After FOUR DAYS of drizzle and rain, we have enjoyed SUN. I forget that not being able to go outside can affect our furry family members as well. I was very lucky to not have any errands to run during the days of rain with the exception of running my husband to the airport (whom I let out at the curb) and going to church.
Folks don’t realize how difficult it can be to go out in “inclement weather” when you have a disability that involves your balance. Luckily, I was able to put off running to the store, etc. and work from home during most of those rainy days. I did have one day I had to go in and teach, and Chloe was much more of a “balance assist” dog that day instead of a hearing assistance dog. Poor thing had to retrieve 19 dropped items (yup! I counted!) and had to help me down the very LONG staircase. I guess I shouldn’t say “poor thing”, for truthfully this dog thinks work is PLAY. Her tail is in a constant state of WAG.
Important to Rest and Re-charge
People ask me sometimes if Chloe ever gets to “just be a dog”. She absolutely does! At home she does not wear her vest. Having said that, however, she doesn’t stop working! She has been trained to alert me to the sounds in my home. If someone is at the door… she comes to get me. If my phone rings, she comes to get me or will bring the phone and drop it in my lap. If one of the kids or my husband call my name, she’ll come and get me and take me to them. If the kitchen timer goes off, she comes to let me know. All these things she does without her “working clothes”.
Chloe gets plenty of opportunities to rest and play, however! She barks at bunnies, chases squirrels in the backyard, and tumbles and wrestles with her Elkhound puppy, Tyco. In the evenings she parks her hound-dog self next to me while hubby and I visit and/or watch some taped shows of NCIS. She gets a loving belly-rub the entire time. So don’t feel sorry for working dogs… they are loved, well cared for, and spoiled in many ways!
When to Rest and Re-charge
People need to learn to take a break and go sit in the sun. Especially after numerous “rainy days” that pours itself out on us in the form of stress, difficulties and life problems. We all know when stress is starting to “get to us”. Perhaps you can feel your blood pressure go up, or maybe you develop tummy troubles. You might have difficulty sleeping, or go around BITING THE HEAD OFF of everyone you know.
I just love lists. If you saw my office, you’d laugh out loud! I make lists for everything! My favorite Bible verses are lists that God made for us! He may not “number them” for us, but series of phrases and words are still lists written by God. I have a couple of books my husband got me as really a joke one year. They are called, “Lists to Live By” and I love them! One list I came across this morning reminded me that when we have the opportunity to “sit in the sun”, we should make that time count. Sure… you need to learn to rest. Maybe nap! Relax and unwind! But when you “get back to work” and to facing your problems, it is great to have a plan!
Pat Williams wrote a book called, Unsinkable. Check out this list… and maybe begin brainstorming and thinking about how you can do some of these things during an opportunity you find to “sit in the sun”. In parenthesis, I’ve added my own thoughts.
1. Use what you have. (Don’t tell me you do not have any talents. Even people with disabilities have skills and talents they can use.)
2. Don’t worry about what you don’t have. (Do you have a disability that keeps you from doing something? So what! There are people without disabilities that don’t swim, bungee jump, water ski or travel all over the country! Learn to enjoy what you CAN do, and if you can… ADAPT and change the parameters of an activity so that you can participate. If it cannot be done, don’t worry about it! Find something else you CAN do!)
3. Stay cool when the heat is on. (Under pressure? Biting your nails? Are you WAY TO BUSY? Learn to take time to re-charge… go “sit in the sun”!)
4. When you fall down, get up, dust yourself off, and keep going. (You are gonna fall. It can even hurt. Don’t just lay there… get up and keep going!)
5. Follow through on your dreams. (Don’t let a disability keep you from a dream! Find a way… talk with others and get advice… dreams aren’t only for those who are 100% healthy and problem free)
6. Discipline your thoughts. (Take time to reflect. Exercise your brain. It makes planning and working much more effective. Being organized can save you time… you may even be able to use that extra time to go “sit in the sun”!)
7. Find comfort in helping others. (No matter who you are or what your abilities… you CAN help others. It doesn’t have to be big things. Little things matter to people. Don’t believe me? Think of 5 or 6 little things that do not require money, tons of time, and incredible skill. Do those things on behalf of other people and see if they do not notice!)
8. Give God control. (Ya know He is anyway, right? Relinquishing control allows us to trust in the One who can make these things happen for us anyway!)
Hope you find some time to “sit in the sun” at least figuratively this week!
© 2009 Hearing Loss Journal