Along for the ride:

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Quiet House

I can't remember the last time my home did not include a cat, dog or multiples thereof. It took me a while to start walking again around the neighborhood. Every time I went out I was faced, not only with an emptiness where a leashed companion used to be, but many, many acquaintances giving me quizzical looks and the fresh tears never far from the surface as I explained one more time that Diva had been put to sleep. I perfected a technique of never really stopping; just keeping walking; never letting myself break down completely. There is something about putting one foot in front of the other that soothes and seems an acceptable escape from sympathetic looks and words, without appearing rude.
My foster-kitten Sparkles has been immersed in kittenly socialization with the other orphans for a week now. Her Mum-to-be visited her yesterday and said she is still even cuter in person than in photos. Sparkles fell asleep in her arms and those arms will be taking her home once she's a little older. I will check in on her next week myself.
I put my cotton robe/dressing gown in the washing machine this morning, after inhaling one last time from the innocent perfume of milky kitten that it had held onto.It seemed a bit final but endings turn into beginnings and change is good.
My goal is to find out who I am and what I want when I am not filling my life with duties and responsibilities to other living things, albeit much loved creatures.
I am going riding tomorrow at a new barn. (New to me). I was there years ago when Lovely Daughter rode there a few times with a friend. It had escaped my memory until I read a post from a blogger I've just started following. She mentioned a new barn she has recently begun attending. I could tell from her clues that this was the place. I liked what she had to say and as far as Karma is concerned, she's grieving her dog and struggling with her identity in life and marriage too. I thought she might freak out if I told her I know the place she has chosen not to name. I really like the sound of the trainer she described but it seemed stalker-like to ask for details so I'll infiltrate and see what I see for myself.


  1. I hope the new barn works out and that it does good things for you. Very sorry about your sweet dog.

  2. Not sure I would be content without the furry faces all around, but I certainly understand your desire to find yourself instead. (Sounds very 1970, but it's actually a worthy endeavor when you've been giving so much that you've forgotten how to give to yourself.)

    The new barn does sound promising and I suspect your intuition is pretty keen about such things. Looking forward to hearing more and things pan out.

  3. It sounds like a positive move to define your goals. I hope your healing continues and you have the time for you.

  4. Kate, thank you. I am making progress and I have been here before so I know my way.

    Jean, I am not thrilled myself but our current life needs work and all I do when I have animals is revolve around their needs. For a blog with an equine title, horses haven't been getting a word in.

    TechnoBabe, we shall see what we shall see.

  5. Allow yourself plenty of time to adjust/re-centre. On the self-discovery front, I'm sure you've got many pleasant surprises ahead. Pieces of you that may have been lost, forgotten or, as yet, unrealised.

  6. I like very much what Martin H. has written, that you might find pieces of your self that have been lost, strayed, or stolen in that quiet house.

    It is very challenging and incredibly hard work for those individuals who have historically dedicated themselves to being helpful to others to stop doing so and be helpful to themselves first and foremost. I wish you the very best in that ever-evolving project.

    I am currently reading a book by Dr. Gabor Maté entitled "When The Body Says No: The Hidden Cost of Stress" which does a superb job of addressing where selflessness intersects with acute and chronic illness. You'd think he wrote it all for me!

    Have a great ride at the new stable when you get over there!

  7. Doing something you love sounds the best way to give yourself time to come to terms with losing Diva and the new barn should be interesting .
    Look after yourself . The whole idea of "Me" time has a bad press for some reason when applied to women . I think it's essential and we need more of it !

  8. Good luck. Embrace the new journey and experience. I hope it leads to all good things.

  9. Good luck with the new barn. I can understand your feelings about the animals, we have lots - horses, cats and dogs, they take up such a lot of our time and energy, but I just don't know how to be without them!!

  10. Di, your life in the country is so much more conducive to including animals. That is part of my decision making process; where do I want to spend the next decade and more? It's hard to think when every minute is about business concerns and paying bills. Not easy to get off this hamster wheel.

    Steve, I have no clue how to do this. I'll let you know as I find my way.

    S&S, How could I let go of something so important to me?

  11. Martin & Ms. Pliers, You are both wise.

  12. Oh I hope a ride at the new barn brings you some happy moments. There is this writer I like and hate in the same time (like because he is clever and hate because he is so raw and right and way too cruel) - here is a quote from him:

    "I wanted to write about the moment when your addictions no longer hide the truth from you. When your whole life breaks down. That's the moment when you have to somehow choose what your life is going to be about. "
    Chuck Palahniuk

  13. Wiola, I appreciate the quote. It is hard to focus on choosing a direction, rather than just getting through the moment. Too many years passing on paths towards other's dreams.

  14. As you say, time to move on, take stock. Sooner or later the right thing to do will become blindingly obvious.
    Good Luck.

  15. Friko, I don't usually go looking for turmoil but I may have to, in the interest of self-preservation. Still taking stock, as you aptly put it.

  16. I feel I've missed a piece of a big change in your life. Is it even more than the decision to not be tied to pets for awhile? --- I will have to hang around and see.
    We were in Portland Sun. afternoon for a play and when we got home we had two large dogs waiting for dinner and a walk, three inside cats desiring food and attention . . . and outside: the garage cats and the stray cats that dine here nightly, plus four skunks stomping around the backyard competing with the stray cats for that food. I was juggling food types according to which bowl for which cat, and OMG I thought it really has become too much. I'm fully aware that there is a psychological web involved in the creation of this furry chaos.

    Seems you have found that time for self that is so vital in breaking through that web...