I've always disliked the word, "okay." Is it more or less than good? Should I assume my work-mate has too much on her plate; that my husband had a rough day with our son; that my friend has lost yet another job? I never know.
But I far prefer it to "Busy." Busy is not an answer to how is one doing. It's just the lazy default response. Yes, you may be busy. You may even be too busy - but that alone doesn't dictate your mood.
Recently I have tried to answer the "how are you?" question with at least some degree of sincerity: great, good, tired, excited, nervous. And at the same time, I'm trying not to wear the state of "being busy" like a sandwich board. Because what does being busy, or at least too busy, really say about my life other than I'm inefficient, unorganized, and overworked? And why should I advertise those things? And, if I'm too busy to read, sit in my garden, watch a movie with my husband or play superheroes with my son - then the answer to, "Angie, how are you?" should probably be "not okay."