“Channel your inner spirit animal” the lady said in her soft, gentle and relaxing way. I’m sure I was supposed to conjure up something that had pride and was strong, like a lion or a bear. What came to mind though was that today my spirit animal is a snail.
It isn’t just the lack of energy that makes me feel like a snail today. It’s the inability to get into any speed other than the extra slow lane speed. No matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to push myself beyond extra slow. I mean sure, I will get where I am going, but don’t ask for any speed walking today. Actually, don’t expect too much to get done today. And it’s not all because of my swollen, aching joints either.
I don’t ever recall owning this speed prior to lupus. Prior to lupus my speed was more or less a thousand miles an hour with my hair on fire. Prior to lupus my joints didn’t hurt or get swollen, which accounts for some of the slow down. But something else happened with lupus too.
I become more reflective, withdrawn and found a slower speed. I’m not saying that snails are reflective because I have no proof either way. I like the idea of having my safe place (house/shell) with me at any time so I can crawl into it and just relax, rest or deal with the fact that I’m not having an awesome time of it all. And I do not like this slower speed that I have simply had to come to accept with lupus.
The reflective side of things isn’t bad, it’s just different. Sometimes it’s all I can do to reflect back on something because I don’t have the ability to do those mental gymnastics right now thanks to my brain being in thick fog from lupus. So instead I reflect and observe. I notice the stuff I used to ignore or not have time for. Now that I have lupus, I have time for enjoying watching the green leaves first unfurl. Checking the progress of a flower bud as it slowly unwinds itself into the full bloom. I can marvel at the way an ant will set itself to a task and just complete it. And I can watch the clouds float across the sky. You see, in some ways, lupus has allowed me to slow down and that’s a good thing.
My neighbor is a very industrious sort of soul. He is constantly taking care of his lawn, his garden and his house. I have never seen someone so dedicated to maintaining the appearance of his place to the point where grass near the sidewalk that was missed by the mower will be hand cut with scissors. It’s a sight to behold!
Today he was doing some major, deep raking of his lawn. Given how lush and green it looks, I was surprised that he had any dead in the grass at all. But there is was a small pile of dead grass. Calling to the four-footed one. Demanding that she roll in his nice pile that he hadn’t gotten around to picking up just quite yet.
So she rolled while I was talking with my neighbor’s wife. I had no clue what was happening until she started to giggle. At which point I glanced over and discovered that the four-footed one was now wearing a grass blanket upon her back. She was looking rather pleased with herself.
Naturally I offered to clean up the now spread out pile, but the wife assured me not to worry, it gave her husband something else to do. And he’s probably take a soft brush to the four-footed one’s coat as well to ensure she didn’t bring any of the grass in the house. And that’s exactly what happened, as well as an offer to take care of the trampled spots on my front lawn.
I had get some items for the four-footed one today. Naturally those involve going to a store that caters to animals…dogs and cats for the store we went to. It’s a locally owned store that incorporates local products where it can. And it has its own version of a bakery.
The store allows dogs and cats provided they are on a leash and well-behaved. The four-footed one loves the store and the staff. Without fail every time we go in she is offered treats, spoiled with affection and has a blast. It’s never a quick in and out visit. Not with all the people who need to see her as well as all the smells to be taken in.
This visit she was offered a tea cookie, no tea in it. But if she were a human it was something that might pair well with a tea. And it al human grade ingredients. The store owner enjoyed a cookie after giving my four-footed companion one. He also offered me one, but I declined.
When we left, I with items I needed to buy plus something extra for her, and her with her tummy full of treats, the owners wife came over to us and insisted on giving the four-footed wonder a treat as well. Now the four-footed one will never turn down a treat and thankfully these are all low-calorie not to mention not too big. Naturally she consumed the treat, let her picture be taken and left a happy pet.
It never occurred to me that one day I would be eating the same treats I buy the dog, from a dog store. Would you? Eat treats from the dog store designed for both owners and their pets?
Mint. The four-footed one loves mint. She picks it out of the garden the minute she can. If it can’t be picked out of the garden, she no doubt hopes we have some from the store.
I don’t mind sharing my mint with her however she doesn’t seem to understand the idea of sharing in return. Unless it’s after she’s finished chewing up all the mint she wants. Then she leaves me the half bitten or eaten pieces. Not the most appealing version of sharing.
