Someone asked me if I was going to dress the four-footed up for Halloween. The person who asked this question does not know the four-footed one very well. So the answer to the question is no. Because I’d like to keep my body intact, away from teeth and claws. I’d like to keep my hearing intact too.
How do I know what will happen you ask. A reasonable question. You see the four-footed one has a few coats for when it gets colder, or far too wet. And experience has taught me exactly what she will do. Because my four-footed companion likes to be au natural.
If she could get away with no collar, she’d be in her version of seventh heaven. Yes her collar. She doesn’t even want to wear it. When I take it off to give her a brush or a bath, it is a fight to get it back on her. She’d happily go streaking (both in speed and no coverage) all the time if she could.
Alas she is almost always clothed in her collar. The tiny strip of material that it is . Blinged out with her required tags. That’s it. Yet you’d think I was making her wear a thousand layers of clothing or blankets.
So no, no costume for her. No dunking for apples, because it’s not her thing, but begging for treats? Oh yes, she will do that. Just stop by the house and you will see.
Life itself is a bit of a juggling act isn’t it? Or perhaps it’s more of a question of balancing on the high wire for you. And I certainly can feel like a roller coaster ride at the amusement park with its ups and downs.
Life with lupus is exactly like all those things plus a trip in the fun house (without the fun) and a ride on the Drop Of Doom with somewhat less than grippy harnesses.
Land just like a day at the fair, it’s not all bad. I know a lot of times lupus makes things seem bad,but not really. You have your good days which to me are like trying some new food at the fair or going on a nice ride. You have days where you will throw the ball at the target and be successful and other days where you just don’t get the prize.
It’s all okay though, as hard as it seems. As frightening as those rides can be at their scariest, it’s okay. What makes it okay you ask? Having support makes it okay. Having people who know when you need help even if you won’t ask, that makes it okay too. Knowing you aren’t alone? You better believe that makes it okay.
So even though you may be scared or unsure, go out and see what the fair, um, life I mean brings. Even if you have lupus.
Some days you just don’t what you are going to get when you open your door to step in the house after a day out. If you live with a very excitable and loving four-footed companion like I do, you may listen well before you open the door. It’s just a way to get a feel for things before you actual step into it.
Today I stopped and gave a quick listen before entering my own house. The listen told me nothing. Silence greeted me. Now silence could mean the four-footed one is sleeping, preoccupied or out for a walk with Beloved. So naturally I was a bit cautious when I opened the door. Just in case the preoccupation was interrupted.
You see the four-foots one likes to run to the door and launch herself at me. She loves to jump and squirm around my legs. All while wagging her tail a thousand times a minute while trying to lick me. So yes, caution is a good thing.
But she never greeted me. Beloved’s shoes were at the door so I know he wasn’t out for a walk with her. Silence filled the air as I started to go through putting my stuff down and seeing where they were.
It turns out the two of them were napping. On the bed. Sound asleep. They must have had a busy day to not even stir when I came in the room. So I did what they said one should do when one encounters a sleeping dog, I let her, and Beloved, stay sleeping.
Have you ever just gotten into bed and sank deeply into your mattress? So deep that you aren’t sure if you will ever get out again? Now I’m not talking about a mattress that is needing replaced, I’m talking about the perfect sinking after one of those days.
The other day, after a day that never seemed to end, I crawled into my bed and felt the mattress pull me into a deep, warm embrace. I just let myself sink until I could sink no further. And for a brief moment I wondered how I would get back out of the bed. But it was fleeting.
I woke up still feeling as if the mattress was holding me in a loving, warm embrace. And I seriously thought about just staying there, the mattress and I almost melded into one. Except the dog needed to go outside and there is this odd thing called work that insisted I attend to it.
Surprisingly, I had no trouble getting out of the mattress and on into my day. I wouldn’t say the day was better because I sank into bed. It was just different. And of course there was no repeat performance of the gentle sinking into the mattress the following night because that would be too lovely. But if any of you know how to make the mattress do that again, I’m all ears!
There is something to be said about little paw prints neatly marching along a crisp white background. There is something else to be said about those same paw prints when they are found marching across a white shirt. A white shirt laid out to be worn that same day. And when those paw prints have been made in mud? Yeah.
The four-footed one would tell you that what you should say about those paw prints is aww. And if those paw prints, muddy no less, happen to be all over your freshly laundered shirt, laid out on a chair, well you should say thank you for your fashion design.
Except none of that is what I said. What I wanted to say is, umm, profanity laced. And no I did not say that either because swearing in front of the four-footed one will not do. I have no clue why this is the case, but it is. So instead I called her into the room, pointed at the now paw print covered shirt which had moved from the chair onto the floor and asked her if she was responsible.
And yes dear readers, for a small moment I waited. I no clue why. It’s not like she is going to answer me in a way I understand. But I waited and then I simply moved on with my day. Minus my new fashion statement.
How can one small dog, a dog the size of shoebox, manage to find every available muddle puddle and soak herself in from the tip of her nose to the tip of her tail? Not only does the dog manage to find the mud puddles and roll in them for maximum mud soaking, but she brings it in the house. And spreads it generously throughout the house.
Now I know it’s a dog’s nature to find things and roll in them. And I understand that to a degree she is going to bring the outdoors into the house. I expect the odd leaf or two, a blade of grass here and there and yes even an ant or so. But mud more than half way up the walls of the house? Not exactly.
