I started writing this early this morning while I was waiting for AAA to come start my car. But they arrived very quickly, and I was on my way quickly, so I didn’t get to write about it. I did get to think about it in terms of writing about, though, so what will follow is what I came up with.
I’m looking at this as it relates to my character defects. I’m doing well with several of them. I have a need to be early, for example, and I get anxious if there’s a doubt that I’ll be early. But as soon as I saw that I’d certainly be late, I reminded myself that I had no meetings or other things that needed my presence today. I have plenty of time off saved up to use. I can also work from home every now and then. I called my work partner, and she was on her way to work. So the place would be OK and I would be OK and nothing would fall apart if I couldn’t be early.
Having a working car is a huge concern. But this work partner also lives nearby and is very willing to give me a ride. The people I would take the car to are usually quick and accommodating. AAA could tow the car there. I have plenty of money to rent a car for a few days if I need to. Carole can sometimes give me a ride to work. And actually I have no meetings this week that require my presence. So I did well and stayed calm with all that self talk about it being OK if I can’t make it to work for a few days to have the car fixed. And I do notice that I jumped from having a car that won’t start to one that needs several days to be fixed. But you never know.
I can deal with all this without too much distress. There’s just one part of my equation that makes me feel terribly anxious and unable to cope.
I pictured (and still do picture) getting to work, which is about 23 miles away. Being there and having the car not start to get me home. Asking work partner to drive me, having to wait for her to leave, getting home and having somehow to deal with a car that is 23 miles away. Part of that is normal, I think, but the part that makes me overly anxious is what happens with the dog while all that takes place.
If Carole was to come and get me, I’d ask her to bring the dog, to give the dog some activity and something to think about. Carole works a long day on Mondays and goes to a meeting after work, so she wouldn’t be home for a long time. And all this is beside the point. The point being for me that caring for this dog, specifically giving her enough exercise, company and activity, makes me nuts. It lowers my quality of life, and I know that it probably makes the dog’s life much more anxious and negative than it needs to be.
I’m writing this all down in the hope of seeing some solution or some aspect of the problem that I haven’t considered. I’ve given myself, and others have given me, all the usual lectures about how very wonderful this dog’s life actually is, even putting aside the fact that we found her dying on the floor of an awful animal shelter. My vet and my mother have both told the dog that she lucked out. As I write she sits two feet away from me. She’s warm inside and it’s freezing outside. She is surrounded by bones and toys. She’s just eaten a very good meal, and later she’ll have a frozen marrow bone and I’ll run up and down the stairs with her at least 11 times for exercise. She’s been out in her fenced yard and today, after I made it to work, a dog sitter came and gave her a potty break and attention. She’ll be pet and stroked a lot before bed tonight. She lives better than many many people.
Let go and let God. How much time of my life have I wasted in anxiety over this or my previous dog?