The Perpetual Busy-ness

Sunday, June 13, 2010
There’s no denying it’s been busy around here. Last night I turned the page in my day planner and realized all those things those obligations that seemed so hazily off in the distant future are actually pretty much today. Never mind that I also have three articles that need to be written in the next 36 hours and plenty of other freelance commitments that “seemed like a good idea” to contend with.

But just when I was about to throw my hands in the air, I found a timely reminder imbedded in this week’s Funds for Writers’ newsletter, a quote from Sir Heneage Ogilvie: “The really idle man gets nowhere. The perpetually busy man does not get much farther.”

Molly over at the Snyder 5 has made taking on clutter in her house (and her inbox) her challenge for the last half year or so. Sir Ogilvie’s quote got me thinking of all the clutter we keep in our heads and on our calendars. The to-do lists, the things we worry about when we should be going to sleep, the overreaching. After all, if we allow ourselves to puppets at the mercy of our own schedule, we’re not really doing anything. We’re just spinning our wheels.

But I’ve never been especially good at saying “no,” even when I know I have plenty on my plate (which is why I always feel so sick after a good potluck) nor very good at shaking this sort of clutter. I let things get to me. I get overwhelmed, cranky, sometimes, rather unbearable.

And installing a gift shop at work has been, frankly, a disaster and the last three days have been little more than a data entry hell. We’re on the home stretch with that particular project (sort of): all the stuff is pretty well on the shelves and at least the clutter of cardboard and packing material is on its way to the recycling center.

Today was the third straight day of staring down invoices and trying to squeeze a ton of merchandise onto too small shelves. By midday, I was feeling pretty over the whole gift shop. And then my father and aunt and uncle showed up. They hung out at work for a while and then we came back to the cabin for tea. We didn’t worry about how much we were going to charge for this knick-knack or that. Instead we talked about canoe trips and baby mergansers.

After they left, I weeded the garden. I could have been working on those three articles, but digging in the dirt felt much, much better than staring at the computer for another hour or two. The garden isn’t doing much in this cool weather and I haven’t been doing much in the garden. So lucky me to find I have some help in the gardening department from some well meaning chipmunks or squirrels. One of them buried some sunflower seeds in the upper garden which have now sprouted. I moved them to a sunnier patch of grown where I hope they’ll grow tall.

The tomatoes are doing quite well too.The peppers are just put out by the cold.

I’m still working to strike that perfect balance between work and play so I can be free of the clutter of perpetual busy-ness. A little tea and gardening can only help.

I thought I’d end with some shameless self-promotion and a very blurry, dark picture of the baby mallards who spent last night on our dock.

1 comment:

  1. Ada
    You and I think a lot alike. We live similarly, too. Yes, I often prefer to have my hands in the dirt than on the keyboard. Chin up. And learn to say no.

    Hope Clark


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