August 21

I dream of the day I am able to deep clean my house. I realized today when I came home at lunchtime to get the allergy pill I meant to take this morning but left on the counter instead that my house smells like D.O.G. That’s something I never thought I’d say. Seriously. I actually have a very keen sense of smell myself, so I’m usually pretty aware of odors. It was a bit disconcerting to admit that I don’t notice it much when I’m home. That means either the rain storm we had last night and the accompanying humidity today are just making it seem worse than it is, or I’ve let my housekeeping go. Since I’m going for honesty here, I’m going with the latter. It’s time for proper scrubbing, vacuuming, and spraying of all surfaces.

Yet while I acknowledge that I need to do some heavier cleaning at home (this weekend!), I also have to admit that my lackadaisical attitude lately speaks to my growing tolerance and/or patience level. Puppy training has been hard. And kind of consuming. Items have been scooped off of floors and dumped on top of cabinets. Stairs have been blocked off with baby gates and become a dumping ground for shoes. Things get thrown down to the lower level and out of sight of Chance while he’s not looking and then stay there. Rugs got rolled up and set on tables. My free time at home is spent walking Chance or playing with him or watching him play with Barley, my boyfriend’s dog. We’re learning how to incorporate him into the family, so it’s necessary time spent. In the meantime, though, I still have piles of papers in my office to file. My basement is still a disaster. Clothes get washed and dried but piled in the laundry room. And dust is accumulating. There was a day when I would have been pretty bothered by getting so far off of my normal cleaning routine. But I know things will eventually get done, just at a slower pace. I need to remind myself of this sometimes in other areas of my life. Work or relationships. Be patient and plug along at what I can accomplish. Eventually it comes together.

I suspect my household will never again be quite as clean-smelling now that I’ve invited this little whirlwind of a dog into it. But when I see his little face peering out the front window when I leave or how excited he is to see me when I return, I figure it’s a good trade. Something new to be thankful for.

Feb 9

I’m lucky enough to have several people in my life to whom I can go to for advice and a reality check. It’s important for me to be able to talk through my problems or worries. I’ve discovered that the quicker I can get out of my own head, so to speak, the easier it is for me to put things into perspective. One of my favorite quotes is “Wherever you go, there you are.” I first heard that when I was kid watching The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension, and it’s always stayed with me. Even as a child, I got the deeper meaning of that. The idea that you can never be away from yourself. Essentially, of everyone in the world, the only person you’re really stuck with is you. That’s why I’m all for self-improvement. And I’ve had a lot of self to improve over the years.

One of my biggest lessons and ongoing struggles is with patience. I’m not so bad with the daily, hurry up everyone! kind of patience (except in the car), but the big picture kind. The when is everything going to make sense?kind. Once I have something in mind that I want to move forward on, I want to do it NOW. Or if I’m waiting for events to come together, I want to intervene and prod them along.  I told someone the other day that if I were given a crystal ball, I’d probably look at my future, just to know the highlights. See if I’m on the right direction. Verify that what I’m doing is working. I have not been the best at sitting back and letting life percolate. But I’m learning. I’ve had people in my life that I think entered just for me to practice on. And then I’ve had people enter who have encouraged me to practice what I’ve already learned. There’s one lady in particular who has been helpful to me lately in that way. She’s so very wise and articulate that talking with her is a blessing. She has a wonderful way of being straight with me, giving advice but in an affirmative way, reminding me that I need to enjoy the process of becoming. Just last week, when I expressed some anxiety over a relationship that’s been complicated, she gently encouraged me to simply let it evolve at its own pace. Apparently, I have a knack for getting in my own way. She’d never say it that bluntly, but in so many nicer ways, that’s what she’s able to remind me to stop doing. And she’s been right. When I’ve taken a deep breath, slowed myself down, and stepped back instead of stepping in, things have had a way of working out smoother and sometimes even quicker than I expected. I’m immensely grateful for her non-judgmental openness and beautiful spirit. Her insight and reminders. I’m thankful today that our life paths crossed when they did. Just when I needed her.