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December 2, 2020: Busy, Busy, Busy

This morning Pete made an astute observation about some friends of ours. He said they “wear busyness on their sleeves,” the analogy being that people who are overly emotional wear their hearts on their sleeves. I don’t at all doubt that these people are busy – they have a lot on their plates. We’ve known them for over 15 years, and in that time, in every single conversation, they made it a point to tell us how busy they actually are.

Early on, they would provide examples. Then they got too busy to do this. And they began seeming increasingly more rushed. We, and I suppose others, were finally crossed off their People We Should Get Together With.

Sometimes the days are a blur

The implication (and this bothered me) was that they were busier than everyone else on planet earth, including us. I resented the implication because we too are very busy. The difference is that as busy as we are, we have always made it a point to drop what we are doing and given friends our undivided attention. Quite a feat considering we have so many earthbound responsibilities.

Helen and Scott Nearing, the authors of The Good Life, used to write in the mornings and do physical labor in the afternoons. And in the afternoons, they put friends to work, building stone walls and digging ditches. This reduced the amount of time that others elected to spend in their company because few wanted to spend their time hauling rock and moving dirt.

The Nearings, they ended up writing two books about how busy they were, in their attempts to carve out a sustainable lifestyle. I think this was pretty admirable.

Here, we are now in the dead of winter, mostly doing indoor things. So we are no less busy than we are in the spring, summer, and fall.

Today, before breakfast, I first put the dog through her agility paces in the Playground of Higher Learning, then target trained the chickens. After, I did some positive reinforcement training with the horses. It was, during this time, snowing. It appeared as though the snow might turn to rain, but fortunately, the fine white stuff just kept falling all day.

I took advantage of the inclement weather and worked on my essay. All the while I was envying those who both produce good prose and are prolific. Not me. By way of example, I have been working on this one 20 page essay now for three months and it still isn’t close to being done.

I did get out. Our friend Gene brought back our muck buckets and took the bucketed manure. After, I cleaned the goat pen and Pete emptied the muck buckets for me, putting the compost in the compost station. I continued to work in an efficient fashion, making sure to water and feed the goats and clean the chicken pen.

It was dark by 4:30 p.m. I came back inside and for the rest of the evening and worked on my essay and read more on the subject of positive reinforcement training.

Busy? Yes. But if friends had dropped by, I gladly would have stopped what I was doing and spent time with them.

Next: 332. 12/3/20: A Conversation with Hrimfara

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