Sometimes I’m just going about my normal day and I’m suddenly knocked off my feet by a seemingly obvious revelation. It’s usually one of those things I know that I know, yet I instantaneously find myself looking at it with a fresh perspective. It’s startling and it usually makes me laugh at first. Then I pause and realize that there’s truth in the humor; I step back and try to find a place for this new revelation in my current reality.
For those of you who don’t know me or regularly follow this blog, you should know 2 things:
- We have a 6 month old puppy. Her name is Ryeli. My very good friend has a teenage daughter named Rielly. My 4 year old daughter adores Rielly and therefore wanted to name our new puppy after her. I felt bad naming our dog after a very sweet human and my dad loves rye bread, so I decided we would spell our puppy’s name Ryeli to avoid any confusion. I know, I know, you wish you had thought of this yourself.
- I am recovering from hip surgery number 6. I had a fairly large hunk of metal removed from my femur a few weeks ago and am still pretty “fragile” until the bone fills in and heals. Existing in the same space as a highly energetic 4-year-old human and an 6-month-old puppy who has yet to become aware of her own strength has proven to be a challenge. The 4-year-old gets the crutches and understands “Be careful around Mommy so that she doesn’t fall” (most of the time). The puppy, on the other hand, isn’t quite as forgiving. I’ve pretty much had to separate myself from her during my recovery.
So now on to my newest revelation. I love Ryeli a lot, so it really makes me sad that I can’t get too close to her during my recovery. I think she misses me too; when she sees me she starts wagging her tail really hard and her eyes practically beg me to walk over and say hi.
But she’s a puppy and we’re still in the housebreaking phase of things. So when she gets excited, she pees. Everywhere. It wasn’t a big deal before my surgery; I just cleaned it up if she got too excited upon seeing me. But things are a little different now. If I decide to give in to her puppy eyes (literally) and hobble over to the gate, someone else has to clean up the inevitable mess.
In short, my actions have consequences that affect other people. My decision to gratify my own desires (i.e. to pet my precious pup) results in rather unpleasant consequences for the people I love (i.e. mom cleaning up the mess).
It sounds so simple, but it stopped me in my tracks that day. We’re usually aware of the fact that our choices affect others, but I think we tend to apply this awareness mostly towards the “big stuff.” You know, the place we live, the kids we have, the jobs we take. The big stuff.
But it’s important to remember that even our smallest decisions have the potential to affect the course of someone else’s day. And that’s not a bad thing. It makes me appreciate my mom more when she says it’s ok for me to go pet Ryeli; that she’s prepared to clean up the mess.
When Ryeli has an accident inside the house, one of us usually sighs in exasperation and cries, “Oh, Ryeli!” Like we’re surprised. Really? I think we should be more surprised when she doesn’t have an accident. She occasionally switches things around, though. She causes me say to myself, “Oh, Brittany!” I shake my head and sigh, then thank her for giving me a glimpse inside myself.