It’s almost February and I have not made a resolution, set a goal or stepped into a gym. I have hit snooze on my alarm almost every morning and shaken my fist at all world-changers arising before dawn.
I’m ready for 2015. Is it too early to say that?
This New Year, this new beginning, is off to a horrible, no good, very bad start. On day six I had to put my dog down. It was horrific. I knew that I would be sad. I did not know that I would be wrecked. I like to think of myself as a rational pet owner, fully aware that she was indeed, “just a dog.” But apparently I do not know myself.
Reality shows that I am not a rational pet owner. I am a crazy dog person. I put my dog down and then cried for two days straight (and a little bit almost every day since). The Dog Whisperer says that dogs do not think human thoughts and we should not ascribe a voice to them. I’m sure this is rational. But I am also sure that my dog did have thoughts, very human-like thoughts. I could almost hear her speak.
Most days when I arrived home she had her snout against the bottom pane of the French door and was very clearly thinking, “Oh good, you are home. Finally.” And then she sauntered to greet me at the back door to say, “I am so glad you are home. You’re my favorite.”
This morning I finally arose somewhat early to run. Typically I would walk into the Scout-dog’s room and she would abound with glee seeing that I was wearing the running visor, running shoes and running shorts. Almost shouting, she’d proclaim, “Yes! A run. You’re up. Let’s go!” And we would go. As we turned down the hill for the Rose Bowl Loop she would raise her head and drop her tongue with great elation. She knew exactly where we were. She was ready for the 3 miles and every quarter mile she would look over her left shoulder to say, “Hurry. Faster. Faster. We can go faster.”
But this morning there was no Scout-dog. No tail wagging. No four-legged fortitude to keep me going. But God gave me friends. Other two-legged companions to keep me on pace. It’s a new year. A new beginning. It started with a bit of a limp and a great amount of sadness. I want to be careful to not run too quickly to some worked-up-giddiness. I want to grieve – even when it’s “just a dog”.
I’ve found tears to be such a gift. A friend told me that Lady Bird Johnson once said, “People must be given the opportunity to hurt out loud.” It’s such a human thing to cry. I think this is why Jesus wept. He had no desire to be stoic or strong. He was the most human human to invade the planet. He had to weep. He had to hurt out loud. And in doing so he gave us all permission to do the same.
Happy New Year (20 days late).
~I am honored to do some writing this year with some amazing bloggers and friends. If you’d like to read more about new beginnings, start with http://www.growingplaces.us/in-the-beginning/ and roll through the circle from there!