Monthly Archives: July 2015

Band-Aids and Breath

My soul-dog long before Hayley-the-wonder-dog was my Sadie the schnauzer. We picked her up from the shelter on her first day of being a shelter dog. She had been malnourished by the previous owner, chained to a fence post, unfed for days. ‘That happened repeatedly’, said the shelter guy. She quickly became my heart, and felt more like my first child than the wirey-haired, beard-faced beauty that she was.

When she briefly ran away a year later, it hadn’t been the first time. We would pile into the car, flashlight in hand, pajamas half on, cursing under our hats, and circle the neighborhood, only to find her happy stub of a tail poking out of somebody’s tipped over trash can. This time however, we found her in a very different pose. She was laying in the road just in front of our house. Her front leg bloodied with protruding bone and muscle. She had been either been hit or attacked, and I thought she wouldn’t make it.

I rushed her to the Animal ER where they wrapped and casted her leg. She was miserable, but at least she and her leg had survived for now. As the weeks went by, I took her in to her Vet for check-ups and re-wraps, until I started noticing a smell. Day by day, the smell grew more and more poigniant. The next vet appointment was weeks away, so I called to get her in earlier. The vet unwrapped her leg, as he had done before, but this time, the smell forced us to stop our inhales. My soul dog Sadie had gangrene. If we couldn’t reverse it, she may lose her leg completely.

Sadie’s doctor made a very wise and leg-saving decision that day. He prescribed air for Sadie’s leg and a lamp shade for her head to prevent her from licking her infected limb. Over the next several weeks, Sadie’s leg improved so much that she stopped limping altogether, and all that was left of her tragedy was a tiny scar where her hair wouldn’t grow.

She needed air. It was that simple. Her wrap was just a band-aid, adding to the poison of infection.

We all need air. The problem is that we’re so invested in the quick feel-good power of our habits, addictions, and compulsions that we use those things as band-aids. We make things more complicated, and like the cast wrap, we just imageadd more poison to the infection by covering up our issues instead of letting them breath. We can cure what ails us, just not by hiding. We need to remember to breathe, discover, acknowledge, and breathe some more until we no longer deny our scars but wear them proudly in order to help others cure their own festering flaws.

Five Minute Friday: Hope

Springing from sleep, leaping from the morning covers, and evening slumber, there is hope. Wise-eyed spirit, young and full of possibilities, even in middle age. We find hope in the sunrise, in the successful procedure, in the phone call, the text you never thought you would see again. We have hope when the flowers rise from ashes of winter’s demise, and when the first bird chirps after violent storms. Hope is breath. It’s the first cry of a newborn baby, and the first breath after that dreaded heart attack. Hope mends us, prepares us for another day. Hope is the blood of life, and the life in death. Without hope, we are shells of ourselves. Hope springs from the spirit of love.

Digging Deep

I am stepping out of my comfort zone tomorrow. I’ve already done some hard stuff. I’ve sold the family business, stopped earning money, changed the course of my life entirely, but this appointment with a college adviser is scaring the dickens out of me. What if I’m too old a dog to learn new tricks? What if I make it all the way to my own classroom and hate it? Life would be so much easier if we could just read ahead, skip a few chapters, or fast forward like Adam Sandler in ‘Click’. I think this may just be where Faith has to shine the brightest. When we’re standing at a crossroads. When nothing is certain, everything is possible, and answers end in questions, instead of the other way around. But it’s like that old adage, ‘I don’t care where you go, but you can’t stay here’. I have zero desire to stay home every day of my life without feeling that I have a true purpose.

Without a job, every morning I feel heavier in my bed. I feel like gravity is holding me down, and the weight of unknowing is starting to inch it’s way to my Faith, to my confidence, and to my spirit. It’s crazy really. For the first month, I participated in a 100 mile running challenge that effortlessly pulled me straight out of bed, out the door to Ethan’s summer camp, and off in a mad dash to whatever new trail I had discovered for the morning. Then there was the first week of July when I was on vacation, and had the purpose of making memories & sharing adventures with my sister, nephew, and my boys. Now, I’m experiencing an odd have-little-to-do week between trips, and I must admit that I’m a little lost. I’ve written, looked for jobs, scheduled appointments, cleaned the house, tied up more loose ends with the business, watched a movie, worked out, played in the kitchen with tons of Pinterest recipes, but still. I don’t know how to be still.

And that is what I am learning. I want to learn to be still, but I don’t want to necessarily become content with being still. This girl’s life needs to move forward. The restlessness that began this journey of change has not yet been satisfied.

So I will wake up tomorrow and dig deep for the courage to take a step in a direction that I feel in my gut will be extremely difficult, and take solace in the fact that, once I am off and going in this direction of full time school/ full time work/ full time mom, I won’t have time to remember being still. And still. We must move with purpose, even if we’re just faking for the moment.