You’re too doggone busy!

How do I know that, you ask?

Because I’m too busy also. And so is my dad, my best friend, my boyfriend, and my neighbor. Far too many of us function this way–always in go mode.

Each day we reenact these magical stunts of juggling nine balls, a chain saw, and two flame throwers, all while balancing on stilts. Step back with me for five minutes and take a look at what’s happening as a result though (don’t worry, I know you’re busy, this won’t take long):

Balls are dropping. Sure, maybe we pick them back up, but they’re dented. We’re seeing more and more mistakes, more redo’s, more “let me fix that.” We sweep over important details, miss out on sleep and eating, or forget to call our family until something terrible happens. We’re so busy trying to fill our lives that we’re not living fulfilling lives.

Foster dawg Joplin had been marked as “aggressive” from previous squabbles with other dawgs. So when we brought her into the pack, we moved slow. It was important to maintain a calm atmosphere and to be sure that no one (canine or human) felt rushed or nervous. Everything played out on Joplin’s timeline. She got to smell the house while my dawgs were put away. Then she got to smell the yard and once her calming signals subsided, we individually introduced the pack to her. Joplin is lucky in that she was not the one guiding this situation and so therefore did not necessarily need to stand up for herself. But she knew we were paying attention and listening to her. She checked in with us regularly to help us assess the situation. Her then-foster parents were wonderfully cooperative and supportive to her, grounding Joplin when she started to escalate. Three dawgs later, everyone was getting along swimmingly and we never saw a hint of aggressive behavior from her from there on out.

Rather than dropping balls, slow down and take some out to save them for later. Advocate for yourself by setting boundaries or delegating and you’ll find yourself feeling more relaxed, happier, and proud of what you have accomplished. Nobody is pacing your life for you or making sure you don’t get overwhelmed—this duty falls on us each individually.

Life is full of struggle, set yourself up for success.

Don’t feel guilty about the next time you put something off for a much-needed nap or spend an hour on the phone with a friend instead of finishing that proposal for your boss. You are your own responsibility, take charge.

Pupdate: After 150+ days in foster care, Joplin had an overnight stay this weekend that is looking like furever! It’s a wonderful home and she played great with her brotherpup. Paws crossed our sweet girl has finally found the home she so deserves!

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