I have a confession to make. I have been a lot less active with the dogs and in general in the past year or so, and I have felt horribly guilty about it. On weekends we used to have these exciting adventures, and I was really proud of that fact, but in the last year or so, I haven’t had the energy to go out and do things.
I thought that the problem was just an internal lack of motivation. I thought I wasn’t willing myself to get up and get moving hard enough, and it’s made me feel even more guilty every weekend that passes without an adventure or even an afternoon that passes without a walk. I’m lucky, because the dogs are incredibly forgiving about it. Bunny and Flattery are just as content to sit on the couch with me as they are to go for a walk or a drive in the car.
It turns out that a health problem that I’ve ignored for too long has had a side effect that I didn’t realize. I have been seeing a doctor and I have surgery coming up for this problem, but one of the side effects is that I am anemic, and not just a little. She told me that if my white blood cell count were much lower, I’d be looking at blood transfusions. It is no wonder I’ve been so tired, and it’s not just a lack of motivation that has kept me from doing a lot of the things I love.
Having someone tell me this is like having a weight lifted off my chest that I didn’t even realize was there. In a way, it felt like I finally had permission to be tired. I came home the other day, and for the first time in a long time, I didn’t fight it. I got in touch with my inner Greyhound and laid down to take a nap. To no one’s surprise, Bunny thought this was the best idea ever and laid down beside me, one paw resting on my shoulder for moral support, to let me know she gave me permission to rest.
As my mind quieted and I drifted off, I thought about how our dogs are never ashamed to take a nap when they need to. I also thought about how I’d have taken care of this issue long ago if it were one of my dogs having a problem. When my husband said that I needed to get better because the girls needed me, it hit home. Too many of us are guilty of neglecting our own needs and taking care of our dogs or kids or other loved ones first. To take care of them, though, we have to take care of ourselves, too. I can’t tell you how excited I am to think about getting back to some of our favorite activities after this problem is taken care of. I think the girls are ready for it, too.