Adults everywhere are infatuated with the word “busy.” Some flash it as a badge of honor, while others are at best misusing it.

Take the basic conversation, which could happen with family, friends, a spouse, or co-workers.

Conversation One

“How was your day?”

“Oh, so busy.”

Conversation Two

“Do you want to get together this weekend?”

“Sorry, I can’t. I’m just too busy.”

How draining is it to hear that response from someone? How do you even respond to that? The term elicits a sense of disappointment and exhaustion. You can’t help but feel bad for a person who says they’re too busy, they’ve been busy, or that they expect to be busy for the foreseeable future.

I have fallen into that trap, multiple times. I had a bit of self-reflection when I grew tired of hearing a friend talk about how busy she was. I knew I tossed that term around like a rainy day in Portland. I have been creating a grey outlook on my days. By responding with the term “busy” I was pretty much summing up a pretty bleak and dreary experience.

Let’s look at our days a bit differently.

A “busy” weekend may look like this: A birthday dinner for a friend on Friday night, family in town on Saturday, and church on Sunday, followed by lunch and football. You barely had time to tackle that laundry or binge watch your favorite show.

On Monday morning, when someone asks you about your weekend, instead of saying “busy,” try replying with “fulfilling.” Because to me it sounds like you had an extremely fulfilling weekend.

You are so blessed to have family and friends who want to be with you and fight for your time. There are some out there who aren’t lucky enough to have people and good times surrounding them. They look at your weekend and think, “Wow, that’s just incredible. They must feel so completed.”

But, wait, you just responded with a grim “my weekend was so busy.” Someone, quick – start playing some depressing music, and get me out of here. I am not interested in furthering this conversation!

This goes for the workday as well. The “busy” response is way too common here. There are chances that this is what you’re going to do for the rest of your life – do you really want to look back on your career as just a bunch of busy days? Why not add substance to your answer?

“I had a great morning meeting with a potential client. Laughed with Joan at lunch. Busted through a report before clocking out!”

Now, instead of feeling pity for you, I’m kind of wishing I were you. See how our responses can change the entire dynamic of our incredibly awesome experiences?

I invite you to choose a few different terms to explain your days.

“Hey friend! How was your weekend?”

“Fulfilling.”

“Engaging.”

“Lively.”

These responses are conversation starters. People will want to hear more and you will have the opportunity to boast about your accomplishments and social life.

Have you ever noticed that children don’t respond with “busy?” The term isn’t learned or ingrained into us until we are adults. Somehow, it’s become the shining star of how we describe our very full lives. I find that to be rather sad.

I want to remember my life as exciting and wonderful. If I continue to look at my days as busy, as opposed to fulfilling, life will pass me by and my experiences will have been mundane.

I now challenge you to exclude the word “busy” from your vocabulary.