Greetings from Sun Valley, Idaho, where after a long wet spring, the hills are still green and blooming with wildflowers. One of my favorite parts of being here in the summer is how easy it is to be active. Everyone is out walking, biking and hiking and celebrating the long days of summer. I always look forward to my annual summer stay, as it allows me to step away from the hectic pace of city life and recalibrate.
But, this summer I’m working harder than ever, even from this dreamy remote location. Between opening new Pizzana locations, preparing for my book release this fall, building my Substack community, and getting pretty dang good at making TikTok content, there is a certain cognitive dissonance to toiling away while everyone around me has their OOO message on. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to understand the need to keep working. And that’s okay.
But, in spite of the brisk pace at which I am operating, there’s one thing I never say: I’m really busy. It’s a phrase I’ve long retired. Why?
Years ago, when I was in a similar period of growth with Sprinkles, I became maniacal. I was trying to do it all — grow a business, act as the face of a brand, be a mother, and participate in my community, be a wife and a great friend. You know… ALL the things! I wasn’t just busy, I was BUSY!
Then, one day when I responded to a friend with, “Sorry, I’ve been so busy…” her reply was noticeably defensive. She was also… incredibly busy. This woman was a founder, author, well-known speaker, and mom with a zillion commitments. In a competition of who was busiest, she would probably have won. But, fortunately, it’s not a competition. Yet, I was so deep in my own head about how much was on my plate, I had accidentally insulted her by saying I was busy, and unintentionally implying that she wasn’t.
Last week I spoke with a different founder friend of mine who is also VERY BUSY (an entrepreneur calling card), in the midst of selling his first start up and fundraising for and growing his second. He shared a story with me of recently being on the receiving end of someone who used the excuse, “I’m really busy.” My friend was indignant, and rightfully so. But comparisons aside, I believe that most people feel that their lives are busy, and so invoking the phrase is kind of pointless, if not downright insulting.
In the battle of the busy, I’ve learned, there are no winners.
So here I am, skirting invites for events I know I can’t attend. Doggedly avoiding the phrase that never pays. There must be a more grown up way to handle this, don’t you think? Please send advice.
Oh, and one last thing before I forget: host gifts!
For those events I have attended, like my friend Elana’s Fourth of July party and my friend Stacey’s annual summer BBQ, I have arrived with a beautiful bottle of rosé from Woelffer estates and a trio of my new food obsession: Fishwife tinned fish in tow. Now, before you raise your eyebrows with respect to the tinned fish, this is not your ordinary can of tuna. Fishwife is a responsibly sourced tinned fish that is female founded, with packaging that pops. (it’s even been featured in Vogue! I’m telling you, this is CHIC FISH!)
The brand is vibrant and fun and, most importantly, the product is delicious! Everyone has reported back to me that they love it. The smoked trout is my favorite — I eat it straight up with a fork or on top of a Mary’s gluten free cracker. Of course a bottle of rose is a pretty standard hostess gift, but look at this bottle! It’s like artwork.
I wrap the fish and the wine in a hot pink grosgrain bow with a personalized hanging gift tag I just had made at Joy Creative Shop and feel awfully proud of myself. Artful, delicious and female founded gifting? Yes please. What is your go-to hostess gift? Do share!
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As always, I find your voice to be positive and forward thinking. I love it! As for what to say and not say... I... kind... of... I'll just say it. I'm really sick of people getting offended. If a friend says "I'm really busy", I'm going to ask if I can help. I'm not going to take it as a personal insult. Sigh. Obviously, you weren't talking about her not being busy. Sheesh. Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Probably not the most popular opinion but it's the one I have. Although, as I consider this for a moment longer, I will say that at one time in my life, I may have gotten offended by something like that but I had to learn that it's not always about me. I learned that and now I don't get offended. It's a crazy world. Why get upset over things if there isn't a constructive lesson on the other side of it?
Lovely note and your message of “I’m so busy” really resonated with me. We should never be so busy that we can’t make intentional time for a cherished friendship or loved one. Thank you. And you’re in my happy place, SV. I’m summering at the other end of the state, currently in Priest Lake, ID.