Woot! Have you heard someone say this? Woot! (they say). Lordy, lordy.

I have to get down to business. I know it. I've been telling myself for weeks: "It's time to get down to business." I say it in my bed, I say it in my morning time. I say it often at night, allowing the words to dissipate as they drift up to the moon. I say it as I'm drifting off to sleep. "Tomorrow," I say, "It's time to get down to business." Then it's hello, dreamland!

Don't even say it—I know what you are wondering. I've always thought of myself as someone who is good at reading nonverbal cues. It's not a talent everyone has but for me it comes naturally. I don't make a big deal of it. I'm telling you now because it came up in the course of our conversation. To give you one example, one of my oldest friends in this world, Raymond, cannot even talk and yet we've been palling around together for years now. He's a squirrel and when he comes over and jumps on my back and digs his minute fingertips into my flesh and pulls with all his might I get the message loud and clear: It's go time! I'm going Raymond! I'm waddling off, my brother, and you're coming with! We're quite the duo or everybody says so, at least. Take it for what it is worth.

Anyhow what you are wondering is, "Why don't you get on down to business?" I could say I'm glad you asked but in truth your question feels like one more metaphorical stone added to the metaphorical load on my back. I would never carry real stones on my back because I don't need the hassle! But the "business" of "getting down to business" has me beat. How can I sit down and focus on my many projects while surrounded at all times by all of this hoopla?

Wooting! Harmonizing! Zumba class! Woop de doop! Tra la la la la! There's a parking meter! Here's a cheese on the ground! Get the insects! Catch the frisbee throw! Do the dirty! I smell roses! The fire engine is coming so let's chase the fire engine as far as we can! It all seems like a good idea at the time but it gets exhausting. I yearn for dignified silence with no damning urge to chew the next stick, and the next, and so on. I pine for the quiet life of contemplation. A monk in a robe, that's me—only in my dream. For now I am stuck in this earthly prison where caterpillars roam and I need to track them down and chomp them at all costs.

I woke up one day this January and it was a new year. I woke up in February and it was a new month. I woke up yesterday and it was a new day. You see where I am going with this? Right down "the rabbit hole." (It's not a real rabbit hole—please believe me.) If I am to turn over a new leaf in this new year then I must stand up and declare: No more hoopla. No more rigamarole or hollering. Is that necessary? Chill, baby. I'm getting down to my business. And my business is easy.

[Image by Jim Cooke]