The Octogenarian And Her Aging Dog

I am lively. I am active, thoughtful, busy, happy, filled with gratitude. I love to read, I have new walking sticks and they help me feel energetic and alive, vigorous and pleased. I write, I listen to music, I love to talk with people. I work about half time and feel satisfied with what I can contribute to my world.

Aimee chases squirrels, barks to protect us, loves to play tug, is totally enthusiastic about clients when they come to play with her as she sees it. She is a therapy dog for me and for clients. Her warm snuggly body helps keep me warm when I nap or sleep at night.

I am eighty years old. I get tired easily, go to bed early, let myself sleep in on weekends. I see fewer clients, I feel vulnerable, I get anxious about many things that used to feel simple and easy. Aimee is 11 years old, needs less exercise and gets grumpy when her day time naps are interrupted.

Aimee and I both carry many stories in our hearts. We share them with each other and with others who are willing to listen. Our stories differ from day to day. New nuances, other ideas, a different take…..yet still our story. Sometimes we agree with each other, Aimee and me. Sometimes I tell her she is full of beans and she tell me like-wise ma.

My point is every story needs an audience. I remember when my first baby was born both the doctor and I thought I had died. For weeks after baby and I came home I had to tell our story over and over again. I talked and wrote about my heart struggles and I wrote and shared always about Clo diagnosis, illness and death. Stories that needed to be told. Stories I still tell sometimes maybe with a different twist. My heart needs my brain to language my life so others can know and see me. I can not tolerate feeling and being invisible.

This, I think is true for all of us. We need to be seen. To be heard and understood. I have taught this to couples for almost 3 decades. Belonging, being wanted, fitting in, feeling you are held in high regard and respected, all necessary for healthy happy living. Think of the millions of people throughout the world who never are asked for their stories. The millions who try to tell their story and are shut down for whatever reason. They are left wordless, in danger of disappearing, not belonging, no where to go or be and nothing to trust and count on.

In part, that is what I think is happening in our world now. All over the planet. Millions of people feeling there is not enough for them and wanting their voice to matter. It is being done in a way that ultimately won’t work. But look at the disaster that is being created in the meantime.

My bottom line story is that I want to fit, to belong, to be loved, to feel safe. Aimee’s bottom line is she wants to be fed, to be loved, to stay out of the rain and cold, and to snuggle up tight when she sleeps. I don’t think either of us are much different than everyone else on this planet. We need to learn to get what we want in a way that it will be willingly given. Demanding, fighting, hating, being mean and cruel will only work in the short run. Turning away, ignoring, shutting down, denying, pretending, will work for a while. Eventually we have to talk to each other. We must find our peace and hope in our humanity. Using our heart and our brain can go a long way toward finding friendship. Having compassion for self and others can facilitate the common good.

Nothing new being said here. But it used to be true, it is true now, and it will be true in the future. Bottom line we all want the same thing and we all get afraid that there will not be enough.

There is enough. There is enough if we can learn to not be greedy, to listen and value each other, to agree that having security is the right of all and the obligation of each of us to co-create a way for everyone to thrive.

With love, and apologies for the simplistic thinking that I actually think is exceedingly complex but put into simple words. Nancy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *