Last week I rushed from one appointment or event to another all week.
If someone had drawn little cartoon feet to track my progress, there would be marks all over the map.
And as the week wore on, I became more tired.
One day toward the end of the week, I’d gone to the pasture to feed my two old sweeties. I had an appointment immediately after, so my time was tight.
And this is NEVER a good thing, especially with horses. Or children for that matter.
When I got to the pasture I found Bud right away. He saw me and started his amble toward the gate.
Pepper was a different story.
She was at the far end of the pasture, nibbling shoots of green grass and doing her horse meditation thing, whatever that is. Suffice to say she was in another world, not paying one bit of attention to Bud, the Herd of Oldsters, or me. I followed Bud, thinking Pepper would figure it out and catch up with us soon enough.
So Bud took his time savoring each morsel of grain.
And no Pepper showed up at the gate.
I checked the time and felt my gut tighten. If she got her act together, Pepper could still eat and I could make my meeting. That is if she ever made her way to the gate.
Bud finished and I let him into the pasture. Then I went on a search for the meditating mare. When I finally walked up to her, she raised her head and saw me. She seemed surprised and pleased. She even whinnied a greeting. Then she trotted toward the gate. How could I resist giving her lunch? I couldn’t.
And you know the story about Miss P. She’s a slow eater.
She chews her grain thoroughly.
And she looks around.
Eating is a social event for our girl.
I checked the time again and my gut tightened even more. I was going to be late.
I called my husband to ask him to call the restaurant and leave a message for the person I was meeting. Turns out he was in the neighborhood so actually dropped by the restaurant to deliver the message. He’s my guardian angel.
I was running the scenario in my head.
- Put Pepper back in the pasture.
- Race home to change clothes since I had green horse slobber on my sleeve. Not a good look for a business meeting.
- Hurry to the restaurant.
- Find a parking place.
- Hope like crazy that the person I was meeting had received the message and was still there. (She doesn’t carry a cell phone so I had no way of contacting her.)
It was working. I was stressed, but still hopeful that I could pull it off.
Then I turned down my street and was greeted by a tree-trimming truck blocking the road.
One by one it was picking up huge chunks of tree trunk with a mechanized claw and loading them in the back of the truck.
I waited and honestly thought my head was going to explode.
“Calm down,” I said to the steering wheel. “Breathe.” I reminded myself there was nothing else to do.
Then a couple of cars behind me started to honk. Apparently the driver couldn’t see the tree-trunk-loading action and thought I was stopped in the middle of the road for the fun of it. I’m sorry to tell you this, but I came very close to getting out of my vehicle, stomping to the offending, honking car and doing or saying something I would regret.
I was saved from making this embarrassing scene when the truck miraculously pulled to the side of the road and allowed us to pass.
By now I knew I was going to miss the meeting, though I removed my dirty shirt and replaced it with something more suitable for a business meeting. I drove downtown, ignoring the posted speed limit signs, parked and rushed to the restaurant.
Of course no one was waiting. I was almost an hour late.
Gradually the tension leaked out of me and I was able to see the humor. I must have looked ridiculous with all that rushing.
I was in no shape to be present for a meeting.
I’d missed being present with Bud and Pepper.
I was barely conscious as I raced downtown.
And I’d learned something.
I don’t do well when I over schedule my time.
What I want is to be grounded, present and peaceful. And if that’s to be, I’m the only person to make it happen.
So I made a deal with myself: No more meetings scheduled even remotely close to feeding time. And in fact, fewer meetings all the way around.
Between you and me, I think another of my guardian angels put that tree-trimming truck in my path to force me to slow down. To help me see how crazy busy I was and how terrible it felt.
So here’s my question: How are you doing on the not-busy to much-too-busy continuum?
What works for you?
I think if we talk about it, we can all learn to be less busy, less crazy.
Please tell me I’m not the only one…