So, in an effort to avoid the continuing drama out there in the big world, I’m going to share “a week in my life”…an exciting moment by moment chronicle of my simple life. (The exciting reference was sarcasm by the way). I’m going to focus on the part of the world where I have a tiny bit of control over what’s happening. Sometimes the whole world is just to much to deal with for my anxious, perfectionist, all-or-nothing personality.
Wednesday is a paid work day for me…at least the morning portion. I shop with my sister to purchase food and necessities for a home for the mentally handicapped. Up at 7:00 a.m. which is early for me, and out the door by 7:30 to go pick up the van and my sister and head out. We start out at Wal-Mart and then head over to HEB to finish up. The list is usually about the same each week and we’ve got a good routine going. Just normal stuff; meat/protein, lots and lots of produce and veggies, a few treats and other fixings. Usually two carts at Wal-Mart and four at HEB. We shop both stores in an effort to get the best deals and keep expenses down. We fill up the van and after stopping by Sonic for our usual, we head back to drop off the groceries.
While I’ve been out, my youngest daughter is expected to tidy up her room and start on school. She has a reading list to work on and we use a couple of resources on the computer that she can work on while I’m gone.
When I get home about noon-time, we fix something for lunch and then relax for a bit. Yesterday was my husband’s day off and that can change up the afternoon a bit.
As I was eating lunch and catching up on my email and facebook, I saw a posting from a friend who volunteers at the Regional Animal Shelter. She posted a picture of a nine year old Basset hound named Speedy. I know what you might be thinking. Believe me, I was thinking the same thing…there is no way in hell that I need another dog. Especially not an old Basset hound. But…I was also thinking “a nine year old Basset hound sure doesn’t need to be in “doggie jail” because his owner decided that he couldn’t afford him anymore and that he was too much trouble . I told myself that someone else would surely adopt him. He would be fine. And then I told myself that I needed to go get that dog. My youngest agreed after seeing his picture. My husband looked at me and picked up the car keys…I sure did marry a good man.
Off we went. We agreed to just meet “Speedy” and see how it went. Once we got there, it turns out that Speedy has a golf-ball sized tumor just under his tail that needs to be evaluated so we have him on a “medical foster”. That means they cover his medical expenses until the situation is resolved and then we can adopt him if we wish.
He is a sweetheart. Totally Basset. The world is his to explore and he will walk all day long on a leash. He has instantly bonded and adopted my youngest daughter. He walked into her room, jumped up on her bed and settled in for a nap. Well, first thing he did was find the food dish, of course. Youngest really wants a cat, but has decided that he’s a pretty good substitute since a cat can’t happen. Second daughter’s fiance is deathly allergic to cats.
Unfortunately, Barret the dog, or B-dog as we’ve started calling him, is not taking too well to to the new addition yet. Last night was spent taking the dog’s for a walk together in a non-threatening environment and periodically bringing Speedy out of the bedroom to see Barret in the living room. Barret had to stay on the leash during these visits and pretty much acted as if Speedy was unwelcome (in a violently aggressive, teeth-gnashing, lunging, and terrifyingly vocal sort of way). It wasn’t looking good. Speedy spent the night in his room. Barret spent the night in ours. No blood was shed.
The day’s “plan” got derailed by my impulsive decision. The laundry load-of-the-day didn’t get done. The dishes didn’t get caught up. I un-decluttered the one item out of the box – a worn-out sheet that is now being used as bedding for the new dog.
Nothing further got done on the yard. The homeowner’s association is okay with the progress that we have made, but I have lots of ideas for projects that I want to work on now. The work that we’ve gotten done has inspired me to keep on going.
Very little actual “school” got done unless you count visiting the animal shelter and seeing what that is like. Youngest daughter had never been and now has a better idea about what happens to unwanted animals and pets and the very real struggle to deal with an impossible situation. We talked about responsibility, ethics, solutions, and the possibility of volunteering. We also discussed self-care, being responsible for ourselves and working out how to build strong boundaries to protect ourselves when dealing with the world.
There is so much that needs to be done to make the world a better place. I often get overwhelmed and wonder if anything that I do is enough.
Looking back on Wednesday, I am okay with the day.
I lived into the needs of the day.
I didn’t save the world.
My house isn’t spotless. Everything on the school to-do list didn’t get checked off. I didn’t declutter anything. I didn’t make progress on the extensive home improvement projects. The laundry isn’t done. We had cereal for dinner. All potentially failures if I choose to look at it that way…
However, the residents at Hope House had what they needed to be cared for properly. A dog had a warm bed and a lot of attention instead of a concrete floor for the night. I walked over ten thousand steps for the third day in row. Everybody in the house had clean clothes to put on this morning and there was still cereal for breakfast.
We all made it through the day healthily and happily. Our needs were met. We hung out together and had some fun. We cleaned up some dog poop. We watched some T.V. We cleaned up a little more dog poop. We met a new neighbor on one of our walks. The dog pooped outside.
We did no harm and did a little bit of good.
I’m learning to be okay with that.
I want to fix the world. I want to stop injustice, and right wrongs, and heal the world. I want everything and everyone to be happy and have what they need. I want people to stop being mean to each other. That’s all part of my anxious, perfectionist, all-or-nothing personality.
It’s a little unrealistic.
I am learning to find balance and live with imperfection.
…start with me and work out from there…doing no harm and being kind