Die Dancing…

Remember when you used to do dumb things?  Perhaps I should elaborate.  With more life experiences, do you find yourself taking the safe route in life?  Don’t leave the job you hate because you have bills to pay.  Don’t go dancing because people will laugh at you.  Don’t try new foods because you might not like them.  Don’t take up a new hobby because you’re too old to start something new.  Now, what if you decided that you wanted to try something new?  What if you decided that being happy and really living your life is what mattered more than anything?  Can you imagine what your new version of life would be like?

When I am in a super happy mood I find that I want to try new things.  I might experiment with cooking a new meal (yes, I am an avid cook.  You’d think I would be posting more recipes).  I might seek out new restaurants (hmmm…food again).  I might start drawing pictures (yes, you have seen some of my phenomenal artwork here).  However, when I get in a “reality” slump, I find my creative juices are suddenly bone dry.  The flow has ebbed and disappeared.  I cook the same boring meals.  I would rather stay home than venture out in public.  Nothing seems right.  How do I get out of this funk?  I literally wish it away.

I will actually say something like this out loud, “I wish I would get out of this funk.  Please help me out.”  Yup, it sounds silly but it works every time.  Suddenly, something or someone will cross my path to pull me out of my boring world.  I become invigorated!  It could be a funny little piglet video.  It could be a child doing something so silly that it reminds me not to take life so seriously.  I recently experienced this funk and I was lucky to have someone put things in perspective for me.

I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but my hubby has wonky knees.  He has fine chicken legs (haha), but his knees are really only being held in place by the skin surrounding them.  This is the sad news.  His knees will sometimes buckle and down he goes for the count.  This past Saturday, a knee gave out, my man fell down hard, his knee swelled like a balloon.  We were planning on having a lovely evening at a family wedding with the hopes of dancing.  Bad knee = no dancing.  Right?  I, apparently, was wrong.

When the music began, Wiseguy looked over at me, raised his eyebrows in the universal signal for, “shall we?” to which I replied:  “NO!”  Not once.  Not twice.  I refused him 8 times!  So, he got up and went to ask someone else to dance.  I sat in my chair and steamed and stewed and grumbled.  Why?!  His stupid knee was busted and now he was going to make it worse!  What an idiot!!  Oh yes, that was the nicest word I used of the choicest I had for him at that particular moment.  I did not want to hear about the pain for the following days and weeks because he had decided to dance.  After a few turns on the floor he left the hall and his cohort in crime came over to me and, with a grin, asked “Who died?”  At this point I spewed my anger about his absurd desire to dance and wreck his knee even more.  I thought she would agree with me and my logic.  Nope.  She had a different explanation.

“Let me tell you a story,” she began.  “About 10 years ago I recall being at a banquet and everyone was dancing.  One man suddenly collapsed to the floor.  Someone tried resuscitating him, but it was too late.  He was gone.”  My eyes bugged out, my mouth dropped open.  “So, you see,” she continued, “we love to dance and will die doing it.”  Then she got up and went back to her seat at the table.  That was the moral of the story?  Die dancing?

Hmmm, that got me the thinking.  Hubby wasn’t trying to make his knee worse.  He was looking to enjoy dancing while he still could.  How long would his knees last?  How long until he would no longer be able to bust a move?  My foul mood was changing.  The clouds were lifting and my happy disposition was returning.  I went in search of my dance partner.  We danced the rest of the evening and part way into the morning.

How were his knees after all the festivities?  Not good.  There was a hospital visit in there too.  Does he regret dancing?  Never.  Would he do it again?  In a heartbeat.  Why?  He loves to dance and he will keep tearing up the dance floor no matter what the consequences the next day.

We are told to live every day as if it’s our last, but plan as if we shall live forever.  We seem to get the latter part right, but the first part seems too unreal for us to even consider.  Living life to the fullest oftentimes means leaving our comfort zone and trying new things.  Go on a trip where you have never been before.  Take classes in stuff that interest you.  Even better, think about things that people used to say you weren’t good enough to do, but you loved, and go ahead and do them!  You will be so happy that you did!  Don’t look back on your life with regret.  No matter how foolish you might think you look, you will know in your heart that you were brave enough to break out and really live!  Worst case scenario?   If it’s your thing…you could die dancing.

 

 

Lucy… I’m Home! Lequitia? Looowee?

I wrote about one dog love (my puppy / doggy Waldo) and today I will tell you the story of Lucy.  If you read my previous blog, you would’ve learned about my fear of dogs and how I came to own one myself.  This is the story of how a little black and white shi-poo came to be part of our family.

