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I think perhaps it’s a copout.  ”What have you been up to?” “Oh just busy, busy.”

It’s often an excuse for not doing those things she mentions— reading a book, relaxing, making a garden— and a way to commiserate in conversation with casual friends.

Why can’t we challenge each other to relax better instead? Share our ideas of doing nothing. Why does this odd combination of bragging and complaining open up a seemingly level conversational field?