On Vacations and Balance

On my walk this morning, I saw a dog owner trying to round up at least four dogs  — none on leashes – after a visit to a nearby park. I understand the need to let dogs run, particularly big dogs, which these were. But I cringed when one dog headed straight for the street. It’s not a busy street, but it has traffic.

A lady walking ahead of me, also toward the park, was pushing a baby SUV (one of those large, complicated strollers) plus she had a small dog – maybe a Jack Russell – on a leash. Of course, my thought on seeing her was: “A baby AND a Jack Russell – she must never sleep!!”

The small terrier took off after the big dogs, too, and strained at his leash. But the young woman pulled him back and waited at a safe distance for the man to gather up the big dogs.

Today is my first day back from a week long beach trip. I feel a little like the guy trying to round up the dogs – big projects and promises I’ve made need to be corralled onto a list and/or put on the calendar. Emails need to be written, and phone calls need to be made. But I also feel a little scattered like the Jack Russell terrier, jumping and barking, trying to go play with the big boys.

When you are self-employed, weekends, days off, and vacations are difficult to manage. I want to “take care of business” in a timely manner and be available to my clients, but sometimes I need to rest and just plain relax.

I’ve also found that when you love what you do, it’s not really “work.” But there are so many other elements that are distractions – records need to be kept, tax documents need to be prepared, and laundry never stops.

As I turned to head back home, I heard the terrier bark a time or two and that made me smile. I enjoyed the bright purple and white and blue and pink morning glories growing next to the sidewalk, and for just a minute, let myself be on vacation again.

I knew my lists and phone calls would wait.

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