Where the Wild Things Died

Sadness

Now we know…the wild things lived, and died..in Zanesville, Ohio. And now we also know what happens when wild things are tried to be kept as domestic, privately held animals.

I struggle enough with keeping my one domestic little house cat adequately content. I have recently delegated litter duty to my 9 year old and feeding duty to 4 year old, which now and then inevitably still falls on my own shoulders (more often than I would like to admit).

But there are bigger things – like his health. To keep things interesting, he has come down with a severe allergy to fleas. So, even one or two little bites makes him itch and tear at himself until he bleeds. I have to watch him closely, keep him on allergy and anti flea medications and stuff. It doesn’t sound like that big of a deal, but I also have two other little wild things to care for…my daughters – who stay front and center.

At one time I had two cats, and a dog – all of which I had obtained/rescued because they were abandoned and helpless and somehow found me. All was great for several years. Then, in the midst of a grueling divorce, as a working single mom of two very young daughters, I had to make a very, very hard, choice to let my parents have my sweet boy – Zeke, the best dog in the world. I had always been able to stay at home with him and when I went back to work, he became very depressed and it was apparent that he needed more human interaction then I could physically give him.

It was a win-win, however – despite my selfish pain of missing him terribly. My parents love Zeke so very much and he is very happy. He is where he should be. I had to face the hard reality…that I couldn’t do it all. I can’t save the whole world. I have to focus on the small corner of the world that I can actually make a difference in and try to do it to the best of my ability – and then get help with the things I can’t do well.

Later, one of the cats fell ill with feline diabetes and had to be put down. So I am now left with only one allergic cat needing regular vet visits and medication for life.

But sometimes people don’t make the right decision. So – when I hear about this man who kept almost 50 wild animals in captivity on his private property…I think…wow! I’m not saying I’m so great and he is so bad…I am just saying – we all make choices and our choices have consequences. Did he mean well? Did he consider them pets, or was he an obsessive compulsive collector of things…which in this case just happened to be live animals?

Was he trying to make a difference and save the world one animal at time or did he just have Dilusions of Grandeor? And how come I don’t even know how to spell that last reference – even with the help of Webster.com? Judy A – help me out here…I know you will.

I think sometimes we humans get very mixed up. When I think about the huge task of caring for them…I mean REALLY caring for them…and THEN add on any possible health issues…it is overwhelming! And how did he even feed them all on a daily basis…I am sure it cost a small fortune. And the time it must have taken – did he have help? Or worse yet – did he even do it on a daily basis?

Maybe he realized he couldn’t do it all, but was in over his head and didn’t know what to do. He freed all the animals and then took his own life. He was definitely under some major stress. Doing a little research I was able to find out he had been cited for animal abuse before. Who failed here? Him? The government? It sucks that the government should have to step in to save us and our animals from ourselves. But what else do we have here?

Whatever his motives and intentions were – even if they were noble in the beginning…he clearly needed help. Mental help, emotional help, something. Some people are against government interference claiming it to be a violation of rights, but it sure could have prevented a tragedy on the scale we witnessed today.

I just don’t know.

I DO hope it raises enough awareness so that in the future, obtaining permits to own wild animals is drastically changed and made more stringent so that people like this guy won’t even have the choice to get in over their heads. Then the wild things can stay, roam and LIVE…where the wild things are meant to be.

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The unmarried married

So I recently posted pictures of the rings Will and I exchanged as we dedicated ourselves to each other. Everyone HAD to know – did you just exchange rings or did you officially get married?

Folks…what is the difference? Is it more important to vow yourselves before God or a state? Is it more important to make a promise, an oath, a forever statement to your heavenly Father and each other, or to the government so they can tax us differently and put us in a different category?

In my past I have done the official state thing. And somehow I got more caught up in the whole “on paper” thing, name changes, official signatures, etc. that I feel like it detracted from what was really important. The heart.

Another thing that has happened with me before is that the moment all the dog and pony show stuff was over…I was left feeling a little empty. Unfulfilled. Like everything was riding on that one big moment and from there forward it was a downhill ride. Guilty as charged. And THAT is NOT how it should be. And the sad thing is that I hear this a lot from many couples.

I have a good friend whose marriage is still going beautifully strong. On her wedding day one of her friends got up and said something like, “I hope today is the day you love each other the least”. That confused my very immature brain at the time because I was still thinking upside down. I was still thinking immaturely about the goal of every little girl…to grow up, meet a prince and get married, married, married. The end.

Folks…that is dangerous thinking. After doing that twice…I am here to say – I finally get the statement that was made at that wedding all those years ago. It resonated in my brain for a long time. And now I finally get it. And I have shifted my goals as well.

My goal in this marriage is to act like I’m not married at all. To act like we are still kids dating, exploring, respecting and loving each other like it was our last day together. Rushing home from work because 9 hours apart was just a little too much. Considering the other’s feelings above our own. Longing looks – just because. And lots and lots of wrestling around, playing and laughing!!!

I hope today is the day I love that man the least. When I look back at our first dates, when I was falling in love and even back to the moment we first said outloud “I love you” – I realize how much MORE I love him now. So years from now – I hope to look back at today and think…wow – I thought I loved him “then”…look at us NOW!

There are a few of you that have achieved this. I can see it. Others see it. You know who you are too. You can feel it when you are set apart like that. Cheers to you for the inspiration and beauty you have made in the world. And not because it is easy. Not because your life is perfect. Not because every day is roses and chocolate. Because you are real, and you really love each other – no matter what – and more every day. You have made a strong and concious decision.

This weekend I said I do. Not, I did. It’s the purest joy I have ever felt. All because my goal on that day and even today – is that at this moment in time I loved my sweetheart less than I will tomorrow and years to come. And when you see us years from now, kissing in public and laughing out loud like college kids, you’ll think…they act like the most unmarried married couple I have ever seen.

