One of the reasons I have a dog in my life is he keeps me moving. And tidying up. With two dogs, you move – and need to clean up – even more. After nearly twenty years of self-talk, and excuses, (we have dogs! how clean can we be?) I use time more effectively. The three hours a day I used to spend commuting, I now make sure the dishes are washed and put away. Laundry now gets done while I’m home. Things get picked up, and most of the time, I vacuum. With my wife getting up and out of the house early(she is still working her job -and our business), and it’s my contribution to walk the dogs, pick up around the house, keep the yard, and find other chores as they come up. And usually, with that burst of chores done, when I find time to do a little blogging, it’s about 3 hours later.
I admit it is a little more difficult to get out of bed on the days I do not have an appointment nor going to a client site for nurse testing. But that’s where Dexter and Comet step in. It is impossible to be lazy when both sit at the side of the bed staring at me, at the same time “momma” is heading out the door, demanding I pick up the dog leashes. I wonder how many barely-awake dog people have a nose in your face when you bend over to tie your shoes, then eager faces follow you to the toilet, or give you about thirty seconds to drink your just-poured coffee? When I tell Sheri this, she sometimes chides met hat the dogs will wait for me, and I need not rush about – as I exasperatedly look for keys, or wallet, or glasses – which I happen to be wearing. But getting out with the dogs, particularly when I go over to the park in the early morning hours, I get to enjoy the quiet. Sometimes I see a hawk fly down from the tree to the footbridge landing fifty feet away. Another time, I catch a glimpse of a coyote – who eyeballs me and trots away. Or the egrets that are fishing for frogs or crayfish in the little pool created by the Old Mission dam. Dexter’s often sniffing away at some bush or light pole – but Comet and I observe these. So doing a few chores and vacuuming up dog hair at home, are pretty decent trade-offs for the calm moments.
Recalling that Navy SEAL Admiral who spoke about starting your day by making your bed, I can appreciate better following a routine. I no longer need a job to be purposeful, but I still need the routine. An orderly life. To making your bed first, I will add “…feed and walk your dogs, tidy up your space …”. When the life storms come, from your adult kid dealing with addiction, to backed up plumbing, or your health insurance all screwed up, you can deal with it. After a dog walk, everything else in life falls into place.