Friday, January 23, 2015

Let Me Help

Earlier this week our Little Miss Libby had her second knee-repair surgery. She came home doing so well that we were calling her a little miracle. Then the next day she vomited up everything we gave her to eat, barely drank anything all day, and capped it off by having three seizures. She hadn't had a seizure for 235 days (but who was counting), and didn't respond to the valium we gave her so we had to book it to the emergency vet clinic.

She did not have any further seizures, they gave her IV fluids, antibiotics and an anti-nauseant, and we picked her up this morning. The staff was amazing, Libby was a trooper, and we seem to be on the other side of the whole situation.

But that's not my story.

My story is more of a puzzle. Maybe you can help me solve it,...

While waiting to pick up Libby, I got talking to a lady who was there with her 9-year-old mastiff, Georgia. I didn't catch the lady's name, but we chatted for a bit and shared our concerns over our fur-babies. Then Libby came out, I wished her well with her pup, and said goodbye.

Lib was in a bit of a state, not herself, pacing in a circle. I tried to stuff the medications and paperwork into my pockets while also holding onto Libby's harness to keep her supported. It was a little crazy.

Georgia's mom came over and offered to help me bring Libby to the car. I smiled, thanked her, and said I appreciate it, but I've got this. And Libby continued to circle. She asked again, "Are you sure?" Again, I smiled and thanked her heartily, but refused.

I then struggled to get Libby moving, going round in circles, weaving and bobbing, until we got to the car. Then I lifted all of her 80 pounds, grunting and groaning (me not her) into the back seat.

It struck me as I plopped into the driver's seat, panting: why in the world did I not accept that woman's offer of help? I certainly could have used it, and I'm sure my back would have been happier if I had. Never mind how it would have made her feel good to be able to help. I know how fabulous I feel when someone else allows me to help them out.

I stewed and struggled with it all the way home (and beyond as this little note shows).  Why didn't I accept her help? The best reason I came up with was that it was my habit not to ask for help and not to accept help. That, without thinking, I refuse an offer and choose to fend for myself.

It has made my heart hurt the entire evening. What a powerful, wonderful connection I probably missed. I had visions later on, playing out how it might have happened. I would accept gratefully. She would smile widely. I would hand her my keys and the medications. She would hold open the door while I had both hands to guide Libby in a straight line to the car. I'd make a crack about my car being the dirtiest one in the parking lot, she would admit that hers was awful too.  We would laugh and then wish each other well. I would feel good from being showered with compassion and consideration; she would feel good at being permitted to help us out. Win-win.

What short-coming of mine prevented that exchange? A lack of mindfulness? Succumbing to a habit? Thankfully, mindfulness and habits are something that I can work on. I can put some effort into taking a pause, and then accepting help when it's offered.

Do you accept help easily? Or is it a struggle for you also?

Friday, January 16, 2015

What I Love This Week

So many fabulous things happening this week. I have been buried with snail mail, yay. A stack of books from amazon, earrings, more earrings, and an apron. How lucky do I feel? Oh yeah. :)

So, here's what I love this week:

The sweetest puppy dog nose.

Just found this site with a super quick 5-Minute Guided Meditation at The Guided Meditation Site. This will help me to fulfill my resolution and her accent is adoooooorable.

I have wanted everyday-type earrings for-ever. Finally I found a couple of cute ones on etsy. One gold pair, one silver pair. Now I am all set.

Gold hoop earrings from Elamese (who also included a gift of a super lovely, dainty bracelet).


Silver hoop earrings from Moodichic

I also love a creatinine level of 127 (down from 131 and getting closer to the normal range of 124) that Little Miss Libby brought home. Woop woop. (no pics of the blood, thought that might be a little too gross).

What are you loving this week?

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Books in the Mail

Don't you love getting books in the mail? Well, anything in the mail really. I just received an order from Amazon today so I'm feeling all new-book giddy. Here are the most recent goodies:

Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
Austin Kleon

He has also written "Steal Like An Artist" which apparently gives readers the key to unlock creativity. This second book (I guess I should have gotten the first one, first) shows how to get known.

The Van Gogh Blues: The Creative Person's Path through Depression
Eric Maisel

This is an author that I discovered through the Tranquility du Jour podcast. He has written a crazy number of books on depression, creativity, finding your life missions. This is my first of his.

Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden
Karen Maezen Miller

This is another author that I discovered through an interview on Tranquility du Jour and I really enjoyed listening to her. This book promises to provide "Zen lessons in fearlessness, forgiveness, presence, acceptance, and contentment." I could stand to learn more about all of them.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
Brene Brown

I am in the middle of another one of her books, The Gifts of Imperfection, and I really like her writing style. She uses a lot of personal examples and is quick to show you her vulnerability which makes her all the more interesting and compelling. I am using my highlighter a lot, lol.

My theme word for this year is "Happiness" and with these books, I am striving to bring more happiness into my day-to-day life. I will certainly keep you posted on how I feel about them. (hopefully happy, ha ha)

Have you read any of them? Maybe on your to-read list?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Life Book 2015

Have you heard of Life Book? It is a brilliant, year-long art class program put on by the lovely Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts. I signed up this year to give my non-existent art practice a jump start.

Boy oh boy, has it ever.

The first main lesson was on creating a Beacon of Light. Here is how my piece turned out:

This coming week we are working on whimsical lettering. Should be interesting. What have you taken on for this new year?

Monday, January 12, 2015

What is that?

Does this ever happen to you?

I just noticed after a short 5 years (yes, 5 years) that there were two pieces of foam packing tape cushioning the glass shelf above the crispers in our fridge. Five years friends. Just noticed them today.

So in the process of getting these sticky buggers out, I upended the glass shelf and discovered to my horror: a disgusting moldy vegetable grunge layer between the crispers and the shelf. Holy terror, I nearly vomited.

Needless to say, that has been all cleaned up and sterilized and sanitized. Phew. I had no idea that there was a layer in between there and wouldn't have cleaned it EVER without accidentally shifting that glass shelf.

Do you ever find a corner or a layer or a hidden little section (or not so hidden, that also happens to me), where you suddenly realize it is slick with dirt or dust and you have never cleaned it before? Please tell me I'm not alone.