Last weekend I was outside doing some yardwork, and two neighborhood elementary schoolgirls were doing laps through the cul de sac. First, they came buzzing through on scooters. Then, a couple of circles around on bikes. Next came rollerblades. Then once again, with one of them on a bike, towing the other (somewhat perilously, with a bungee cord) on old-fashioned rollerskates. Every time through, they waved and said “hi,” like they hadn’t seen me in hours.
It was wonderful, keeping me entertained as I was digging in the pipes for our drip irrigation system and winter flowers, and cursing under my breath at the number of tree roots I had to hack out with an ax.
A bit later, they once again appeared, this time in the treehouse in the yard adjacent to ours. They waved again, and I said, “Gee, you guys have been BUSY today, haven’t you?”
They giggled. “We haven’t been busy!” they said.
It was a comment that stopped me in my tracks. Several hours’ worth of activity that would have put an adult on the couch for the rest of the afternoon, and they were scrambling around in a tree simply plotting what to do next. They didn’t think they were being busy at all.
Now, I’m not going to claim that a freelancer can attack every task with youthful and limitless exuberance. (You’d probably be institutionalized.) Sure, plenty of the things we end up doing are pure drudgery, as Anne Wayman pointed out in her post “It’s OK for Freelance Writers to be Bored” earlier this week. I’ll confess, I’m personally a bit worn out from the pre-holiday crunch, as everyone seems to be trying to close out projects before the end of the year, all at the same time.
Nonetheless, seeing these girls go round in circles was a reminder that, as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing at the moment, it’s not so bad being busy.
Or whatever you want to call it.