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A quick little email exchange last week with Carolyn Holland, an Associate at my firm, as we negotiate dates for an impending engagement.

My, you’re a busy bee, I write to Carolyn playfully.

From one busy bee to another, Carolyn chirps back.

Yes, busy bees we are, Carolyn and I. Every one of our clients is, as well. Busy. Unceasingly so. Communication-fueled. Information-overloaded. Break-deprived.

And it never ends. First thing in the morning, there it is again.

The busy bee nectar?

The other day I was scanning the website of Vodori, a Chicago-based digital agency. Scanning it, and then I began to linger on a certain screen, a big smile on my face. Here’s what I read:

We often invite potential hires to come by for a Friday happy hour, when vegetable trays, tater tots, and other delicious snacks from our kitchen are washed down with local brews. Let us know your favorite.

The office is dog-friendly. Our friends Fiona, Bella, Trooper, Hudson, and Tag frequently visit. They’re very judgmental, though. When asked how they like the place, they said it was rough.

Even bigger smile as I transcribe these musings. I get it. The Vodori folks work hard. But they also know how to play. And create joy.

That’s the busy bee nectar, isn’t it? Choose play, create joy.

Joy doesn’t just happen. Joy is a daily choice.

And for busy bees it’s an essential, revitalizing choice. Amid the busy-ness, amid the overload, we need to notice that which offers joy. And we need to allow it in.

A few of my busy-bee-joys last week:

–       Reading an out-of-the-blue email from a colleague who I knew over 10 years ago. I had forgotten Andi. What joy to remember all that had transpired.

–       Speaking French with my very chatty taxi driver in Geneva and noticing how the French of my high-school years was freely falling from my lips again.

–       Watching an Adam Sandler movie dubbed into Italian at 3 in the morning, in the midst of a jet-lagged night. The silliness of it all.

–       Receiving a referral for a speaking engagement from a neighbor on my block. So sweet. So utterly unexpected.

The inimitable philosopher Alan Watts said it most exquisitely, over a generation ago:

This is the real secret of life – to be fully engaged with what you are doing in the  here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.

This week, when you find yourself in the middle of a busy-bee-day, keep your eye on the nectar. It is play. It is joy.

And since we know that every moment is about choice, choose to notice that which is playful. That which is joyous.

The moment you respond, you will have given yourself an instant energy boost.