I received an unexpected gift from a client this week, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I've been home from our two-week family vacation for two weeks. I've never felt so refreshed. During the time we were gone, I didn't take care of any animals, and I didn't write at all. I love taking care of animals, and I love writing, but sometimes a girl needs a break, ya know? It took taking a break for me to realize how close to burnout I'd been. I've been enjoying my career path much more over the past couple of weeks because I had the break. I need to take breaks more often.
I arrived at a client's home last week, and I saw a book, Guardians of Being, on the counter with a note. Maya*, the "family mom" left both for me for no reason except to thank me for "all I do for (their) (dogs)." I see the dogs quite frequently, but, frankly, I don't do all that much. The dogs are totally well-behaved and low-maintenance, and all I really have to do is spend time with them outside, make sure they relieve themselves, smooch them and cuddle them, and put them back in their crates, which they automatically do at the end of my visit, anyway. I adore the dogs, and their humans are just as awesome.
Maya mentioned in her note that she's enjoyed the book and thought I might, too.
I have one issue that I can't seem to get a handle on. My mind goes about a zillion miles per hour, and it seems to have gotten worse over the years. If I'm worried about something, my brain sparks and sizzles. If I'm excited about something, my brain makes me dance and fritz out. I just can't shut my brain up. And every night between 2:30 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., I wake up. I hang out with myself for about an hour, and then hope to get back to sleep, if only for a moment before my alarm sirens. And I play some Candy Crush.
I acknowledge my issue. I've been told by many-a-trusted-source to incorporate yoga into my life. I get that, but I don't think yoga is really my thing.
Maybe I'll get there eventually.
Do I want to meditate? Hell, no. That would require me to pause, which I'm not capable of. It would also require me to reflect.
Maybe spending quiet moments with the animals I care for is my form of meditation.
So, anyway. This book. I skimmed through it fast-forward style immediately in Maya's home. It looked lovely. I brought it home and it sat in front of me for several days, and then I decided to read it. To digest it. It was the most I've paused in some time. Guardians of Being. is written by Eckhart Tolle, and the art is by Mutts creator Patrick McDonnell.
The photos you seen in this post are my favorite pages.
The words make me pause, which isn't always easy.
They make me thankful that I spend each day with animals who accept me and love me and kiss me and cuddle me, even if we've only meant moments ago. I am surrounded by this love every day, and I probably don't recognize it often enough.
They make me feel thankful that I have sustained close relationships with human friends I have known since toddlerhood and have been able to establish new adult friendships, even at the busiest time in our lives.
The words make me think about the unexpected gifts that clients (who are friends) can bring, even if it's just a few moments to immerse myself in a book.
Even if I can't quiet my mind any other way.
*Names have been changed.