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Monday, March 5, 2012

Time is the Enemy; I'm Setting Priorities




Writing has been an uphill battle for the last six months or so because life has been chaotic. I've had to squeak in writing time wherever I can, and I've had times when I went a week or two without writing a single word.

In late summer, we found out my mother's cancer had reoccurred in her chest walls, so she would be facing another round of radiation and radio-sensitizing chemotherapy;
In the fall, my father-in-law had a medical scare (tumors covering his kidneys);
In early winter, my husband had heart problems.

All these things led to worry, over-filled schedules, single parenting while the other spouse took care of their parent or recuperated, tight finances . . . it's not an environment that fosters creativity or allows for a lot of free time (or even time to think, some days).

And now . . .

Well, for now, I'm simplifying my life. You'll notice the Spec-Fic Friday posts are conspicuously absent? I'm budgeting my time, and (for now), Friday's posts are low on the priority list. I'll do them if (when?) I have extra time.

You see, my dog is dying. Right now, she takes high priority in my schedule. I'm still writing, I'm still spending time with family, I'm still working out (so I don't end up with my own health crisis, for the love of Pete) . . . but some of the extra stuff (like two blog posts a week) have to be trimmed out for a while.

I know. You are saying to yourself, "WTF!?! She's cutting stuff out of her schedule to spend more time with her dog???"

One of the things people "in real life" know about me is that I love animals even more than I love zombies, but the relationship between me and my dog goes beyond that. I've always loved almost all animals . . . except dogs. Cats, bunnies, mice, ferrets, horses, etc. But not dogs. I just wasn't a dog person.

Sure, we had family dogs. Hubby was raised very much in the old school, "kids need dogs" way, and he brought that into our family.

To be honest, I hated most of them. There was only one I ever liked, and that was simply because of the depth and breadth that she loved my hubby and my kids. I, on the other hand, was chopped liver. If an attacker broke in and threatened the kids or hubby, I knew she'd die protecting them. If an attacker broke in and threatened me, I knew she'd hustle hubby and the kids to safety and come back for me IF there was time.

When she started to get old and we knew her time was short, I knew that as soon as she passed, hubby would want another dog. And since she was a very, VERY well-behaved dog, I came up with the idea of getting a puppy while she was still alive so she could help train her replacement (I know . . . a little cold and practical, but like I said, I wasn't a dog person).

What I didn't expect was for that puppy to become my best friend. I swear, she can read my mind. I couldn't have built a robot dog as perfectly matched to my personality; Missy is a canine version of everything I need in a best friend. Peas and carrots, that's what we are. Since Missy came along, I can't watch I am Legend without choking up (you know the part I'm talking about). She's the Sam to my Neville.

But now, after only a short seven years together, Missy's dying of a brain tumor.

So . . .
If Missy wants to play Frisbee, I'm playing Frisbee;
If Missy wants to eat cheeseburgers and french fries and cotton candy, then I'm eating cheeseburgers and french fries and cotton candy;
If Missy wants to curl up with me and take a nap, with my arm slung around her neck and her legs thrown over my back, then I'm taking a nap;
If Missy wants to stand outside and marvel at snowflakes the size of pennies fluttering down silently around us in the hush of a winter afternoon, then I'm marveling.

Every moment we have left together, we are making it count.




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