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Perhaps I was a bee in a former life. Or maybe it was a beaver. Yeah, a beaver; beavers are really busy. I had buck teeth as a kid too. That settles it – I was once a beaver. There’s a chewing on wood joke here somewhere, but I digress…

I complain about having too much to do, but truth is, I’m addicted to being busy. I need to be doing something productive – creating something, building something, making something better. Now don’t get me wrong; I don’t need to be my mother’s kind of busy – cleaning, cooking, and churning butter while knitting sweaters and polishing silverware. That’s not my kind of busy. I like to be on the move. Shopping; seeking the perfect something for our humble abode. Writing – if not for work then for myself; working on my dad’s book, or my own. Watching; feasting my eyes on the mastery of Mad Men, or the delicious debauchery of Californication. (Which reminds me – anybody got Season 3?) I need to be constantly seeking something. A new vintage toy for my boy. The perfect metaphor. A great photo opp. A new idea.

But I know, life is short; God, how short it is. So I remind myself daily to stop and smell the roses. Pet the dog. Cuddle the boy. Sip the tea. Be in the moment.

I’m good at being in the moment. I’m deep like that. I’m a writer for God sake; it’s a curse. Sometimes I’m so in the moment, I forget to be in pants. But sometimes my high-speed nature gets the better of me. (Thanks for the crazy genes, mom.) Especially during this time of year with the hoards of people and endless traffic (will the Torbay shit-snake ever die?) and lists of things to do compelling me to go go go go get ‘er done NOW.

Holiday mall mopers? I hate them. And they travel in packs. So not only are they slow; they form an impenetrable wall of mope.

I start my Christmas shopping early so I don’t have to stand in busy checkout lines when the holiday rush is on  – a fate worse than death. 20% night at the Avalon Mall? No b’y. I’d rather pay 20% MORE to NOT stand in those lines.

Tonight, the Torbay Santa Claus parade started 15 minutes late; I rained curses on the jolly old elf and his entire slow-ass posse. It was cold and I had a little boy who kept flicking his mittens off. Time was of the essence; digits were on the line. But I kept my patience, largely due to the friendly reminder I received earlier today…

A reminder to slow down, via an officer of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. Yes mom, it’s true; I got a speeding ticket. And yes, I am about to drop the f-bomb. Fuckin’ ghost car! Damn those clever crime-fighters!

Despite my predicament, I was in a good mood, so I went with it. For a moment, I thought I would flutter my eyelashes a little, see if Goody Blue Shoes might be influenced by a fair damsel on her way to volunteer at the orphanage. (Or to get her hair done, whatev.) But naw, that‘s not how I roll. So I decided to just own it. I screwed up, I admit. Now, how about a bit of tomfoolery to lighten the mood? I rolled down my window to greet him and said…

“Nice moustache!”

Okay, no I didn’t. But I thought it. That thing was colossal.

What I actually said was, “Gosh darn it, officer, ya got me.”

“License and registration, mam?”

I opened the glove compartment with glee. The kind of smile that hurts. “Pink sheet – check. Blue sheet – check. Got it, yay! Here ya go, officer.”

“Do you know how fast you were going, Ms. Murphy?”

“Ommm… one millllllllion?”

“90. In a 60 zone.”

“Wow. My heavy foot disease must be acting up today.”

Awkward laugh.

“Okay wait here, Ms. Murphy.” He turned to walk back to his Decepticon.

“Hurry back!” I say with a genuine Texas-size grin.

He came back with a yellow slip of paper.

“Yellow, my favourite colour. How did you know?”

There was a brief chuckle. And the slightest hint of bacon on the wind.

His parting words, “Slow down, okay?”

“Oh I will. Slowing down is my favourite.”

I’m lucky he didn’t give me the breathalizer. This encounter is not without embellishment, of course. But hey, there’s a moral to this half-true story…

SLOW DOWN.

It’s a busy time of year, but let’s not let it cloud our judgment. Let’s not be so caught up with the details that we forget to see the bigger picture. Let’s be beavers! Do a lot. (You know you’re going to anyway; it’s what we women do.) But do it slowly, thoughtfully, and carefully. Not necessarily perfectly. If you have to be full speed ahead to do it all, then maybe you’re doing too much. Silly beaver.

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