Waldo (a.k.a. “Fabio” the dog who believes he is the be all and end all) was our only fuzzy friend.  He came to us from a pet store that Princess worked at.  Hubby came home one day with a scared, little black Shi-poo.  She was being picked on by the pure bred shitzus so Princess asked if he could save her.  He did.  Roxanne became Waldo’s little sister.

Roxanne and Waldo were meant to be together.  Waldo was only one month older than his new sister.  When they napped, Roxanne would put her head on top of Waldo’s neck.  They ran around excitedly. Roxanne running out front and Waldo running after her.  We had a great little dog team, but it was short lived.  One day we had the backyard gate open and the chase continued from the backyard, spilling over into the front yard.  Speedy Roxanne ran happily out into the street and was hit by a passing pickup truck.  She died instantly.  Wiseguy and I were traumatized .  Waldo was devastated.  Waldo would sit by the window every day to try and find his playmate.  I thought we should find him someone new to play with.

Imagine my surprise when Wiseguy told me that he was coming home with a new puppy.  She was seven weeks old.  When I came home I couldn’t believe how tiny she was!  (Wiseguy named her Lucy because of the line from the “I Love Lucy” show where Desi would come home and holler “Luuuucy I’m home!”)  My wee little hairball had a head of black hair with white hairs just above the eyes;  they looked like an old man’s grey eyebrows.   Her black head sat on a completely white body.  So tiny and spunky and yippy and beyond adorable.  She was a shi-poo with spunk!  She was scampering around everywhere!  We found Waldo a new playmate!  Except for one thing:  Waldo hated her.

Waldo kept walking away from her.  He would climb on a step or jump on the couch so she couldn’t reach him.  Too much pawing and nipping and especially the scampering!  Poor Waldo.  We wanted to find him a mate and we found him an annoyance.  I guess that one year difference was just too much.  Oh well, Lucy was with us to stay.

Our new addition became ill after 3 months.  Lucy had strangles.  What?  Worse case scenario the illness could have strangled her to death.  For three months she had to take meds to kill her autoimmune system.  No regular dog walks because she could get an even deadlier infection.  Sadly her world exposure was quite hampered.  As such she barks at the following:  all people walking or running, people on bicycles or skateboards,  buses driving by, birds, leaves, air.  You get the idea.  For three months of her life all she had was Waldo as her dog example.  She even pees like Waldo; one hind leg up.   She never got to sniff or see or play with any other dogs.  She survived and became a unique (?) dog.

For some reason my little 10 lb. pup likes to play fetch.  A shi-poo that plays fetch?  Weird.  She likes to lick her paws like a cat.  When Waldo is looking out the window and barks at something outside, she will stand up on her hind legs and bark as well.  Why is she barking?  Because Waldo is.  If I leave them at doggie daycare, Waldo will hang out near her to protect her because she doesn’t really know how to be with dogs (we think she believes she is a cat).  After his big brother duty is done, he will saunter off.  Lucy will whine and be miserable if her big brother isn’t around.  Sounds like a regular human relationship between brother and sister right?

Although her name is Lucy, she will come when I call any name that starts off with the “loo” sound.  Lucy, Lulu, Lequitia (that was a favourite for a few months), Lucifer (haha), and most recently my niece’s little one who will be two in a couple of months called her “Loooweee”.  Lucy came.

So now you know the story of my two favourite cuddle-puppies.  Waldo, our pretty boy  who is very vocal when he wants something.  Lucy, the quiet cat-like dog who loves to cuddle and lick.  Lick everything and anything.  If she needs to go out she will sit and stare at you.   That’s your first clue.  If you don’t get it from that silent clue, she will jump onto your lap and start licking your face off.  No barking.  It’s her trademark “I need to poo” move.  Throw a ball and she will fetch to the point of retching.  Crazy dog.

If I had to do a dating profile for Lucy it would read as follows:  LOVE baths (I jump into the tub myself).  I HATE, HATE, HATE having my hair brushed.  Love walks so I can bark at everything and everyone.  Love to lick my paws.  Love to lick your face.  Love to be cuddled and coddled.  I will head butt you if you hold onto the ball and won’t throw it for me to fetch.  I am 7 years old and I run around like a puppy.  You may find me weird at first, but I have my own special qualities.  Love Lucy (aka Lequitia / Lucifer / Lulu / Loooweee)

P.S.  I love Waldo

Pork and Beans and the Prized Nugget

Schools of thought.  I myself have been on both sides of the fence depending on my age and/or necessity to explain or justify what I’m doing.  Sometimes my own thoughts just don’t seem as intelligent or convincing enough so why not borrow from the tried and true?

