Tag Archives: health and wellbeing

How are you? I’m Busy!

The year 2024 has started with challenging projects and deadlines for me. Like many people who wear several hats, I wish I had more than 24 hours in a day or more than two hands. Thus, last week, I had difficulty responding to “How are you?” It would have been easier and simpler to reply “busy”. Since I felt it was a bit unfriendly, I said, “Alright, and you?” Did they really want to know how I was or what was going on with my life? 

Benoit has told me he doesn’t respond to “How are you?” because it’s just a greeting and doesn’t mean something. If that’s the case, why say “How are you” when you can do it with “Hello” or “Hi”? 

When I say “How are you?”, I mean it as a greeting and wanting to know if the person is well or happy. Therefore, I’m pleased with any of these responses: I’m well, I’m great, I’m okay, I’m alright, and I’m fine. Most people are polite and continue the conversation with “How about you” or “And you?” The chatter can prolong depending on your relationship with the individual (colleague, neighbour, friend, etc.). 

I’m glad I didn’t respond “busy” to “How are you?” because what does being busy mean? Busyness is a choice; you are either busy or not. It’s a relative word and can be positive or negative. Merriam-Webster defines the adjective “busy” (ˈbi-zē) as engaged in action (occupied), full of activity (bustling), foolishly or intrusively active (meddling), or full of distracting detail. (https://www.merriam-webster.com › dictionary › busy).

“Busy” can sound more negative than positive, and if you believe in the law of attraction, it’s one of these words that should be used with care and in moderation, plus the tone. According to the law of attraction, negative thoughts bring negative results into a person’s life, and so with positivism. It is based on the belief that thoughts are a form of energy, and positive energy attracts success in all areas of life, including health, finances, and relationships (Scott, E. 2022. What Is the Law of Attraction? How Your Thoughts Can Influence Outcomes in Your Life. Https://www.verywellmind.com/understanding-and-using-the-law-of-attraction-3144808).

Therefore, instead of “I’m busy”, why not “I’m working on/I’m involved in/I’m tied up”? I sometimes say, “I’ve lots to do but not snowed under”. If someone wants you to do something, try this phrase — “I’m afraid I don’t have time to do it now” or “Yes, when I have a minute”. 

Saying you’re busy can be a writing on the wall or a self-fulfilling prophecy. Busyness (noun; busily – adverb) can lead to self-negligence, unrealistic goals, anxiety, and fatigue that may cause burnout. It can become an addiction, and any form of addiction is toxic. 

No one should be busy not to engage in self-care, i.e. having sound and enough sleep, eating nutritious food regularly, exercising, participating in group activities, etc.

“Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed”.  – Saint Francis de Sales (Https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/busy-quotes).

(Before getting up every morning, while still lying down, I focus on a particular object or subject for calmness – this is meditation for me. We don’t need to be seated on the floor with our hands resting lightly on our legs to meditate. It can even be done standing).

Prioritisation of tasks prevents busyness.

Vanity or career necessity?

Last month, during my Skype lesson, I noticed my student looked prettier than previously.

“You have got sparkling eyes; what’s the good news?”

She giggled and lowered her voice. “I don’t know the word in English; in French, it’s ‘rehaussement de cils’. With this, I don’t need a mascara; when I do, it takes only a second, unlike before”.

After researching on this “rehaussement de cils” (eyelash enhancement), I wanted to do mine too. The eyes are a focal point of anyone’s face. Women with long eyelashes and large eyes are often considered to be beautiful. Was I vane to wish for full and long lashes that would give me a youthful and healthy look without mascara or eyelash extensions?

I was only a few steps away from our local beautician to make an appointment when I turned around. Walking back home, I bumped into my Irish friend. I told her that I had intended to have an eyelash enhancement but didn’t have the guts to do it. Smiling, almost laughing, she said: “You don’t need it; you look much younger than your age.” *

Whether my Irish pal was being nice to me or telling the truth was not the point. Has the rampant use of online platforms for work meetings and seminars since the pandemic led to an increase in cosmetic procedures? Is this vanity or a way to improve self-esteem, confidence and image?

“I had Botox injection because I had enough of seeing my Zoom-fatigue face”, an acquaintance confided in me.  Could she have done something else aside from resorting to this minor cosmetic procedure?

Minor cosmetic operators can be registered and unregistered providers and their costs can be more than one thousand euros per session. The procedure must be repeated, ending up as a permanent feature of one’s budget. How many people can afford this? Those who have money to do it should choose someone or a company registered with their local health or professional regulatory agency.

As well, they should discuss it with their doctor, who might be able to recommend a cosmetic practitioner. Even though they are only thinking of a minor cosmetic procedure (e.g. fillers, neurotoxins and the use of laser and energy devices), there are still possible side effects, such as infection, pain, bruising, dryness and stiffness.

The most popular forms of cosmetic surgery for men are rhinoplasty (nose) and blepharoplasty (eyelid); women’s top three are breast augmentation, liposuction and eyelift.

There are abundant online reports on poorly or incorrectly administered cosmetic procedures that resulted in lifetime scaring and long-term rashes.  So, when you look at your wrinkled or drooping eyelids in the mirror or on Zoom, Teams or Webex, weigh the pros and cons.

The skills, attitudes and behaviours of any teacher, supervisor, colleague, or service provider are more important than physical attributes; therefore, these should be harnessed first. Looking professional and presentable is a sign of respect for your students, colleagues, and collaborators. However, isn’t it a mistake to have a cosmetic procedure only to please others or attain career success?

 “Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” ― Coco Chanel (1883-1971, French fashion designer, businesswoman and founder of the Chanel brand).

*Why do we want to appear younger than our biological age? Age is only a number, and it is the quality of our daily experience that matters.