While they may sometimes seems like interminable months I’m forever grateful for the 31st days, especially when I haven’t gotten around to updating my blog. That 31st day is a procrastinator’s dream and I (at least in my mind) join in the chorus line of Les Misérables in proclaiming One Day More.
To be fair, this month has been busy. In fact the entire year has been pretty busy to date. Actually, has my life just been busy? Either way, autumn is here (by my reckoning and the Celtic Calendar) and it’s always a sign of change and slowing down, once the harvesting has been done. That is what I’m going to try my best to do, I just need to harvest a bit more first. One thing I don’t need to slow down on is my writing (trust me, that’s going slow enough at the moment) but I’m going to try to step back from a few other bits and pieces and see if I can get some headspace.
As of last week I was ready to write the entire year off but, with a little thought, I’ve realised that more rational thing to do is to try to make the next four months as good as they can be. This year started out on a really positive note for me, and there have been absolute gems of experience, but overall it’s been a gradual case of going from worse to worse. If there’s a silver lining in a negative situation or if there’s a way of reframing something, then I think that’s a good approach to use. Sometimes, things are just bad and there’s no silver lining or lesson to be learnt. This is okay too. Something bad being okay doesn’t mean it’s acceptable or wanted, it’s just about recognising that this is how things currently are and holding not the knowledge that things will change (either through the situation changing or acceptance of what cannot be changed). This too shall pass is a motto that has gotten me through a lot of undesired situations.
There are lots of changes in progress for me at present and to be honest that can be a bit overwhelming. I feel frazzled and on edge, so I’m trying to ground myself and look at what I can and cannot control in my current circumstances. I am looking for a new day job as my current one has become untenable for me and has resulted in a bad case of stress induced dyshidrosis. This is a form of eczema that manifests as countless tiny blisters on my hands and feet. Yup; it’s as unpleasant as you’re imagining. It could be that start of stigmata and this might all turn out to be a test for the chosen one but this theory is looking unlikely. As a side note, this is a prime example the body outing psychological distress (you can’t hide from yourself). For me, this is an indicator need to take heed of and mind myself. I was meant to be taking time off in November but I’ve now pushed this forward a bit and I’m hoping in the interim I’ll find a new job.
This is nothing however compare to my biggest upset this year; Cody the dog is now blind. This was a total shock for both of us, as there was very little indication that anything at all was wrong. Cody would usually jump in the air and catch a treat in his mouth which isn’t bad going for an almost 14 year old dog. Over the last week his coordination of this task we as little bit off but I put it down to age. As of Tuesday he was still able to see another dog walking up the street from around 200 metres away. Then, on Wednesday when I came home from work he was slow to greet me and was still walking downstairs when I got inside. He’d usually be jumping and barking at the door, unless he had been up to mischief during the day and in that case he’d be hiding somewhere. He was taking each step very cautiously and in the end I picked him up to help him. My first thought was that perhaps he’d had a stroke or some sort of brain injury. He didn’t seem particularly distressed or otherwise ill but it was clear that something wasn’t right. His regular vet wasn’t available so the next day he was taken to a different one close by. The diagnosis was that he was simply blind and the prognosis was that there was nothing that could be done about it. The vet said it was probably a gradual thing that had gone unnoticed, which I accept to a certain degree but I still can’t understand how he was able to see other dogs quite a distance away only a few days earlier. The vet did provide the details of an animal ophthalmologist, so Cody was booked in for an appointment with the specialist the very next day.
I was hoping that the ophthalmologist would say it was cataracts or something that was operable or treatable in some way. No matter what the cost was I would’ve tried it. Devastatingly, the specialist’s prognosis was more or less the same. In an effort to do something and perhaps to placate me in some way, Cody was commenced on a course or antibiotics and steroids. So far they have made no difference. He has a follow up appointment with the specialist next week so I’m going to remain hopeful that there’ll be some improvement by then. Even if he could see a few feet ahead of himself it would mean he could get around a bit easier. He’s already adapting well, which is tough in a house where everything is either upstairs or downstairs, but he literally can’t see a thing and while he is in good form he’s clearly wondering what is going on. It’s heart-breaking that he can no longer look at the world from his window; he was such an observant little dog. He would watch birds in the garden for hours at a time, studying their movement contently. He will, of course, get used to his new world and will be as supported as he can be. He’s such a good dog and has been a pleasure to have, torn cushions and rug pooping aside. I saw a sign once in a pet shop and I think it it’s more than relevant to paraphrase it now: Cody doesn’t have owners, he has staff.
I’m not a big believer in fate or any of those kind of things. For me, life is a series of interwoven events and we are the ones who ascribe meaning to them. Synchronicity occurs, at best, and that’s good enough for me. One little event that happened this week was a nice occurrence. It’s the kind of thing I’d usually roll my eyes at and think Sure Jan but given all that’s been going on I think I’m allowed a little sentiment.
Cody loves the beach so I brought him there to cheer him up. Two young boys who looked like brothers, aged around 6 and 8, ran over to us. Cody isn’t the best with children even on a good day, so I’m always wary when they approach. Now that he can’t see, he is easily startled and might be more inclined to snap at someone.
Boys: Can we pet your dog mister?
Me: Okay but be careful, he’s blind. He can’t see you so we don’t want to give him a fright.
Boys pet Cody.
Youngest boy, a bit puzzled: Can he feel me pet him?
Boy: That’s okay then, he can still feel love.
They both ran off, back to play in the sand. I watched them run and then looked down at the little dog. Cody was looking nowhere, seeing nothing. But he felt love.