Today she claimed the entire mint patch as hers. Now I don’t mind in the fact that mint comes back all the time so it’s not like a massive expense. However she took the whole patch as hers already. The mint season is now going into full-bore. So do I get and plant more mint or hope the stuff she flopped down as a resting patch serves her and I can use it?
Is it wrong to put a fence around of the mint to keep her out of it? Of course knowing her she’d find a way around the fence. Or perhaps I should consider that this year I will be mint free. But the four-footed one would still have her mint season.
I’ve spent a fair chunk of my life traveling. A good portion of my travels involved airplane rides. I don’t mind flying and am always delighted when you are high enough up to get a different perspective of the land you know so well when you are on the ground.
I have often wondered if birds and flying insects have the same enjoyment with flight, even though there is no way for them to tell me. Nor do I have a clue how their emotions or minds work. Regardless of all the logistical issues, I am curious about this.
I’m even more curious about this today. For one specific, innocent, unsuspecting fly. This poor fly that managed to have the misfortune to land in my garden. Near the four-footed one.
I’m not sure if the four-footed one is envious of those creatures who can fly. If she is may explain her behavior today. Which was a combination of pouncing on the poor fly and trapping it in her paws while dragging her paws on the ground. (Yes sometimes she does like to pretend she’s a cat!) When she was finished and decided to set the fly free it was evident the poor creature wouldn’t be able to live up to its name. I wonder if it will miss flying and being in the air. Poor fly.
I should let it be known, again, that I am deathly allergic to math. I start to sweat, my knees grow weak, my throat swells up and my brain flees the confines of my skull when I am exposed to the stuff. However over the years I have developed coping skills so I can be around the basic math. Once fractions come out I start to feel shaky and I know better than to push my luck.
Imagine my surprise when I signed up for an online course working with software, not developing it, and within the introduction, the facilitator cheerfully announced that we would be using our math skills. Beyond the basics even. Stuff like trains traveling on different tracks leaving at different times and having different speeds was the beginning point of the math.
As the introduction continued the facilitator happily announced the need for understanding calculus because of course that’s an every day use right there. By this point sweat started to form, cold chills left me shaking and if I had to stand up I knew my knees would give way. The question became one of survival, did I stay signed into the class and attempt to use my weak coping skills with math or did I do the smart thing and leave before I killed myself with too much exposure?
I stayed in the class thinking that surely I’d have a firm grasp of how and when to apply my coping skills. Except I don’t. Because you start talking in math terms and I start to feel my throat close up while my brain searches for the nearest exit. But I will stay in the class if for nothing else than that I should get a bit better coping with these horrible confrontations!
The four-footed one loves to find patches of sunlight to flop down and rest in. As the sun moves across the floor, the four-footed one will happily follow it. If she’s outside, once all the distractions have been dealt with, she will happily find a place with lots of sun and throw herself onto the grass where she will promptly fall asleep.
I am a bit envious as I have had to learn to ignore the sun and all its appeal simply because lupus seems to not just feed by increase in strength by what seems like a million times thanks to the sun. So I will watch her find that perfect spot and settle her self down while I make do with the shade and a million layers of sunscreen.
When she gets too hot, she wakes up, pants, goes to her water to have a drink and then comes to cool off in the shade for a short period of time before the sun beckons her again. She can happily spend all day in this cycle, with short breaks indoors for things like food (she doesn’t like to share with the outside critters) and checking on her precious toys.
If it’s too hot outside for her it becomes a battle of wills between the two of us, she wants to be outside and I know she needs to be indoors to cool off. Usually I win this one because I am bigger than she is. But now and then she will become too set on staying outside. On those times she isn’t afraid to fight dirty, putting teeth on me, pushing hard with her legs and paws to keep me away. And once and a while she will use what I consider to be the ultimate weapon in any dog’s arsenal…flatulence.
Thankfully today she managed to get her fill of frolicking in the sun through walks and lots of play time, so she was good and tired. And thus, I was able to capture her and put her in the house so that the ants can stop using her as a speed bump or their version of Mount Everest (not sure which is more appropriate) and I don’t have to worry about her getting too hot. And this is just the beginning of a long season with her, in and out of the house non-stop!