Friday, July 17, 2009
It is really hard to be a kind, loving person when you feel unloved. This is my learning for the week, as I struggle against my inclination to draw inward and pull a tortoise maneuver against a general sense of being the opposite of loved, cared for, valued, etc. - all those words that describe how most of us would like to feel. I am in this place that I love and where I have always felt loved, but I'm not feeling it this year. Whatever. This too shall pass and all that. In the meantime, I'm realizing that this is true for other people, too: it's just hard to be nice when you feel wretched. So maybe the fact that they're not treating me as I'd like to be treated does not actually reflect any particular feeling toward me, but rather their own feelings of unlovedness (or whatever). Which doesn't make me feel any better about my own stuff, but does keep me aware that being equally mean or negligent isn't going to help them, or me either.
Posted by Stacey at 1:51 PM
Friday, July 03, 2009
I am watching "Marley and Me," a movie that I know is about to end in much weeping, because I read the book. On the way back from Obama's inauguration, I dissolved into tears after laughing so hard through most of it that my fellow passengers wondered if I was quite sane.
I do not have the world's worst dog. Not even close. But I did have the puppy who bashed her nose against the bars until she bled when I tried to crate train her, who chewed windowsills and furniture legs, who opened the fridge and ate a pound of hamburger among other things, who routinely escaped while I was busy washing dishes and went upstairs to visit the neighbors. I still have the dog who cannot be allowed to be off-leash in an area within a mile of a road, because even though she doesn't want to be out of sight of me, her hound nose is bound to distract her. I have the original vengeance pee-er, who has a bladder of steel but will stand just out of reach, look me in the eye, and mark the floor if she thinks I should be paying attention to her. I know what it's like to come home to shoes torn to bits, carpet ripped up, claw marks in the door, unexpected puddles, and strewn garbage - all things I thought we conquered back in those puppy days, but which resurged when we moved to this apartment, which clearly did not quite suit her.
Laila is six years old now, middle-aged in the dog world. She's become mellower with age, which means she doesn't jump on EVERYONE she sees, and can generally be walked without shoulder dislocation. She's gotten crankier with other dogs, less tolerant of pestering and quicker to snarl a warning at those who come near her toys or treats. I expected less separation anxiety as she aged, but instead she's developed separation depression, which doesn't bode well for the two weeks I'll spend in South Africa in October. She's still so trim and spry that she gets mistaken for a dog half her age, and her vet tells me she's as fit as a working dog. I'm not sure how that happens when I am so very untrim, unspry, and unfit. She's almost absurdly patient with kids, who leap on her, smack her, and pull her fur and tail without repurcussion. She is a total pastor's dog, as evidenced by the fact that a church pew is one of her favorite places to sit in the entire world.
There are children crying over their dog in this movie. How's that for a double shot of heartbreak? I have always cried over dying dogs, even before I had a dog; as a child, I read Where the Red Fern Grows over and over and sobbed every time.
Laila mostly likely has several years ahead of her, but I have to admit, I've started to watch for the first signs of a hitch in her step. For now, though, I'm the only one with an aching back and the beginnings of hearing loss, so I think we're probably okay, as long as I stay away from movies about dying dogs.
Posted by Stacey at 12:54 PM
Thursday, July 02, 2009
When my internal life needs re-ordering, I start obsessively cleaning and organizing my living and working spaces (which - as those of you who know me know well - is not usually a priority). My schedule is compulsively organized; my space is not.
In the last two days, the following tasks have been completed:
- Damaged hallway carpet torn out; floor underneath cleaned and partially refinished
- Rest of carpet vacuumed and steam-cleaned
- Livingroom dusted and reorganized; months of old mail and magazines sorted and tossed.
- Bathroom windowsill stripped, de-moulded, and repainted
- Actual food purchased; expired food discarded; fridge reorganized
- Organizer rack for bedroom purchased and assembled
- Laundry from last two trips done
- Office cleaned
On the docket for the rest of the week:
- Filling the aforementioned rack with things currently strewn across my bedroom floor
- Sorting boxes of stuff still unpacked in the guest room after a year and a half of living here
- Donating or tossing about a third of my stuff
- Deep-cleaning the kitchen and bathroom
- Beautifying porch
I don't think I need a therapist to tell me that the internal waters are troubled.
Posted by Stacey at 1:00 PM