Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Lessons from Gator...

Early this morning, long before I'm normally awake, I simply ran out of sleep.  Usually I drift back off, usually it's simply a momentary rustling around in the blanket cocoon that I have somehow created in my sleep.  The warmth temporarily stealing my sleep with I search for the coolness of the air in the room.

Today, that didn't happen.  Today I was wide awake.  A million things running through my mind, some work, some personal, some hopes, some aspirations, some crazy thoughts.  Didn't matter, it completely robbed my sleep. And 3:30 am is rarely a time that I actually see, much less register alertness on any scale.

Tonight, well I tonight when I start driving home at around 9:00 pm, I am fairly certain I will be seriously regretting that slip in my routine.

My mind was flipping through things so fast that it felt like someone was spinning one of those old fashioned Rolodex, like we used to do when we were younger and one presented itself to our inquiring fingers.

This year has felt like it is one full of change, since the moment the clock struck midnight.  It's felt exciting, frightening, challenging, comforting, and out of the ordinary to me.  Two months have already slipped by, today starts a new month.  Although they are starting to feel like they are simply melding together and the calendar is as meaningless as anything else.

I wonder if all this is caused by the fact that I am now in my 50's, that my brain is starting to force me to think differently.  I actually caught myself at the doctor's office yesterday saying the words "I'm 50, I don't want to waste the rest of my life wishing I had done something sooner." Yikes!  Where did that come from?

Maybe it was still playing in my head when I woke up suddenly this morning.  Not sure.

That stupid knee was bothering me, so I took a long soak in Epsom salts, detox and hot water, elixir of the Gods if you ask me!  And spent a few long minutes reading "Tribes".  It was assigned through work, initially I was bummed, wondering where time was going to come from to squeeze that into my schedule.

Reading it has altered my thoughts in a lot of ways.  I will probably read it again.  There are lines in there, that I am finding stuck in my brain.  They are causing me to feel tossed and turned, the are mixing up with my already altered mind set.

After reading my brain starts turning things around even faster, spinning almost out of control. I am questioning so much more.  The food we eat, the quality time we spend together, the changes that are important for our health, how to avoid surgery (yeah this one is rapidly looking less likely...), work, life, home, balance... so many things that are completely mixed, mashed and tossed around.

Truth is... I am 50.  Realistically more than half way through my life. I am questioning.  Am I doing things that at the end I will regret?  I have always tried to live my life where I have few regrets, I am not sure I am doing that now. Hubs spent the majority of the past month alone.


Gator and I were walking a bit slower than Hubs and Neeko this morning, I didn't rush him.  It was a fairly warm morning, almost 50 degrees out there.  An early spring morning, perfection at it's best. Normally, I am prodding him to walk a bit faster, to not take time to sniff every blade of grass, to do his business and move along.

Today... I didn't.  Hubs and Neeko started walking faster when the rain drops started to fall.  Big ones, the kind that actually leave the "splat" marks and sound when they hit the pavement.  You could smell that heavy, dusky, earthy smell of rain moving in.  There were no clouds visible in that pitch colored sky, no moon to lighten the sky even though it was almost six.  Normally, Gator would have flipped out being that far from home and getting... gasp... wet!  This is a boy that definitely needs all the creature comforts of life.

As Hubs disappeared around the curve, Gator and I meandered. Nope that walk isn't counting for "active" anything on my Fit-bit.  Hub's offered me his ball cap as he and Neeko headed off, I declined.  So what if I'd already done my hair, the drops felt refreshing, I could do my hair again.  I think my little old guy was feeling the same.

We wandered slowly back towards the house, simply enjoying the moment.  He sniffed every blade of grass, climbed up the little hills, and bounced around with mom.  The drops weren't bothering him.  I saw a meme the other day of a dog with his person walking, it said "who's walk is this anyway?"  Solid question.  

Gator's been through so much.  He's an old guy.  Who am I to deprive him of a leisurely stroll simply because I can't slow down myself.  The slowness of the walk made me stop and think.  I need to do the same myself.  I need to slow down, I need to let a few raindrops bounce on the top of my head.  I need to really look at my priorities and evaluate who is setting them.  Is it me?  Am I sniffing every blade of grass? Or am I running along mindlessly hoping I will come back to it later?

I have an unnerving feeling that I am chasing dreams for other people, rushing through life and forgetting to live it.  I desperately wanted to enjoy the part of the beautiful Sunday that I wasn't working.  I was so exhausted from the LONG Saturday the day before, that I muddled sleepily through a sweet late lunch with Hubs - not even remembering what we talked about, totally skipped the desire to walk at the zoo, and wasn't even able to buy a new pair of sneakers because my stupid left leg was so swollen from the day before that I couldn't accurately judge how they fit.  I finally gave up, ran the few remaining errands, skipped dinner and just sat mindlessly on the sofa at the end of the day waiting out the clock so I could lay my head down on my pillow.

I need to learn a few lessons from Gator.

Love unconditionally.
Be loyal to my family.
Patience.  Good things come when you are willing to wait.
Be picky about my food.
Enjoy the beauty of a long leisurely stroll, soaking up the sunshine or the rain as both are fabulous!
Be willing to take a nice long nap when I need it.
Ignore anything that doesn't make me happy.

Anyone else questioning?