Sunday, September 07, 2014

Monday Dog Blog: Filling Our Souls

I've been feeling worn down lately. I feel short on patience and low on compassion. I feel creatively blocked and spiritually empty. Some of my relationships are shifting. I'm tired of non-stop medical needs and appointments. I've been feeling lonely. I'm frustrated that, after having such a special Spring and Summer health-wise, I haven't been able to return to feeling that way since the reunion.

We're Ready to GO!

I'm sad that every time I think maybe I've really turned the corner, there's a setback that shifts things again. I struggle with the transitions, the ups and downs. I've never been one who likes change. And how I fill my soul changes depending on how I'm doing physically--and sometimes it's hard to figure out what I need.

Look Mommy! We Can Swim!

My blog posts have all been cheerful and positive because I haven't quite known what I wanted to say. I recognize how much better my health is now than it was a year ago. I don't want to sound ungrateful. I'm certainly savoring the wonderful things that are happening and that's why I'm sharing them with my readers. 

Showing Off His Doggy Paddle
I just think that sometimes I forget, and others forget that, even at my 'best', every single day is hard, and every single day is much, much different than that of a healthy person. By now, I thought that I would have bounced back from the reunion. The fact that I haven't means that perhaps other variables--ragweed season, medication dosing and changes, physical therapy--are aggravating my symptoms. 

Swimming Area

There's always a price to pay--after the dinner with Jeannine, after the Labor Day picnic, after this outing with the puppies. I'm always acutely aware of time--I never get lost in time--because there is always a medication to take or a set of symptoms (sweating, forceful heartbeats, pain) telling me what time it is--time to stop, time to rest, time to recline. 

Swimming Area

I miss getting lost in time. 

Getting On Our Zen

A couple of weekends ago, when our neighborhood book club met at my house other members of the group got lost in time. We were all chatting, sharing in beautiful ways about our lives--and in particular about art. At 5:00 one member said: "Ohmygosh! How did it get to be 5:00? I had no idea what time it was!" The rest of the group said the same.

Fresh From His First Real Swim!

A little part of my heart broke. I thought: I've known since an hour into the meeting (2:30) what time it was because I needed meds or because I was having symptoms. By 5:00, I definitely knew what time it was. But I didn't want to say anything because I would rather feel sick and be a part of the conversation that was happening than break up the meeting.

The View

I don't like when I am like this--when I am short on compassion or patience for others, when I am sad or lonely. I am someone who doesn't make sure her own soul is full before emptying it to others. This is a familiar tune to most of the women I know. 

I also recognize that this seems to be part of who I am--these cycles of ups and downs. Cycles of grief. Cycles of health changes. Cycles of loneliness. Cycles of sadness. Cycles of feeling a bit in flux. Cycles of finding my way.

Mom Gets Her Zen On

While I am not a Christian, I find the analogy of Jesus taking long periods of time away from helping others to be alone and pray a powerful one. While he helped many, he also took long periods of time alone to pray and fill his own soul. I figure if Jesus needed that, we all do. It's learning to do this that's hard--and letting go of feeling selfish when we do it.

I also just need to schedule in time away from the endless medical appointments and demands. 

My Sweet Boy

Sometimes what makes us content or happy, though, is right there, surrounding us. What makes me content is time in nature with Mom and the puppies. This has remained a constant for me throughout my illness--Mom, nature, dogs.

A Kiss From G

On Saturday the four of us went on a big outing to a State Park to spend some time filling our souls.
We drove to a park about an hour away. The puppies were very excited to go on an outing, but Gershwin was less excited once we hit the gravel road and his carsickness set in! Poor guy. 

Mom and G

I've been wanting to take Gershwin and Tovah swimming and really introduce them to water beyond the baby pool, hose or edge of the ocean. This park has a little swimming area and both puppies showed us how they can swim! We had so much fun!

So Sweet

Other than a little swimming, we spend out time eating a picnic lunch and just hanging out by the lake, taking in the beautiful water, forest and sunshine. We were able to stay for a couple of hours, which made it feel like a true break from things at home, text messages, and life.

Path From The Beach Area

We were all very tired from all of the fresh air, new sights and sounds, and long afternoon. :)

We felt content. 

Tovah Rose Konked Out On the Ride Home!

We hope the Fall brings more weekend afternoons with weather perfect for trips to the parks in the area. All summer long we've had glorious weather and kept putting off these trips. We'll be trying to make time for more this Fall.

I'm In My PJs and Tovah Rose Is Blissed Out

With each change in my health--whether an improvement or a setback--I struggle to figure out what will most nourish my soul within my physical limitations. We've found that no matter what state of well-being I'm in, if I'm at a park--with the dogs and with Mom--I can find contentment and peace.

The rest of me? It's a work in progress. But I have two little helpers reminding me how life is all about the simple pleasures, living in the moment, and taking time to have some fun. 

Happy Monday!



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