I’m too busy. 

I’m too busy to call my parents often enough, too busy to talk to my son as much as I’d like, too busy to paint pictures that I want to paint, to see things I want to see and be the person I want to be.

The problem is I also like what I’m doing. 

Of course, my situation seems to be pretty normal in America today, and I know you know that because you’re too busy, too. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t have a great life. It’s incredible actually, filled with an endless list of remarkable people who have seasoned and added richness like spices to a very tasty dish. 

Still, I miss my parents a little, and I want to go see them.  I miss my son and I want to go see him and my daughter-in-law, the rest of my family and many more. 

And yet, there is only so much time in a day and only so many days in a life and that’s the shocking part about life isn’t it? It is so short.

It seems like I just graduated from eighth grade yesterday and stayed up with friends all night the night before that graduation, for the first time ever, just because we could.  Some would say that was a long time ago, but it really wasn’t. Even Custer’s Last Stand wasn’t that long ago. 

So the answer must be that I should really become better at budgeting my time, because it is so precious, right? Well, maybe not.

I think the reality is this: Being busy is OK as long as it benefits others, even if my family has to sacrifice a bit. They’re up to it. After all, they might not want to hear from me every second of the day anyway.

In his book, “Democracy in America,” Alexis de Tocqueville, the French political thinker and historian, asked why Americans are so restless in the midst of prosperity?  Why can’t they just stop and enjoy all of their good fortune? 

He said that in the mid-1880s. 

Joyce Meyer, the TV preacher said: “When you begin to worry, go find something to do. Get busy being a blessing to someone; do something fruitful. Talking about your problem or sitting alone, thinking about it, does no good; it serves only to make you miserable. Above all else, remember that worrying is totally useless. Worrying will not solve your problem.

So maybe being busy isn’t so bad. And maybe America and our restlessness is just one big blessing to the rest of the world.

All I know is when I think about my parents, my son and daughter-in-law and the rest of my family and a lot of other people, I smile.  And I hope when they think of me they smile, too.

After all, no life is perfect.  And yet, if you can make someone smile when they think about you, then it has probably been enough of a success.  Or maybe even a big success.


Kevin Holten is the president of the North Dakota Cowboy Association and executive producer of “Special Cowboy Moments” on RFD-TV.