I have been pondering, lately, this question: “What does it mean to be present in our lives and how do we choose what deserves our attention at each moment?” During a consultation, I am completely consumed and aware of each animal’s flick of an eye, twitch of a lip, or passing thought or image. I ride my breathe to theirs, and find myself completely present with both animal and client. I am at peace no matter what the conversation entails.
But as work increases I find myself trying to multitask. Is multitasking okay when others are present? The other day, I arrived home, walked the dogs, brushed the cats, let the bunny out — all the while making business phone calls. When I left to go see a friend, I realized I had not looked one of my pets in the eye for longer than a breath, nor had I asked them about their day. I was consumed with guilt.
Then I remembered how my father’s phone rang constantly and he too would spend time with family while doing business. As a child it made me sad. As an adult I was grateful. If he had not done that, perhaps I would not have been able to go grow up on a horse farm, travel the world, and go to a private college.
How do we do it all? How do we spend quality time with the ones we love and get all our business done? Since it is my pets that seem to suffer in my situation, here I will ask them what their thoughts are on the subject:
Makia (cat): The best time to connect with you is when you are meditating or talking to the angels. We can do that together. I don’t mind if you brush me while you are on the phone. I am just happy I am getting brushed.
Joey (oldest cat): I have seen you in so many different states in your life. When you are busy you are the happiest. I just feel you need to speak to us each day and ask us if there is anything important we have to tell you. We know you are doing important work and sometimes we don’t want to bother you.
Bean (Bunny): It is hard not having more of your attention, but you told me when I came here you wouldn’t have a lot of time to work with me. I guess the most important thing is that whenever you are in my cage or getting me in from the outside that you only focus on me. That is my time. I don’t want to share it with anyone else.
Storm (Aussie Shepherd): I am happy you are liking work, but sometimes you are forgetting that I am a high-drive dog, and even though I am 10 years old I still need stimulation. So you better find something to do with me, because if I don’t get a job quick I am going sleep too much because of boredom. Seriously, you need to teach me something or take me to see people who need dog love.
Maia (aging Wolf-hybrid): My awareness is changing and I need you around more. I get confused and I wonder where you are. When you are gone I worry about you. Mom, I don’t want to die when you’re not home. If I die, I want you close to me. Just work at home and never leave the house.
Serafina (cat): When you spend the time to make yourself a healthy meal you always sit and relax. That is a good time to ask us about our day. It is actually one of my favorite times with you.
Joey’s addition: I like Maia’s idea of working from home. You drive in the car too much. If you wrote books for a living than you would have more time with us. I think you could help more people and animals that way.