Never been one for cliche's, but...

A dear friend of mine from my MOPS group just lost their beloved cat and now this family is learning how to deal with the loss of a pet, whom they consider a family member, just like most of us pet owners do.

Sure, to some people, losing a pet is something they don't see as "tragic" or difficult, but to those of us who have furry (or other exteriors lol) children/family members, it really isn't much, if any, easier to handle than losing a loved one, that is human. I know for me, losing my dog years ago was something I felt embarrassed to grieve about because I didn't think people would understand why or how it could be so painful. It was "just a dog" to them, but to me, he was so much more and for lack of better words, it hurt like hell!

After reading her email and the responses of others, it really got me thinking. How many times do we pet owners just pass by our "furry family members" in the rush of everyday living? How often do we blow off their needs to put ours first? I know I'm guilty of these things and after stepping back and slowing down to look at the bigger picture, it breaks my heart. I think the hardest part is my dog, Little Man, loves me more than I've showed him I love him. I might walk past him 20 times and not say or do anything. If that were a person (my husband/children) they would take it personal. They would probably say something or get their feelings hurt. Not Little Man. He just goes with the flow and on that 21st time I walk by and DO acknowledge him, he loves me just as much as he did before I ignored him. No grudges held. He just loves me. End of story.

How is that?!? How is it that a dog (or cat or any creature) can just forgive and forget without ever thinking twice? Why is it that no matter what we may do (or don't do) they stick around and keep loving us unconditionally? I think we humans have underestimated our animals and have quite a bit to learn from our furry friends!

Of course, I can sit here and say from now on I'm going to stop and give my little man a little more attention. I'm going to love on him and show him that I care more often. That's easy to say, but when life gets in the way, it's just as easy to skip that because he isn't demanding my attention or time (unlike my relentless children whom demand my time *or bed* even in the middle of the night - haha). But the truth is, isn't that we do with anything or anyone in that position?

Aren't we all guilty of blowing off the someone who at the moment isn't needing us? I can't even tell you how many times I've (sadly) had to "push aside" (not literally) Hank because Jace needed me, and well, "he's the baby" so he doesn't understand. Or how about everyday when my husband gets home and instead of spending the little time with him we have, I'm busy cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry or catching up on emails that I didn't get to in the day? Maybe if Hank was jumping up and down and waving his arms in front of my face telling me he needed me, I'd listen more or pay closer attention. Maybe if my husband walked in with a sign flashing above his head saying "spend time with me" iId put down the laundry and just sit and talk with him about his day, work or life in general just because we can.

As I sit here (at 3:25 am -- thank you Jace for kicking me out of my own bed!) I'm crying my eyes out. Sure, maybe it's cuz I'm female and I cry over commercials (no I'm NOT pregnant! lol) and I'm SOOOO tired, or maybe it's because once again I've been hit on the head with a thousand pound rock opening my eyes to something that is/was so easy to see to begin with! Maybe it's because I'm embarrassed to even post this because that would mean I'm admitting to not being "super mom/wife" and acknowledging that, no, I can't do it all. I haven't figured out a good balance. I don't know how to please the world, much less those in my house, 100% of the time, and I don't like that.

I'll be the first to admit I'm guilty of putting things off until tomorrow. I'm a pro at procrastination and "hold on, in a minute, not now" have become my top 3 things I say in a day, after "NO!, stop that, are you serious? and what now?" I've totally got you beat on "organized chaos" in the house and having it all together, well that's not for me! Does that make me a bad person, mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend? Man, I sure hope not.

Truth is, it's not fair, nor right, of me to postpone what should and needs to be done TODAY. It's not okay for me to just blow someone off because at that moment someone else needs me more. Sure there are times when it's necessary for me to go to Jace over Hank due to age and size factor, but to never return to Hank because he moved on to something else, isn't okay. I don't want to give him the impression that Jace (or anything) is more special than he is, nor do I want my husband to think the dishes, a clean living room or folded laundry, comes before him. And I certainly don't want my poor dog to think he is just a fixture in this house of no importance.

I guess what I'm saying is the same ol' cliche "don't put off til tomorrow, what could be done today" (or however that saying goes). I'm not preaching to anyone but myself here. I'm not making any promises I know I won't keep. I'm def. not going to say I'm giving up everything that is a distraction in my life so I can focus on the important things. I'm just here to say I want to find a good balance. I want to find what works for ME. Not what someone else tells me I should do. I'm not a scheduler. I can't tell you what I'm doing next week. Don't ask me to plan a vacation a year from now. So for me to dare say "from xx time to xx time I'm going to give Hank undivided attention" and so on, won't work. Instead, I'm going to open my eyes a little wider and make my brain work a little harder (lol) to see what's right in front of me: the love of my family members... all 4 of them -- little man included!

I'm going to take this trying time for a friend of mine and learn from it, because why else would bad things happen to us or those we care about if it weren't to teach or show us, or anyone around us, a lesson? I truly believe all things have a purpose. Bad things happen to good people. Mistakes are lessons learned and hard times are God's way of showing us that anything is possible at any given moment, so we better make the most of what we have in the time we have to make it in.

I want my family and friends to know I care because I tell them and show them all the time, not just because I said it days, weeks or months ago. Selfishly I want the peace and comfort of knowing that I did all I could do to make sure those around me that mean so much, know how important, special and loved they truly are. Who knows where I'll go from here. Maybe I'll learn to use my time more wisely. Hopefully I'll find a fair, middle ground that I feel comfortable with. I pray I'll learn how to forgive and forget easier and find holding grudges harder; appreciate what I have more and desire what I don't less; embrace new challenges and let go of what's easy; and mostly, to speak softer and love harder!