Thursday, April 28, 2011

APRIL 28th When All Else Fails...Take Yer Own Advice!

Hi Journal & Friends,

I've been soooo frustrated!! Joey is so adorable... so innocent... so fully of energy... SO TIME CONSUMING!! 

Jim has wanted a dog for 20 years... and Joey has been good for him, for several reasons. The least of which, she has been a tremendous stress-reliever for him. She ADORES her Jim, and her whole body wags, not just her tail, when he comes home from work. 

She is ecstatic with joy to see him! And no matter how his day went, and how painful his feet are, she never fails to get him laughing. And that brings a smile to MY face.

So... what's with the frustration?? Well... like I said HE has wanted a dog for so long. And I'm happy for him... he deserves this

But... since he is at work all day, it seems that by default, I am on Puppy Patrol for 10 hours a day, 5 days per week. I guess I just didn't realize what I was getting into. The little time I had carved out for myself and my art is GONE. My regular routines are shot... exercise, chores... heck, there are days lately when I never make it to the shower, in fact! Ugh!

I've actually been in tears lately. I had felt like I was just on the verge of really finding myself...  of breaking out... of "emerging". And now I feel robbed. And guilty and selfish. And frustrated. Just being honest here.

So... like today's title says: When all else fails, why not take my own advice?!  

I've used this quote often, and have it tacked up in my studio:

"If you don't like it, change it.
If you can't change it, 
then change how you think about it!"

Last night, as I went to bed in tears, I realized that I was banging my head against a wall... and it was dumb. We had thought that Jim would be retiring early, this summer. Then it changed to this December. Now... it may be in a couple of years, depending on how his feet hold up. 

So, why would that upset me?? Because IT IS HIS DOG, not mine. HE was supposed to take care of her soon, not me. I was supposed to get my life back, not be a permanent puppy-sitter. I'm not angry... I'm sad. I feel a loss of something I treasured.

I love my alone time. I NEED my alone time. To think, to pray, to concentrate, to create, to paint.... I can't do any of that with constant interruptions, whether human or furry. And I no longer have the option of staying up, hoot owl style, since I have to get up early now.

So... I can't change circumstances. It is what it is. The only thing left is to change how I think about it. 

And that is what I am working on.

I read a blog last night (forget which) that asked "what makes you happy?" And I cried. Because instantly I knew why I was so UNhappy. I've lost the very things that makes me happy, that feed my soul, that make me feel whole, by losing my alone time.

And I started to turn to emotional eating, falling back into old habits. But guess what?? It just doesn't work any more. It changes nothing, except to make matters worse. What I need is to find a solution, not avoid the problem. I need my alone time again.

I'm not sure how to get it back... and am trying to re-invent it. Maybe it can happen differently... in a way I haven't tried before... not sure, just trying to be open to possibilities. 

Jim has worked hard on fencing the back yard, and is now building a special doggie door. He's sweet... he is trying to help, though he doesn't really understand my frustration... doesn't relate to it. But even so, it's a loving thing when a person tries to help even though they don't get it. :-}

Joey is a blessing... and a challenge. Jim smiles more now, and I see his old self coming back. He had been under such stress for too long at work. So I am thankful for our furry little bundle of energy, for his sake. 

And she is forcing me to stretch my thinking, and look for new ways to reach my goals, to do the things that light up my life...  

It was tempting to just shut down my blog, to give up on trying to keep up with it, since I was already so stressed over the time crunch. I'm sorry I haven't been very supportive of you all lately. I've had to cut back, and just do my best... and like Mizfit says, that will just have to be good enough. :-}

Cats in Hats on a See Saw Antique Postcard

From Dr Phil's book: "Change your thinking to change your weight."

My verse for today: "Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me."

My quote for today: "Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up." 
--Thomas Edison

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 622


Dawn said...

You're right to try and change how you feel...for the problem can't immediately change although puppies do grow x
Please so not shut down your blog, if you have to give less time to be it but I'd still love to read.

downsizers said...

I have friends with dogs like that and they put them in their crate for part of the day. They say the dogs love it and sleep and are relaxed. You might try it so as to have some time for yourself.

Rettakat said...

DOWNSIZERS: We even just bought a crate that would be the right size for her when she is full grown. I LIKE your idea. Now to convince Hubby! He is of the persuasion that we keep hiding treats in it, and let her find them, til she "voluntarily" will go there, and will like it. Me... well you can guess of which persuasion *I* am!! LOL! Hmm... methinks some experimenting is in order. ;-)

Thanks for the good suggestion,

Anonymous said...

First, I sympathize with you. As you know, I am well aware of how it feels to have NO time to oneself. Retired husband and a 4 years old. I've had Kenna 50 hours a week since she was 6 weeks old. As much as I love that child, it IS hard when peace, quiet, and solitude is how you recharge. I've run on a dead battery often.