Why I Love Turning 40

I am sad when people say they dread getting older. I am just the opposite…I wouldn’t turn back the clock if I had the choice. I am happier now than ever and here are some of the reasons why. This is in no particular order and I am sure I missed something, but here it goes – pure random thoughts.

I’m old enough to know the rules and consequences of breaking them…and experienced enough to know when and how to break the silly ones when needed.

I’m still young enough to do…well – anything I want.

I’m free to act like a complete goofball when I want to. Because I am old enough now that I don’t care what anyone really thinks about that kind of stuff. If they want to be a stick in the mud – that is their own right…not my problem.

I finally found out who I am…and I like myself.

I stopped trying to please everyone…when I finally realized that is impossible anyway.

I have learned how to forgive myself and stop expecting perfection…and how to laugh at myself.

I try not to have any expectations from anyone else…this way I stay surprised when people do good things, but am not disappointed when they make mistakes.

I believe in God. It makes me happy. But I will not force my views on anyone else or assume anyone has to believe like me. If you’re interested in my little inner spark – just ask and I will tell you more. No one is going to persuade people to believe in something so personal by hitting them on the head, knocking on a door or throwing a list of rules at them. It is about a relationship. It’s a choice. That takes time and trust.

I don’t judge people anymore. Yes…I used to when I was younger, opinionated and ignorant. Now I know that if you judge, you will be judged. I also realized I am not right about everything. I enjoy listening to different points of view and instead of opposing them…many times I am pleasantly enlightened.

I don’t like to argue. I won’t anymore…it doesn’t go anywhere positive. But I have learned how to address things instead of let them stew, fester and become an eruption. It takes wisdom to find root causes to issues and it takes guts to actually address it. Then…it takes love to address it all with respect.

Though I still have moments where I’d like to, the reality is that I’m not supposed to have the figure of a 16 year old. I just need to stay healthy and active enough so I can keep up (or stay ahead of) my kids.

I learned people are busy, distracted and accidentally self centered. It’s not personal. If you really want to talk to someone in particular…call or visit them. You’ll both be thankful.

I work smarter at work (not longer), play harder at play and laugh…loud and as much as possible.

I know that the hard times don’t last, so keep going…it won’t last forever.

I know that the really great times don’t last…so soak up the moment…it won’t last forever.

Work is not my identity. It’s a place to learn, grow, give of my skills and leave it behind when I leave the office.

Motherhood is not my identity. It’s an incredible blessing and title that I take seriously, hang on to each moment and am in no hurry to rush. I have learned more about life and love by being a mom and I am so thankful for each snuggle, little kiss, giggle – and even the fits (they are healthy and alive).

Happiness is not guaranteed, but joy is only a matter of perspective. I choose joy.

I have learned to honestly forgive others – it doesn’t “condone” any wrong doing, but it frees you from the prison of resentment and bitterness.

I have made peace with the past by accepting I can’t change it, but instead use each mistake as lessons forward so they are not in vain.

I still have big dreams to publish music and books, and even open an innovative candy business one day. Rather than be annoyed that I can’t do it all right now, I realize there is only so much time in a day. I have to make peace with focusing on the priorities of the moment and keep the dreams alive long enough to be able to act on them one day.

I try very hard to love with reckless abandon despite being hurt beyond belief. I realized that if I gave up on love, I would be giving up on life. My girls deserve much better than that.

I am learning about true unconditional love from my children. They are the teachers here…

I’m old enough to really know my weaknesses and annoying habits and try to at least warn people, and temper them down much as possible.

Don’t get caught up in the annoying small things that can eat at you…breathe…shake it off…go play.

If I am annoyed with someone to the point that I want to change them…it is usually me that needs to change.

Don’t worry about things that haven’t even happened yet.

I don’t have as much time to spend with my girl friends as I wish I had. So I try to make the moments I do have with them really count. Even if it’s just a phone call. But I have also found – good friends understand, and you can pick up right where you left off. We’re all busy.

Don’t miss the small moments in life – the smiles, laughs, holding hands, unsolicited I love yous, because these are really the big things.

I had to love myself and my life before I could find someone that really loved me and my life. It took me a long time…I will try very hard to not take it for granted.

I am an open book. I have many lessons to pass on to whoever will listen. I try to be honest, and vulnerable – even when it makes me look stupid. If it helps someone else or prevents them from making some of the mistakes I have made…it is all worth it.

Look directly into the eyes of the people you love the most…often.

Acceptance + Surrender = Joy and Peace

Back from Sabbatical

Ok. I took a nice long break. I blogged my guts out for two years, got some big stuff off my chest and out of my closet. No more mysteries. I was recording my road to healing but along the way I got side tracked, overcome with depression and exhaustion, attempted suicide, spent 5 days in a mental ward, got mildly medicated, and now I am all better. Ok? So – that’s that. Let’s just move on, shall we?

I had planned on going in to the gory details but will spare you and just say – I am very thankful for new found perspective. Now it’s time to move forward. I was stuck and felt I couldn’t honestly blog until I came clean and revealed that huge gap in the radar. I thought up a millions of ways to deliver it and in the end – simplicity won. Yeah simplicity!

If you have questions ask. I will be honest and reply. But I don’t feel the need to bog down cyber space with all that right now.

So what IS it time for right now?

Whatever comes to mind – for whomever that might stumble upon here and read it. I have no idea why, but even though I haven’t blogged in 6 months, I have daily activity…and over 10,000 hits. For a little blog that I didn’t think anyone would even read, apparently someone is. So…this is for you out there… and for me.

I am back from sabbatical and back in the writing saddle. Look out world…who knows what comes next.