Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Time is of the Essence

Time is of the essence.  Or is the essence of life, time?  Or is does everything just depend on how you use your time, in other words the quality of life?

Anyway, hello everybody:

A bit of homespun philosophy for you there - don't worry, I am not going bananas (I always feel that I need to point that out if I deviate from the norm in any respect). 

The reason for the esoteric title to this post is that I am feeling time pressured.  I went for a long dog walk with some friends this morning, and it was lovely to chat and be sociable.  I feel that I should grasp such opportunities, because a writer's life is a lonely one.  Or so they say.  Actually, I never feel lonely - the time I have to write seems very short, sandwiched as it is between the school runs and only then on two or three days a week.

I have just shortened one of Toddler's play school days, so that he finishes at lunch time on a Monday.  Now he has two and a half days at play school and two and a half with me.  Which is good, except that it shortens the free time I have available to write, which makes me feel as though I have to make the most of the time there is left, which puts the pressure on. 

I didn't hesitate when given the option of a companiable walk with my good friends.  And of course I knew I could come home and get on with some work.  But now I have had lunch, I have only an hour and a half free before the school run.  And the dishwasher needs attending to, as does the washing machine.  I am still glad I went though - and we are going to make it a regular monthly event, which will be just right, enough to look forward to but not to feel tied down by. 

I started hatching a plan on the dog walk.  It was sparked off by the fact that my dog was the centre of attention for all the other dogs we met.  She has just started her season, and is not fertile just now, but must smell very enticing - she was being sniffed left right and centre, and she hates that, poor little thing. 

I am toying with the idea of letting my little dog have a litter.  I know this is a controversial subject - dog breeders in particular are very critical of amateurs encroaching on their territory.  But I have always felt that is a little unfair - personally I would rather buy a dog that was born and brought up in a family home rather than purchase one from someone who was making their living at it, who might not care as much for the animals personally. 

Anyway, little daughter has been desperate for the dog to have puppies ever since we bought her.  I ran the idea by our vet a year or so ago, thinking he would immediately dismiss it as irresponsible.  On the contrary he was quite in favour; he said that it would be fine as long as I didn't 'go into it half-cocked'.  In other words, if I did the necessary research and went about matters in a responsible fashion.

I wavered after that though.  I thought about all the work it would entail, and how hard it would be for all of us to part with the pups afterwards.  Heartbreaking.  I also thought about all the unwanted dogs there are in dog homes and wondered if it would be fair to bring more puppies into the world.  (Then again, ours is a pedigree and this sort of dog is very rarely abandoned and always quickly rehomed if they are given up.  Our particular breed is also a very good family dog, small in size, easy to train and so on - all the usual reasons for giving up a dog do not really apply).

It would be a great experience for the children, I know.  But I had just about decided not to go for it.  Mainly because I was worried about what other people might think, especially that they might assume I was trying to make a financial profit from our pet.  Then at little daughter's school in the last week or so, one of the other Mums has started turning up to collect her child with her new puppy in tow.  And the puppy is just so cute that I admit I have got a bit dog broody.  Then suddenly a day or two ago, my dog came into season and I thought - hang on, if we are going to let her have a litter this would actually be a really good time...

So this morning as we walked and talked I became increasingly one-track-minded and started boring on about the pros and cons of having puppies.  Then we came across a couple walking a puppy of the same breed and colour as ours, and it was the cutest thing ever.  I thought that could be interpreted as a sort of 'dog omen'.  We so rarely even see adult dogs of the same type as ours.

So I have more or less decided to go for it.  I can't wait to tell little daughter when she gets home from school!  I have spent so much of my life worrying what other people think, and this was one of the main things putting me off letting the dog have a litter.  But it is time to be me, and do what I think is right for our family and our situation.  I can't spend my life being limited by what other people think. 

It's a bit like the schizophrenia thing, I suppose, in a way.  You get to the point where you just have to be you, no matter what other people think you should be.  And the me that is going to emerge for the next few months (hopefully) is the amateur dog breeder.  Way to go! 

Hang on a minute - I'd better phone and hubby and check that he is in agreement with my plan.  Lucky I have such an understanding husband....Also, of course, I am the one based at home so I will be doing the majority of the work.  Or would be.  He hasn't said yes yet!

Hope all of you out there are well.  Sorry for the lack of mental health insight in this post - I will get on the case and try to post something more generally useful soon.  Meanwhile, you can't do better than turn to one or all of the 'Proper' mental health blogs:  Sky Blue Cure Blog, Holistic Recovery from Schizophenia, Beyond Meds, Discover and Recover, and Ron Unger's site.  These will lead you to lots more brilliant insight on mental health issues from blogs which I can't recall off the top of my head.  You'll have to Google them - sorry, no time for links today, down to an hour of writing time left!

Louise x

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