Too Busy!

Mary Doug & Freckle talking about busyness

I’ve been too busy lately. Too busy to write, too busy to relax, too busy to enjoy life as much as I’d like. But I was thinking … if I were a dog … I wouldn’t be busy. Then I thought a bit more and realized that I was wrong.

Freckle especially is often busy. For example, just last week, she was extremely busy—bolting down the trail after a white park maintenance truck (the trail in the photo above). Mary Doug and I both said at the same time, “Freckle, could you come here for a minute?” And she said (over her shoulder as she flew like a racehorse down the trail), “Just a minute. I’m busy!” We tried again … this time tossing in a bit of panic to get her attention. Alas, Freckle was soooo busy that she didn’t even respond.

And Ceilidh—she’s often busy too. I’ve seen her on our walks become unbearably busy when the scent of a freshly peed-upon shrub captures her attention. “Ceilidh, let’s go … I’m gonna be late for work.” “’S’a minute! I’m busy!” Some walks—typically routes that we haven’t taken in a few days—make Ceilidh and Freckle extraordinarily busy. Sometimes I feel for them … knowing how hard it is to be really, really busy.

But … you know that I’m just bein’ silly. There’s a “good busy” and a “not so much good busy,” isn’t there? “Good busy” is wonderful—it’s engaging, captivating and rejuvenating. It can create that wonderful state called “flow.” I think that dogs have a knack for maintaining that critical balance between the “good busy” and the “not so much good busy.” And over the past few days I’ve been observing our girls to see just how they manage the “busyness ratio.” They are extremely vigilant about protecting the “good busy.” Try waking a dog up when they’re “busy sleeping” … or get them to come and cuddle when they’re “busy chewing on a bone.” Or think about the times when you’re out and about and you want to talk to them—they’re very often “busy” aren’t they? What’s that joke about the person alone in the park holding a leash? Their Beagle is just “busy!”

So, I’ve starting thinking about how important it is to protect the “good busy” … to make sure that I make time to do the writing that I love to do… to read good books … to spend time watching the garden unfurl after the winter. And in order to know which “busyness” to protect, you need to know your priorities. You need to recognize when you’re feeling pure bliss while busy running after a white pickup truck… the wind in your hair … bugs in your teeth … And you need to know when you’re prepared to stop and say, “Ya, okay … whaddya want?”

So, what’s your “good busy?” Are you prepared to defend it so that the “not so much good busy” doesn’t encroach like a silver lace vine on a hot summer day (another story)? Busy can be a good thing … a GREAT thing! But you need to know when you’re doin’ “good busy” and when you’re doin’ “not so much good busy.” I’m just about finished bein’ busy now … time to get busy makin’ dinner.

Ceilidh “busy” in her stroller on the same trail




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