Archives for the month of: August, 2012

Now that I’ve known myself for 31 years its nice to realize I can acknowledge and accept a few things about who I am and how I do things.

I like wine. I like cinnamon. I love my family- they always come first. I can be way to hard on myself. I have high expectations of people. I generally see the glass as half full. I prefer to work with people I like. I love hoodies and tennis shoes. I can be too disciplined- though I like to think I’ve struck a balance with this.

I also know that this time of year is a time when I can get very unearthed and swept into the current of change without really stopping to think about what’s right for me. Several times over the last few years I have jumped in with both feet and said “yes” to everything. Some of these opportunities worked well, for a short time. Some of them even helped to build my career. But at the end of it all I was back in a place where I was left with… myself.

As the change of the seasons approaches and perhaps some of us notice the shift of energy in the air, we may be presented with any number of opportunities in our career, life, love. I’ve learned to take a slower approach, to try and think things out a bit more than I used to. When I truly stop to do this I realize that I am not unhappy where I am. I may be open to opportunities but that doesn’t mean I have to take them all. Maybe one of the best skills I have finally learned, in 31 years, is that sometimes “no thank you” is the smartest answer.

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My husband and I sat on the deck, washing our pain away with beer and heavy conversation.  Over the last 3 weeks we had watched as our 7 year old chocolate lab Lexi slowly deteriorated. When her health took a severe turn for the worse we were faced with the overwhelming obligation to say goodbye.

Its only appropriate when we have to let someone or something go that we try to honor them with fond memories. Lexi was my ‘problem child’. She was a daddy’s girl, and didn’t seem to respect my commands as much as she did my husbands. Lexi was the dog who was always messy, getting stuff on her feet, marching through whatever muck she could manage to find. When I would let our 2 dogs of the leash Lexi would run as far away as she could, probably so she could claim not to hear me when I called. But she always came back. These were things that I despised about her, she made me so frustrated. Until I finally realized that she was my teacher, as I believe every relationship we develop has the potential to help us grow. Whether she knew it or not Lexi was teaching me to ‘let it be’. These things that I disliked about her were the very things that made her my spunky girl. She taught me to appreciate all the different ways of being and to be more accepting. She helped me to realize that sometimes you have to get a little dirty if you really want to have fun.

Lexi was in her glory in the water. When she was 2 years old we replaced both of her knees, something the vets claimed she was predisposed to. As her rehab she swam and found a place that would allow her to be as fast and strong as she would never be running. Toss, after toss, after toss, she would retrieve the tennis ball until she could barely hold herself up. I think she didn’t want to miss a single opportunity to do what she loved doing- another lesson she taught us.

She was also a lab, and as such endlessly trying to please us. She would hold on to anything we put in her mouth. We have photos of her holding blocks of cheese fresh out of the grocery bag, 100 dollar bills, she would even hold a beer can and give it to my husband.  Like the rest of us, she was looking for approval, for praise. Even though she caused me so much headache early on, she too wanted to be accepted and loved for who she was. I’m thinking it was something like ‘see Mom, I’m good at being good sometimes too.’

You  probably think you will only be able to relate to this if you are a ‘dog person’, but thats not the case. Anyone, animal or human, that you have  strong connection with will have this impact on you. Its the beauty of being human. Loss is a difficult thing, but if we don’t experience loss, we have no appreciation for gain. Just like we couldn’t possibly understand light if we didn’t have dark. I truly believe that Lexi-lou is in a better place. Wherever that is she has the knees of a 2 year old and a dog pond for days, the biggest lake you could imagine.

Love you Lex!