Too many chefs spoil the broth OR many hands make light work

Absence makes the heart grow fonder OR out of sight, out of mind

The pen is mightier than the sword OR actions speak louder than words

I could go on, but you get the idea.  What got me pondering and processing proverbs?   This weekend was one that I had been happily anticipating for a few days.  Social calendar full, beautiful weather, and Wiseguy not working.  Trifecta! Perfection!  Or so we thought.

Earlier in the week I had learned that a lovely lady had passed away.  She was only 51.   (Yes, for you youngins in your 20s that’s old, but we middle agers find that to be baby status to old age).  It came suddenly and unexpectedly in the form of a heart attack.  After some tears and hugs and grieving at the funeral home I again began to look forward to my happy weekend plans and enjoy life again.   Three days later another life jolt.  Another beautiful,  young woman in her 50s had passed away.  A kind and happy person who enjoyed life and made others feel happy, comfortable when you were around her.  The question you can’t help but ask is why?

When the week was done, I looked in my rearview mirror of wisdom to try and decipher what it all meant.  Death is shocking.  There’s anger and guilt and fear and mostly denial.  Death is so final.  Death is also illuminating.  My thoughts and beliefs on death have changed many times over the years.  Maybe that’s where the wisdom kicks in, or maybe, I find more comfort in disbelieving what I had learned before.  If this was your last day on earth how would you feel and what would you do?

What about life itself?  Is there a purpose?  Is there a meaning to our lives?  We wonder how we really fit in.  We promise to take time for ourselves.  We see family at funerals and PROMISE to call and visit because the mortality punching bag hit us hard.  And then, we go back to “life“.  Work.  Pay bills.  Buy necessities.  Maybe a few days vacation.  Is that life?

As I age (gracefully, of course) I look more at children and their approach to life.  Take a 3 year old and watch them get upset when they don’t get what they want.  Tears.  Tantrums. They know.        They deserve more.  Why do we adults accept that we can’t have better?

Each person derives a message upon hearing about the death of a loved one.  Each person goes through the stages of denial and guilt and anger to final acceptance.  It’s an emotional journey that can either leave you emotionally drained and looking consistently at the sadness and unfairness in life or it will lead you to finding a new sign or life message leading you to a happier more fulfilled life.  Which side of the proverb are you on?

I am trying to find positivity in the negative.  I believe that this is a sign to live life to the fullest.  When asking why people have to die and leave us, I remind myself that we don’t know how long we have here on earth and that we do need to take time to have fun.  We assume that we will wake up the next day. I am starting to rethink my life.  I am in the baby stages of redefining the living of my life by actually making myself follow my dreams to their realization.  No more giving up for fear of failure.  I will be grateful for that first deep breath in the morning because I know I am alive and my surrounding world is full of adventures that I need to explore.  I will let myself float in the pool of happiness around me.  I will love myself and share that love with others.  I will live and love and know that when my time comes I will be grateful for this thing called “life”.

Pork and Beans.  (Stay with me here, all will be explained.)  I think it is the simplest explanation to my conundrum.  Have you ever had a can of pork and beans? I remember reading the label and thinking there would be numerous chunks of bacon with the beans.  Can opened and contents extracted.  Hmmmm, one little wee piece of bacon and MILLIONS of beans.  This can of beans was like our weekend (told you I’d explain it).  Our disheveled weekend plans became a blessing in disguise.  You will have many experiences in life that all seem the same and monotonous, like the beans and one prized “nugget” of pork experience.   That one nugget, that one day, when everyone’s life coincides in togetherness and love is as large as the full moon.  It’s magical.  Wiseguy and I did get to spend time with people we love.  We did to get to appreciate and feel good about life with the people who are still with us.

Moral:  There will be sad times in your life.  Cry, be sad, hurt, grieve.  It’s a process.  Then move on.  Change your way of life.  Stop living with the simple monotonous beans of life.  Go searching and experiencing numerous and exciting prized pork nuggets. (My analogies, you must agree, are not conventional but then, neither am I.)

For those who have lost loved ones, I understand, I feel your loss, and can only give momma hugs. Words cannot heal what you have lost, but the good memories to follow will.  XOXOXO