I have been a “hurrier” all my life. I rushed through school assignments, rushed to graduate high school, rushed to finish college, and rushed to finish law school. My focus was forever on the next semester, the next job, the next book, the next hobby, the next anything. Why I tend to be this way I don’t know. I have been in too big a hurry to spend time investigating it.
When my kids were little, I was in a hurry for them to take a nap so that they could hurry and wake up and we could hurry on to the next item on the list of the moment. When I look back over some of those years, there is a blur of activity, even some accomplishments, but the blurry pictures betray the fact that we were traveling though our lives much too fast.
We all have schedules; most of us live in societies tightly ringed by time constraints. Too often though I hear an exaggerated internal clock ticking and words like these come pouring out of my mouth. “I’ve got to go. NOW! Hurry up!” The kids are grown. These words I say to dogs that are living life at a dog’s pace. Why am I in a hurry?
I was in the long quiet sanctum of Doggy Study Hall with Stella. I had been massaging and scratching her back and neck for about 30 minutes, my usual time limit for this part of the day. At last, she relaxed and laid her big old smooshy head against my shoulder. Did it take so long because my internal metronome was counting the beats at too fast a rhythm? Could she feel the stretched tension on my taut timing chain?
Did I learn anything from that session? Perhaps. Some things do take time and attention and there are no shortcuts. Shortcuts breed bad habits.
Whoop! Stella was up again and pawing at me. 0-60 in 8 seconds. So what did I learn from that? Only what I already knew – that bulldogs require more of everything.
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