Back in the fall of 2012, we got two cats. That same week, Quinland broke her leg. It was a pretty hectic transition into pet ownership.
Two weekends ago, we got a dog. The same day, I had to take my pulse steroids (a massive monthly dose of prednisone); the next day, Quinland got a drum kit. Yep, it was another hectic transition.
- The dog – His full name is Sherlock Bones. We are calling him Bones; well, I am actually calling him Bonesy most of the time. We got him at a wonderful place called Family Dogs New Life Shelter here in Portland. He is a ball of energy, just out of puppyhood. We have had to learn, quickly, to be assertive and teach him his place in the family.
- The drums – Quinland asked for a drum kit for her birthday; David told her no. He really didn’t think he could handle the noise. But when our friend Eric offered us the drum kit he’d been storing in his attic, we decided to rethink it… and one of Q’s Christmas “presents” was our telling her that she could have drums and would be getting them soon. Needless to say, she was (and is!) absolutely thrilled.
- The drugs – I don’t know what is up with that prednisone. I have always maintained that each monthly dose is a crapshoot – I never know if I will be wired or exhausted, jittery or disoriented. This month, I was unbelievably dizzy. It was similar to feeling drunk, where you move your head and – even after you stop – it feels like it is still moving. Ugh. It kept it up for days, too. I was still getting these dizzy spells a week later.
I have to keep reminding myself that if we had waited for the perfect time to get a dog, we’d still be waiting. There is no perfect time to do anything. No matter how you try to time it, any change is going to disrupt your life, and life itself will probably throw an additional monkey wrench or two into the works. As Teddy Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” We’ve made the changes, and now we can move forward and enjoy the excitement they will bring to our lives.
I found a list of 99 things, and I will be bolding the ones I’ve done and explaining a bit about each. Because I have a tendency to yammer on, I am doing 5 of the 99 at a time. (Again, if anyone reading was involved in any of these, feel free to add facts or correct my memory… and I’ll keep looking for photos.)
- #1 through #5 are here.
- #6 through #10 are here.
- #11 through #15 are here.
- #16 through #20 are here.
- #21 through #25 are here.
- #26 through #30 are here.
- #31 through #35 are here.
36. Taught yourself a new language – Hmmm. Pig Latin, maybe? Otherwise, my modest language skills have been taught to me in various ways: classes (Spanish, Latin, German), people I know (David: German), strangers in the corner shop or on the street (a few words of Irish, a few words of Croatian). (I’m not going to count “looking things up in travel dictionaries as needed” to be the same as “teaching myself a new language.”)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – I am truly satisfied right now. I know there are loads of people who have more than we have, but there are far more people who have less. Of course, there’s always the odd thing I want and don’t have, but I’d be a fool not to be satisfied with how well we live.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person – No! It’s crazy that we have been to Europe so many times and have barely put a dent into my Italian travel desires.
39. Gone rock climbing – Well, once when Portland Parks and Recreation had a temporary climbing tower at Fulton Park, Quinland and I climbed it. Thanks to my lack of muscle strength, I didn’t get very far. I’m going to call this a “no.”
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David – Yes, when I went to Florence in 1991 with David and our friends Linda and Jim. (We also went to Venice, but that was the extent of our Italian travel on that trip.)
Score: 18 out of 40.
It’s the start of a new year, the perfect time for making changes. I hereby resolve that this is the year I don’t make resolutions, the year I don’t try to improve, the year I don’t change myself. Does this mean I am declaring 2014 “The Year of Stagnation”? Not at all. I am going to let 2014 be “The Year We See How Everything Turns Out,” and then… well, we will see how everything turns out. You see, I have already failed at making 2014 a year of improvement, a year of change, a year of resolutions. In no particular order, here are a few of my failures thus far:
- A better work-life balance? I went in to the office on New Year’s Day and did six hours of work on a holiday… and then had to go back in today to cut some checks I forgot to write yesterday.
- Never being late again? Overslept for an appointment just this morning… which was a make-up for the appointment I forgot I had last Friday.
- Exercising every day? Not unless you count walking to the bus stop after work last night or running up a hill to try to make that appointment today.
- The whole paleo eating plan? That went out with the baguette I shared yesterday, the peanut butter cup I had today, and the complete lack of veggies I’ve eaten.
- Daily blogging? I got on the computer at 11:30 last night, determined to write a post before midnight, and got distracted by Hudson Taylor videos until 12:03 am. Who knows when I will get this post done!
- Being a better friend? Well, I’ve neglected to check my voicemail though I have 4 new messages, and I have been confronted with a mountain of still-not-wrapped, still-not-delivered Christmas presents to deal with. (I haven’t finished writing my Christmas letter, either.)
As far as my resolution of improving my attitude… sigh. After my auspicious start, I was stomping around the house this afternoon, cursing myself for being a complete idiot (and worse). David finally got fed up with me being so negative, and said, “Knock it off. You are better than this.” (I did not reply. He said, “Are you mad?” I said no. “Do you wish I would shut up?” I said no. “Are you sure?” I said no.) I am better than this. In fact, I am pretty darn good. What is not good is setting myself up for failure with these all-or-nothing pronouncements and then beating myself up for not meeting them. So I’m not going to have resolutions this year. Instead, I am going to focus on doing the next thing, the next task on my plate, and giving that task my full attention. Let’s see how everything turns out.