Enter Real Life

So September is doneRosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, and Simchat Torah finished. My kids haven’t had a single five-day school week yet.

Until now.

And while I’ve been back-and-forthing to school and internship, I was home with my kids for holidays/weekends Wednesday through Sunday three out of the four weeks, doing Jewish holiday things and a lot of cooking. So even though balancing travel, school, homework, and holiday prep has been challenging (just heard my Jewish friends snort at “challenging,” which doesn’t begin to cover it), it hasn’t felt like real life.

Today it begins.

Today I start spending Monday-Wednesday out-of-town. I have to start thinking about what food I will bring with me each week (kosher meals not being readily available); sodium-laden cup-a-soups won’t do three days a week. I can’t help the kids with homework (I’m in school 5:30-8:30 Monday and Tuesday). And unless the kids start picking up the slack, my house will look like a bomb went off at a laundromat.  

Poor boy.

Poor boy.

And who will suffer most from this absenteeism? That’s right– the dog. 

I can’t chastise myself anymore for not walking him– we’re 200 km (120 miles) apart three days a week. If I had my own apartment here, I’d bring him with me– but as I rely on the kindness of friends and family, that’s not really an option.

But I can make a pledge.

Here is my pledge: Every Thursday and Sunday, we will make it to the dog park, even if only for half an hour.

I miss the park. Every time I think I can’t go because I have too much to do (the dishes won’t be washed, the laundry won’t get finished, the chapter won’t be read), but I go anyway, I’m always glad I did. I feel refreshed. My dog is calmer. If I’m lucky, I run into someone I know, and have some great conversation that doesn’t revolve around laundry, dishes, or homework.

They say it takes three months to create a habit. I have this crazy schedule until April. I’m hoping that by the time January rolls around, that little bit of self-care will be part of the routine. That the way runners always make time for running, I will make time for the park, no matter how tired or overwhelmed (notice I’m not promising anything about weather).

And of my readers, I ask– keep reminding me. Send me a comment, an email, or something, reminding me that I promised, and one should never break a promise.

Especially one you make right after New Year’s.


About one person's view

I'm the mother of three girls, three cats, and a dog. All need constant attention, but only the dog likes to go for long walks!
This entry was posted in dog parks, Dogs, pet ownership and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Enter Real Life

  1. thatjenk says:

    Happy New Year!
    I’ve been known to forego “obligations” to spend fun time with the dogs, but it’s always worth it. Laundry can wait – the park, and the fresh air, is fun!

  2. Kristine says:

    Happy New Year to you! I think your real resolution this year, however, should be to be a lot easier on yourself. Who cares about the dishes? You and your family are way more important than a clean house. Take care of you and the rest will follow.

  3. Jodi says:

    I am always glad I took that walk too!! Something about just getting out of the house, with no expectations, just a small bit of time for me. I’m so glad you are committed to doing this and I’m going to do my best to remind you!! April will be here before you know it and you will have a lovely new routine that calms and refreshes your soul!!

  4. lexy3587 says:

    Wow, your schedule sounds like madness – especially adding in dietary restrictions of any kind while living out of a suitcase. I’m with thatjenk – laundry can wait, the park will help de-stress you better than anything. I regularly head out on walks feeling like I don’t have time to do it, or don’t want to, but I only rarely (usually when it’s raining) feel like that at the end of the walk. Good luck, and I hope you and your family get into the habit quickly and with low stress levels!

  5. Going to the dog park sounds like it’s own spiritual discipline. One could easily think of it as just an obligation. But its presence in your life enriches you and is obviously a gift to your dog.

    My wish is that you make the habit and find it a blessing.

  6. Good for you for keeping that promise!

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