Lori Robinett: {Creating} My Path

musings of a wife, mother, writer . . .

Archive for the tag “yellow lab”

Putting On a Happy Face

Recently, I posted something slightly negative on my Facebook page.

Feeling really grouchy & irritable today. You know, more so than usual. Thinkin’ it’s a good day to keep my head down and buried in work.

A friend responded.

Oh, dear – and you seemed so happy yesterday! Hoping it’s a temporary grouchiness and you’re already feeling better. <hugs>

Seeing that post really did help. Those virtual hugs aren’t just data. They’re emotion.

And that emotion that transmits via social media is why I’m generally careful about what I post. There’s research that indicates mood spreads via Facebook (check it out here), and I have no desire to add to the negativity in the world so I put on a happy face. I do the same thing at work, most of the time. I smile. Pretend I’m not hurting. Pretend everything is OK. And I bet others do the same thing. Does that give others a skewed view of our true selves? Probably. Does it serve a purpose to share those darker feelings? Maybe. Probably depends on why you share your darker feelings.

The reality is, my 18 year old daughter ripped my heart out about a year ago, days after she graduated from high school. Recently, I’ve seen pictures on Facebook of prom and posts about senior events and graduation. Those memories will forever be tainted for me, because they feel like a lie (yeah, yeah. I know they weren’t truly a lie. But they FEEL that way). On top of that, we had to have our 13 year old yellow lab put down last month. And now it looks like we’re going to have to have our 14 year old miniature schnauzer put down, likely on Saturday. If, that is, I can bring myself to make the phone call.

So, no, I’ve not been happy. I’m hurting and angry and disappointed and frustrated. But that’s OK. Those feelings are natural, legitimate feelings. We should not be afraid to share them with others, but neither should we let those feelings wrap their tendrils around every aspect of our lives. Do your 500 friends on F/B need to know that you’re feeling a little down today? No. But a quick post to let people know how you’re feeling is OK. Maybe you’ll even get a virtual hug that makes you feel better.

But remember that there is life outside of Facebook.

Acknowledge the feelings.

And then practice a little self-compassion.

 

 

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5 Things I Learned From My Old Dog

Shelby, our yellow Lab, is nearing the end of her life. Late yesterday afternoon, she fell three times during our walk and just wasn’t right. She’s losing weight and showing her age. We know that last trip to the vet is drawing very near, which breaks my heart. As I held her and stroked her yesterday, I reflected on all she has taught me.

Shelby

Shelby

Exercise Daily. Shelby is 13 years old. Quickly coming up on 14. In spite of her advanced age & arthritis, her tail still wags and she perks up when she sees me carrying her purple leash.

Greet Those You Love With Enthusiasm. She sees me every day, yet every time she sees me she wags like crazy. It never ceases to make me feel special in her eyes.

Don’t Judge by Appearances. A cat was dumped on our road during a snow storm a couple of years ago. We got him neutered & got his shots, and he now sorta answers to the name Patches. When Shelby and I go for a walk through the fields, Patches goes, too. Shelby is so gentle with him, and he winds through her legs, rubbing and loving on her. Whodathunk a battleworn tom cat and an elderly Lab would be such good friends?

Be curious. As you can see from the pic above, Shelby is a curious girl. Our walks include frequent side trips to check out a quivering rabbit, a covey of quail or something dead (I’m not sure why stinky dead things are so interesting, but apparently, they are).

Enjoy. Whatever you are doing, enjoy it. Whatever you are eating, enjoy it. Shelby’s face has an expression of total bliss when I rub her ears. She loses herself in the moment and simply enjoys. How often do we rush through life without stopping to simply enjoy the moment?

 

 

 

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