Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut
Today I am adopting my new dog and I'm a nervous wreck. It's taken me several months to feel I can share my life with another furry friend after my sweet Homer died last August, but now I'm ready. I hope.
Homer was so laid back that he was almost not a dog. He was completely blind and because of that he made his way through life slowly, presumably not wanting to crash into anything. It seemed as if he slept 23.5 hours a day, including through my arrivals home (no meeting me at the door) and the doorbell ringing (he was pretty deaf, too), and if he deigned to go for a walk, it
wasn't very far. Sometimes I was lucky to get him to the end of the driveway. Like I said, he almost wasn't a dog. And if ever there was a dog person, it's me. I'm up for walking a dog for miles, having one meet me at the door as if he hasn't seen me in ages even though all I did was walk to the mailbox, and for having to actually do some training.
My new dog is going to be a handful, though. Found as a stray, he's been at the shelter for 9 months. He was probably an outside dog and thus has few social graces. He's strong, he's energetic, he's smart, and I'm pretty sure he'll be sleeping a lot less than 23.5 hours a day.
For the past several weeks, I've been waking up in the middle of the night, fretting about endless 'what ifs.' What if he is too much dog for me? What if his vet bills are too expensive (he has neurological issues)? What if I'm not the person he really needs? And on and on. I wish I could turn off my mind and rely on guidance unaffected by what scary scenarios the mind can
drum up in the middle of the night.
When I was younger I had the ability to take risks and trust that all would be well, period, but these days I'm entertaining tons more 'what ifs' than I used to. I'm not sure if it's because I now have years more life experience under my belt (and am more familiar with the consequences of poor choices) or if it's because of fear. I hope it's the former and not the latter. I hope my caution has to do with being more realistic about what can actually go wrong if I make one decision rather than another. I hope all this concern is another word for 'wisdom' because I shudder at the thought that my caution is fear-based, nurtured by the omnipresent fear that sells the evening news and so many of the products with which we clutter our lives.
Through all of this what-iffing, I worked myself up enough so that I ended up chuckling, realizing that if I'd gone through the same worried machinations before getting pregnant, I probably would have never had kids! So, after all of my extremely thorough worrying and questioning, I ended up listening to my gut, knowing that whatever the future held for my new dog and me, things would somehow be OK. There is so much out there to discredit or drown out our gut instinct nowadays, but I know it can be just the guidance we need to steer us through the choppy waters of simply too much thinking, analyzing, and worrying.
In the year ahead, my wish for us all is that we remember the wisdom within our gut and listen with an open heart to that wisdom and go ahead and get the dog — whatever that may be.