My catch phrase is quickly becoming, "I have to start living my own life at some point here," because there are just too many people (and animals) either trying to get me to live their lives on their behalf, or trying to get me to live my life their way under their conditions, or they are simply sucking up way too much of my time with their own agendas.
Gnats are the worst, always trying to fly up my nose, into my mouth and eyes when I'm trying to get stuff done. But I also have some people buzzing around who almost surpass the supreme ability of gnats to annoy me.
Yesterday I got so agitated over being hit up all at once by various people (and animals) to give them my time, energy and money that I told one person I have to start living my own life at some point here, and I am no longer willing to listen to his problems. I told him he was on his own with this latest predicament he got himself into. I just can't afford to continue to give up my time to people who won't help themselves, and who expect me to fix everything for them.
Somewhere along the line, I fell into the role of fixing other people's problems, and I'm diligently trying to pry myself out of that position so that I can concentrate on solving a few of my own.
I had a splitting headache. I made up my mind that I would no longer accept communications from people who impose upon me, and I didn't want to hear about any more problems. If one more person contacted me with bad news, I was going to have a total melt down. I just wanted to relax and bring down my blood pressure. I could find out about all the horrible things that happened once I had one night of stillness.
Then my husband came home from work and said, "I had an accident."
Something died inside of me as I imagined his car all smashed up. I thought about the cost of buying a new one, and our insurance rates skyrocketing. I pictured myself having to put the dogs to sleep and get my surgery now so that I can get a job to pay for all of it. A part of me wished I could jump in my truck and drive down a highway until I disappeared into some sci-fi abyss and no longer existed.
Then my husband reached into his briefcase and pulled out the shattered coffee mug I gave him for Christmas. "I accidentally kicked it and it fell out of my car and broke."
I'd never been happier to see a broken mug. It was such a relief to see that we just lost a fifteen-dollar item as opposed to what I was imagining. But I'm definitely at a point where I need to create some kind of sign that lets people know when I am not open to hearing bad news, so that we can spare my sanity.
That evening I noticed that my favorite jeans had rips on the inside of both thighs. I said, "It looks like I've got another pair of jeans to give to the horses."
Then my husband told me I had been walking around the other day in jeans that had a rip in the butt. I dug through my dirty clothes hamper and found them. Of course, it was another favorite pair. I tied knots in the knees and took both pair out to the horses, feeling bummed that I lost two of my favorite things in one night.
I noticed that Lostine was acting oddly and I thought that perhaps she was going senile or maybe blind. A short time after I had that thought, I needed to squeeze between her and the railing to get a gate open. Normally, I just place my hand on the horse's rump and it steps aside. However, for some reason I chose to push my body into her hip to get her to move. In a split second, I saw her pin her ears, tuck her tail under, swing her butt at me, and then felt her rump go down and up. I could feel her coming at me with double barrels, and I screamed, "NOOOOOO!"
That scared the hell out of her and she halted her two-hooved kick mid-air and took off running, realizing her mistake. I'm pretty sure she thought I was a horse pushing into her. Rock sometimes pushes into her rump with his chest and pecks at her to get her to move. He literally throws his weight around to try to establish dominance. Rock has been pissing off all the horses recently. I caught Bombay nailing him in the shoulder with a calculated kick, and then the next time I looked out the window, Gabbrielle had Rock pinned against the fence and was kicking him. He's bored, so he's being naughty and picking on the other horses, which leads to him getting beat up.
Getting that close to being kicked by Lostine was scary. She could have done some damage to me. Normally, I can climb all over these horses, and they are gentle and tolerant, but I do think that Lostine is losing her faculties to some degree, so I'm going to have to be more careful around her, especially since she is so paranoid about Rock harassing her. I really need to keep those horses busy so that they are too tired to be buttheads and cause trouble. I just wish the dogs would cut me some slack so that I can spend some time with the horses.
Sometimes when people ask me to do something for them, I want to scream, "I can't even sleep, eat an entire meal or pee without being interrupted, and you want me to do WHAT?"
As pets age, they lose their eyesight, hearing, and sometimes their minds, and everything in your daily routine becomes more complicated in a hurry. Just don't expect others to understand when it happens to you. Unless they are experiencing it themselves, they'll think you are a neurotic pet owner, and they'll dismiss your concerns as being unimportant. I remember feeling frustrated with my mother, because every time we were out spending time together, she'd have to cut it short to run home to feed the dog at exactly 4:00 PM. I'd make fun of her and say, "Who made up that rule that dogs have to be fed at exactly 4:00 PM? It won't kill the dog to eat a couple of hours late."
However, I can now see where she was coming from. Dogs can get destructive when their routines change. Their internal clocks get excited as their meal time approaches, and they need to be taken outside to avoid accidents. It's not about sticking to a routine and schedule for the sake of doing the same thing everyday. It's about preventing problems.
Now the trick for me is to teach others to get their heads in the game so that they can prevent their own problems and free up my time from helping them solve them. Unfortunately, it's usually the person who has to fix them who experiences the consequences, and that person is the only one who is motivated enough to put in an ounce of prevention. So, for now on, people are going to have to experience the consequences of their own actions themselves. My humanitarian services are closed for the season, and my phone is for outgoing calls only while I get things sorted out in the geriatric ward.
I'll leave you with a picture of one of our more peaceful moments...