Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pictures Worth At Least 1,000 Words...

But I'll add a few more just to explain:  we've been anxiously awaiting a homecoming.  The Puppy Department of Guide Dogs of America called last week; Cyrus (formerly known here as The Pup) was working hard and learning, but indicated being a Guide Dog wasn't what would make him happy.  We were informed that he would be a Career Change dog, and wanted to come home!  Raising him from a 7.5 week old puppy really changed Girlie's life - maybe he figured he was supposed to be her dog all along :-)

Things lined up perfectly, and another Puppy Raiser from our area was vacationing near GDA in Sylmar, so Cyrus was able to hitch a ride home, enjoying the scenery along the way.

Stopped to see the Redwoods
Stopped for lunch along the coast

Welcome home hug ♥

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Needs Must

"The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few" Leonard Nimoy as Spock in 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan', 1982.

Probably one of  Spock's most famous lines, right up there with "Live long and Prosper" and "Illogical".  Captain Kirk's shaky reply was, "Or the one."  It was obvious that Spock's self-sacrifice was the only way to save everyone else.

Moms get this.  It's what we do, right?  It's the hallmark of a good mom, right?  No. In fact, it can be a sign of impending doom before becoming a (hopefully only temporarily) broken mom.  Many women are raised with a 'needs must' attitude, and the belief that we must get the job done no matter what the cost to our personal health or emotional well-being.  Otherwise, we fear being thought of as selfish or inadequate if others perceive we are putting our own needs before those of our families.

Guess what? You are not going to be capable of giving your best help and support if you are at less than your best.  Worst-case scenario, a woman can allow herself to be driven to the point of emotional implosion and/or serious illness, no longer able to provide for herself or anyone else. Yes, it sounds dramatic, but just because we don't talk about it doesn't mean it isn't happening a lot more often than we think.

There is a balance.  We need to raise our children - especially our daughters - to listen to their needs in a productive way.  Not because we want them to lie around on the couch playing video games, but because a little solitary time weeding the garden or shooting a few hoops, reading, quiet time/meditation - or knitting! - is an effective way to regroup and gather one's energies after a class or meeting.  Teach them to know what that is, and how to value it as a tool of good self-care.

If caring only for others can leave us drained and unwell, and caring only for ourselves makes us selfish, it makes sense that striking a balance is the only way to be healthy and whole. What greater gift can we give our children?

One nice way to take care of oneself is with a hot water bottle to sooth away
the aches and pains of too much gardening or yard work! This is my slightly
tweaked version of the Cabled Hot Water Bottle Cosy by Alexis Layton,
a free pattern on Ravelry!