“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”
The daylight is shorter in duration and less intense. The days are becoming cold and we are bundling in our clothes. It is a time for more introspection and when we climb inside of our minds. In this time of year, many of us experience a SAD syndrome from not enough light. This can be a part of us becoming more sad and melancholy. For some of us who feel a need to be more active, this can also contribute to a feeling of being lost. December is the beginning of our winter. This month, as in October and November, I am taking us into our future in terms of living in a future we create from nurturing our past and present in a deep and profound way. As we learn to do so, our future can be filled with love, acceptance, connection, inspiration, hope and clarity.
Many of us experience times in our lives when we wonder what to do about something “in the meantime”. This could be as we are waiting for someone to arrive, to hear how we did on a test, and so on. This period of time can be fraught with opportunities for our old and more wounded selves to take over. Or, we can find a way, through understanding ourselves and how our past has impacted us, to nurture us through this period of time, continuing to reinforce our new muscles.
Recently I lost a beloved pet. She was with us for 13 years and gave us many wonderful memories and taught us a lot. She was a very loving and generous girl. We had adopted a puppy when she was 11 which gave her a renewed purpose in her life. She loved this little, big dog and generously shared everything with him. They played hard, and loved hard. Frequently I would see them lying entwined with their arms around each other and with his head on her body; blissfully asleep. As can happen with all of us, she became filled with arthritis and could barely walk and was obviously in pain as she whined until she could find a comfortable position for a few minutes, only to go through the process again. We had to make the decision to help her, and were all with her as she was put to sleep. In fact our little big dog touched noses with her just as her spirit left her body. This was a sad and difficult time for all of us.
Suddenly we were in a winter of our sadness and feeling a bit lost as to what to do. Our frisky 2 year old loved to play and seemed to need another dog to play hard with as only dogs can do with each other. Yet, we weren’t ready for another dog, and we didn’t know if he was either. At first a time of mourning was necessary. And then we were in that period of what to do? Do we adopt another dog and take up that training and new period again? Will our dog really want another dog, or play too hard? We were in a period of what I call, “in the meantime”. What do we do in the meantime? So we at first felt a little lost. We then just went day by day feeling it out. We were paying attention to our feelings and our needs, and also as best we could, to our little big dog. Do we want another dog was a question we continually asked ourselves? That transitioned to, if we got another dog, what kind, how big, what disposition, who would best fit with all of us? Slowly it became clear to us that we didn’t want another big dog, and we didn’t need another high energy dog. A real picture of a dog in our lives began to take shape. I started dreaming about dogs. Meanwhile, my present companion got more personal, hands on time and training and began to settle a bit more. We would take more walks with him, and longer walks, and sit on our front porch together. I even found my husband and our little big dog sleeping on the porch swing one day.
I found myself on the computer looking at dogs in the Humane Society and Stray Rescue. A couple of days later as I was just reading the paper, I saw there was an event for Stray Rescue on a Saturday in which I don’t work. So, I decided to go by there and see if any dog resonated with me. We made a meet and greet appointment with a gentle girl rescue and the rest of our family…..and so it went.
Our meantime resolved itself. We began feeling lost and sad and as we let time work with us and within us, allowing us to grow together, a sense of what we wanted took shape….and it was suddenly the right time. We ended up connecting with a new companion for all of us, and we did this by connecting with ourselves. We created a new future. It is possible for all of us to do this. Pay attention to our “meantimes” and let us grow into what is possible.
I happen to love animals and to love dogs. Nature also inspires me; I like lots of little critters. They feed my soul in a way that is profound.
I found a book recently which I really enjoyed reading which speaks of both, what to do in the meantime, and also a love of dogs and how they enrich our lives. The book is called, The Dog Year, by Ann Garvin.
I recommend it heartily, and hope you enjoy it.