As far as crating goes. Well. I have never crated my dogs. Ever. Never. Uh-hmm. Never ever. I think it's cruel. They need to be able to walk and more than a couple of steps at a time. (Although I would use one for a "time-out" if they misbehaved if I needed to, I suppose. I used to send my dog to her little bed and tell her she had to stay in it. Yes, of course, she did. Until I told her she could get out. I do understand that won't work with a pup.)

As I read your post,I was going to suggest a similar approach. Not crating, of course, but didn't you say that you and Jim had rigged up the laundry room for Joey? Put her and some food and water and toys...and the cage, um, there when you want some time.

She is a dog. Really. Not a 4 year old child. She can manage nicely in the laundry room. She can walk and hop around--unlike in a cage--and entertain herself some.

Although dogs need theri own bed, and a crate can sub for that if the door is left open, locked in a closed crate can make dogs neurotic. They develop habits like chasing their tails or chewing their feet out of simple frustration at being so confined. I'm sure there's info online re: that.

Re: the doggie door. I'm sure you guys have thought of this, but I just need to mention it. Make sure you can lock it shut when you don't want Joey to get herself in and out at will. Doggie doors aren't quite hh Godsend in real life that they seem to be in theory.

It's awful feeling so trapped. Frustrating, at best. I know you'll think your way to a solution.


Christine said...

with the dog..I am with deb...put him in there for two two hour stays a day and get your me time. When I just had me and tim was deployed and I homeschooled...there was only one way to get 'me' time...that was to pop in a video and let them watch and I would read. IT saved my sanity many times. Do what you gotta do. Don't give up on you.

Ms. PJ Geek said...

First..If you give up your blog it's losing another part of a dog?

Second -reframe the situation. You are getting more exercise. Weight loss depends on breaking routines and moving more. Joey does that for you. Also, it is making you realize what you REALLY want.

Finally, wear that dog out...then it's nap time / mommy time. Scheduled morning play time -walks , snack time and then it's puppy nap time -time out. My dogs sleep after breakfast. Get bored and restless and want to go outside. Mid day we walk. Then they nap. Then it's in and out the dog door. Play time when dad get's home. Dinner...snuggle time on the sofa in the evening and then to bed..Maybe our dogs sleep a lot, but they seem happy and content.

Anonymous said...

Your best is good enough for long as you post when you can. :-)

PeacefulBird said...

You'll figure out a way to get some alone time and creativity time soon, Loretta. I know you will. And you'll adjust your attitude a bit. Think baby steps; one degree changes... It will be OK. Hugs, PB

Rettakat said...

I appreciate all the info and experiences and suggestions.

I was thinking along the lines of what PJ Geek said... to capitalize on the times when she is sleepy, and let her sleep in her crate then, til she wakes up.

Her crate is very big, and lined with a sheepskin type plush pillow, with chew bones and a cuddle toy she likes. I would never just lock her up and leave her. But when she is asleep, I think it would work to have her get used to it. When I am concentrating on projects, I get absorbed, and even lose track of time. And she can get into trouble in a blink of an eye. So it would be for her safety, too. I have no doubt that she would let me know when she wakes up, LOL!

The tiny laundry room has enough space for the potty papers and that's about it. I've tried confining her in the kitchen behind the gate, but haven't figured out how to get her to not whine, cry and bark. Well, I'll just have to work out the details. Oh, and she is used to a travel crate, since she rides in one next to Jim when they run around town. It's much safer for her than allowing her to jump all over the car.

Anyway, I appreciate all the ideas. I'll figure it out. :-)

Anonymous said...

Aww, Loretta, I knew you wouldn't just lock her up. Some people do that, tho. A crate can be a handy tool if used appropriately. I know you'll do well by Joey. Deb

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Do as right by yourself as you are willing to do for the dog and life will become balanced again very soon!
So glad you came back to the blog. I feel guilty for not posting as often as I'd like, but I just keep at it as I so often find it blogging turns out to be just what I need to get the answers I seek.

M Pax said...

You better not shut down your blog. Then I'd cry.

Joey will grow up and get better, then you will get your time back. I know puppies are a lot of work, which is why I stick to cats. :D

You could use walking Joey to get exercise in. Maybe?

Joey is new. You'll figure it all out soon and adjust. I'm glad she's so good for Jim.

Sheilagh said...

Don't close down, you need this outlet. I tried to close down, it didn't work, my friends in this wonderful place called Blogland are more important to me than I thought.

Joey will fall into a rountine with you, it will take some time but it will happen. Walking Joey will put a new slant on exercising, a fun slant;)

Big Hugs


Anne H said...

PLEASE don't let anything stand in your way....
Miss Loertta!
NOTHING now or later.
2 legs or 4 legs.
It's not good, honey! Give up weight loss and blogging?

That pup can't tell time - unless it's a watch dog - heehee)
And it's not worth one day's set back for you!
Walk the dog - maybe train her to be cool with you being gone for a few moments of the day. Last thing you might need or want is to have a spoiled rotten dog AND have to restart your weight-loss journey!

A baby, maybe. A big project, perhaps. But step back, and maybe rethink! Even with a baby, moms still find time to do things for themselves!

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