I had an idea for what I wanted to write about today, but then a puppy happened. I don’t know if you’ve ever had a puppy, or a baby or anyone else in your life that needed constant attention and care, but when you do that’s pretty much all that can happen. The days you manage some self-care in addition to their care, like showering and eating, count as success. I am lucky and have help, an amazing co-parent who has made room for me to meltdown, to freak out a little, to feel disappointed because of my unrealistic expectations, to struggle and suffer in a confusion of my own making, to give me a break when I need it, but it’s still hard and requires effort, time, focus.
The only reason I can write this is because Ringo is in his crate napping. I feel so lucky to have this time, the calm, the sweet and soft of these moments to counter the ones when he’s feeling punky, fussy, tearing at my clothes, trying to nurse on me, frustrated and crazed, caught up in his baby brain which wants what it wants and has to have it right now.
Sam needs me too. He tore up his accessory carpal pads showing off for Ringo in the backyard (when the ground is frozen, it’s hard as rocks, and it’s happened one other time, is known as a “braking injury”) and we have him back on a higher dose of the nerve pain medication after another visit with the Neurologist. He also has a new little dude in his house who is getting a lot of attention, causing chaos, and Sam is a very sensitive dog. I am working on relaxing, trusting we are doing what we can for him, giving him a good life, but I sometimes feel like I’m failing him, failing all of it.
So that brings me to an essential life rehab resource: having reasonable expectations, knowing your limits and when you reach them taking a break, asking for help. Allowing what is happening in the moment, whatever arises, meeting it there, and constantly reconsidering “what is needed, what can I do in this moment, what support do I need?” For me right now this means relaxing my expectations, lowering the bar, only doing what absolutely has to get done. For now, I can only do what I can do, even though there’s a whole list of what “should” get done. I am aware that this time, when Ringo needs us so much to just get through a single day, is brief. Instead of wishing it away, rushing it, rejecting or regretting it, I can drop everything else and be here. This is practice, life — the willingness to meet what comes with an open heart.
But being in that here means being less in this space, skipping some things that would typically be happening. So if I seem distant, if I forget it’s Friday until late in the day and write my regular post late or skip it altogether, don’t take it personally, kind and gentle reader. It’s temporary. All of this is temporary — that’s the good news and the bad.