I have a few thoughts on this "finally packed" bit. It seems that every year, at some point, we load up a crate and a few dog related items and go road tripping. In the past it has been to bring a new dog home. The business of running a kennel requires things like that to happen, whether to replace a dog that's retiring or to add another boy or girl into the fray. It's always exciting to get a new dog, even if we rarely get tiny puppies that are adorably cute and cuddly. This time, however, things are vastly different. All the packing for a dog, and I'm not adding anyone to the mix here at the family farm. I'm going on a trip with a dog, just because that's what normal people do.
Okay, kind of. If normal people went to pet conferences, they take their dog with them.
I could totally get used to this. I like having a dog that I know will be here, even if he fails to contribute anything to the kennel. It's called a pet, and I've not had a pet dog in over a decade. Ironic, isn't it, that I've had upwards of 8 dogs at a time and didn't have a pet dog? I think I'm going to be okay with never having puppies again if it means I get to just keep a dog until we both grow old(er) together and just enjoy life into our futures. Together. I'm ready for that. And I am glad that Louie will be here with me, road tripping to pet conferences or going for ice cream late at night, or heading to the river on hot summer days. I'm definitely ready to just have a dog as a pet.
Also, waiting until the very last minute to pack, after giving myself a hugely long list of "must-do's" before I go, wasn't much of a stresser at all. Normally I'm a bit panicky when I have that long of a list and that short of time, but after the year I've had here I've learned to be more chill about things. I'm not complaining about my busy. I'm simply saying that I've learned to re-prioritize my life. I found more time than I realized I had, and streamlined all my minutes into productive ones. I have learned to love being busy every second of every day. I am also thinking that the conference, with it's back-to-back sessions and social hours will seem rather like a laid-back vacation.
I got my entire to-do list done, and added more things to it just to give myself something to do in the morning when I get up. I'm very certain that I'm incapable of just relaxing and enjoying free time. I'm happiest, now, when I'm doing very productive things.
Too bad I don't deem cleaning the house as a very important thing. Also too bad that the ribbon I'd ordered over a week ago didn't come in time to get collars made that customers ordered. I hate that they'll have to wait another week to receive them, and it's no fault of my own.
But hey, I'm packed for a pet conference, and taking my pet dog with me. I'm grinning from ear to ear, inside my overtired brain.
(Yes, I do still stop and smell the flowers.)