit and caboodle. I got changed in my car. I put on my work shoes in my car, I brushed my hair in my car and I put on my make up in my car. All in the work carpark, where, had any one walked past to see me strangely contorted in the passenger seat would have said "Well, that's sad. I heard Frances Whiting had fallen on hard times".
Now, the reason I got changed and ready in my car was that we had a particularly busy morning at home. There was the usual breakfasts to be had and uniforms to be ironed, and pieces of paper to be signed for school outings or activities and emails to be answered, and dogs to be walked, and trumpet to be practised - and then my daughter threw in the curve ball of announcing it was free dress day.
I hate free dress day. It always takes me by surprise even though I have had several reminder notices about it.
Anyway, all of this was going on in the middle of a phone interview I had to do, and before I knew it, the kids had to be dropped off and I was still in my walking clothes.
So there. If you can top that in the busyness stakes, please go right ahead.
In the meantime, I will be cooking dinner while ironing uniforms, adjusting dance costumes, talking on the phone to my mother, and thinking that somewhere, somehow we have all got it terribly wrong.
Frances Whiting is a columnist for The Courier-Mail.