And the amount of mud that comes out of her coat when I give her a bath? Yeah I wasn’t expecting to have the bathtub full of thick muddy water. But for some reason this is what happens during this time of year with a dog the size of a shoebox and a world that seems endlessly filled with mud puddles. Or maybe it just seems that way to me.
The four-footed one has taken to watching the window for long stretches these days. When she is seated in her position, nothing seems to escape her gaze. She announces her new discoveries through a variety of barks and growls. Strangers walking down the road warrant deep throaty growls that seem to start from deep within her and consume her very being. Unfortunately most people will stop their walk to look for the source of the noise, which leads to more growling and occasionally her banging on the window.
If there are birds brave enough to land in the yard, they will get barked at until they fly away. She hasn’t figured out yet that the birds aren’t all that afraid once they realize she can’t get to them from behind the glass. The birds, once they realize the threat is just a bluff, tend to tease her a bit. If they get too close to the window, she will start to jump up against it and then, well then the people in the house tend to get a bit upset. And by the people in the house, I mean my either Beloved or myself.
Now I know she’s being a dog and dogs tend to talk in barks, yips and growls. I get it. And I know that when you look out the window there are some amazing sights and you just have to share them with others. I understand all of this, but at some point surely people walking down the street gets tired, even for her. And yet it would appear not.
I may need to get my hearing checked as today the birds decided the front garden was the perfect place for an all day convention. And of course this I had to be informed about all of this, repeatedly thanks to the four-footed one’s energetic updates.
I read somewhere that if you didn’t spend 80-90% of your time trying to be more like other people, you’d be more authentic and be further ahead. I understood what the aurora was trying to get at, but I seriously wonder if he ever considered that there are some people who if they don’t try to be more like others will simply be left out or behind.
Beloved learned how to talk “posh” to overcome a childhood in what I’d refer to as the ghettos. His language, until he went to university was coarse and common, but when he realized what he wanted out of his life, he had to learn a different vocabulary. He also had to learn how to pronounce things properly. When he’s tired, intoxicated or in pain, the language of his childhood comes back as his way of speaking.
My mother insisted that I would learn to not have an accent that would have people deduct IQ points when I said hello. I had to learn how to tone down my accent, avoid saying y’all and things of that nature. But those are the things that most folks say are enduring about me. Granted no one wants to attend a class with the facilitator saying things like “we’re fixin to learn ’bout all that.” So I do appreciate that my mother had the foresight I didn’t.
My mother also insisted that collecting worms was not ideal. It’s probably a good thing that I was broken of that habit too because I can imagine that my pockets, full of worms, would simply be a huge mess. And I’m pretty sure the worms don’t want to go through the washer or dryer, which would happen if I still collected them.
So maybe we all need to be a bit more refined, so we are more suitable to be out in the general public, but I can’t see how that’s using 80-90% of my time trying to be who I am not. Perhaps others have bigger things they work with.
When I was a child, one of my favorite things to do was play on the swings. I loved to swing as high as possible. I could spend hours just swinging. When I was old enough, I’d take myself down to the swings and spend an afternoon happily swinging along and watching the sky. Everything else just sort of faded away. Sometimes time faded away to the point that my mother would have to come and get me because it was time to come in and eat.
In some ways I could just swing a thousand miles away from home without ever really leaving it. I could leave behind whatever it was that needed doing while I was on that swing. I could ignore a thousand things and just swing as though there wasn’t a care in the world.
I could use a good swing right about now because the truth is I would like to get away from things for a bit. You can’t really do that with life. You can try, and sometimes for a few moments you are successful, but ultimately the pull is too much and you find yourself plonked right back down into the mess of your life. Because life is messy no matter how you look at it.
Messy and full of mistakes and sometimes don’t you just want to let go, because your arms are so tired? And what if you could hop out of your own life for a few moments and hop into another one, just to see how that fits? I’d do it, just to see. And I can imagine that I’d get into that other life simply by jumping off the swing while it was at a high arc. I’d come down in someplace different. (I haven’t quite yet figured out how you’d get back although I suspect you’d just do the reverse.)
And why, you may ask, are your arms so tired? From carrying around all the mistakes, baggage and stuff you carry around day-to-day. All the disappointments that you shove in that bag you mean to put down, but you never really do because you might need them for something. So you swing into another a life for a few moments. And in that other life you don’t have all those things to carry around. You are free to carry other things. But you can’t stay there, not forever.
I think I may be off to search for my own set of swings now….
The problem with chronic illnesses, like lupus is that they never really go away. There is no cure for the, so they just kind of hang around like that item of food you may have for an emergency, but you know things have to be really drastic before you will consider eating it. And that’s if you lucky with your chronic illness.
If you aren’t so lucky, your chronic illness becomes like that one person who torments you and never goes away. Why is that? Because you never get a break from the illness. It’s just always there, nudging you, pushing you or playing mean tricks on you. Honestly you want a break.
But the biggest problem with these illnesses isn’t just how they wear you down with them being there. It’s that they can change in intensity and how they affect you. In some cases it may feel as if they are suffering from a multiple personality issue. Only it’s how they affect you. Sure it keeps you on your toes, but who wants to be on their toes all the time? Not me. It’s painful. Not to mention exhausted.
So while I may not look sick because I have been blessed with an invisible, chronic illness, I’m still dealing with many things. Including an illness that is without a cure and has yet to go into remission.