Looking ahead: reflections and gratitude


The end of 2020 will mark many endings, and a few new beginnings.

Redirect me to this statement next time I sound exasperated, exhausted, depressed, anxious or confused. (Basically every 15 minutes or so.) πŸ˜‰

Something’s gotta give. So I’m writing down my master plan, a sort of directional instruction guide.

First step:

I’m not going to let all these external factors derail me from my purpose.

Derailment may still happen (almost probably will), but there is no reason why I can’t re-adjust and adapt.

Second step:

Get in control of negative emotions.

This will be trickier but not impossible.

For instance:

This morning wasn’t great. Yesterday was worse. But then, this happened while I was outside with the puppy πŸ’© machine:

Late summer sunrise in Toronto


That was at 6 am. Usually puppy is up between 4 and 6ish for pee and/or πŸ’©. Some mornings I handle it better than others. Today was easier than yesterday.

Yesterday sucked. The whole day. I left to let them figure it out and spent the day in stores, the mall and even treated myself to lunch (chicken Cesar salad) and soap (rose scented, and lemon scented).

#SelfLove #PityParty

(For new readers: I wasn’t 100% on board with a puppy joining our family but the pandemic changed many dynamics and my tween really, really wanted to raise a puppy and…I had a hard time justifying my “not now” to their “now is better than later”. Which is why we have a 9 week old Beagle puppy named Tucker.)

Here are a few other gratitude points need emphasizing:

  • My daughter is back from her cottage trip and will be a big help with poochie
  • Poochie has the attention span of a fruit fly which is both a good thing (redirect) and a bad thing (re-redirect) 😡
  • The weather is pleasant for those nightly/early morning trips to the backyard for pee and πŸ’©
  • The family is full hands-on with the training, exposure to new things, and cleanup of accidents (but the dog recognizes me as the alpha) (I don’t really want to be the alpha)

But. Here comes the part that I struggle with:

I have not written anything in ages. And when I can’t write (mostly due to time constraints and interruptions) I feel it. It unsettles me, makes me feel unhinged and cranky. I process life with words, and without the ability to write, even if it’s only rough drafts or pieces that will never see the light of day, I feel unfulfilled in some way. If that makes sense.

Do not let this look of innocence fool you. He fidgets. And licks or bites my phone if I try to multitask.

My job search is also canceled until at the very least this dude is housebroken. That’s why I gave myself time off until the end of the year – that should be enough time to adjust the dog to family life and train the kids how to be a full-time dog owner (not just a part-time, when mom isn’t around, dog owner).

It is only at that point that I can consider moving back in with mom. I have been spending time with her over the weeks to help her adjust to widowhood, and was also able to get a lot more writing done at her house, but until Tucker is house-trained, I’m not convinced changing his main residence is necessarily a smart idea.

However, despite all the challenges, I have quite a lot of stories formulating in my head. At times I make notes in my Evernote app. Other times, I just hope that I can retain the thought until I have time to reach for a device. Mornings were/are typically my best time to write, but with the dog now, it’s just not happening. My partner gets up with him in the middle of the night too, but when he has to fly, I take over the dog thing, obviously. Usually in early mornings…

But soon, very soon, the children will learn to join me on my morning puppy adventures. THAT’S a promise.

In the meantime, I have managed to write a single blog post in the last three hours since I’ve been up, with bits here and there while supervising Tucker. I’ve had coffee. And once I hit publish, I’m going to get dressed and take the puppy out for his morning walk.

Good morning Sunday. Happy coffee.

28 thoughts on “Looking ahead: reflections and gratitude

  1. I read you don’t want to be the alpha of the herd. I’m sorry to say you already are, and you can’t give up that hierarchy. Surely it’s you who puts food on the dog’s plate and you’re the one who opens and closes the doors, that made you the alpha and you can’t give up, it’s a lifetime charge. Good luck. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Could you not spend a few days with your Mum and leave the puppy behind? That way, you get a break and the rest of your family gets to understand what it means to be full-time dog owners.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good to have a plan. Puppies and kids, they are disruptors. But don’t fully discount the creative interference that comes with pandemic/political upheaval. These things, over which we have no control, eat at our collective center. I find myself agitated and restless. Writing doesn’t help. Unfortunately, baking does.


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