The other morning, while I was getting ready for work, my Auggie went a little bat-shit crazy to get out the door. I mean pawing at my slider (which he never does- he leaves that for Harley)and barking up a storm. I popped back into the room and let him out on his runner. I wasn't half way back to the bathroom to finish my makeup when he started going a little nuts outside. That brought Harley running and she wanted out too. I let her out to join him and again the barking started so I went out to see what in the world was up. Now- we have had an opossum hanging around the house for a while and I figured they were going nuts about it again. S/he "hides" under the neighbor's lawn chair in plain site but just out of reach and it makes my pups crazy. Little did I know.
I walked outside and what do I see? Five beautiful, majestic does wandering through the back yard. These were not baby deer, these were fully grown, almost as tall as me, deer. My little 22lb dog was barking furiously at small herd of deer that had to have weighed 200lbs each. He was very lucky. The "lead" doe just looked at him with some amusement and led her group down through our 20 yard "wooded" area that separates us from the neighbors behind us, into their yard and on their way. They weren't remotely frightened of my brave little guy who was defending his territory (or his sister who was half-heartedly joining in his noise or of me for that matter), in fact they sauntered along as if there was not a care in their world. For this I am thankful because he really could have been hurt. As they walked out of sight, the three of us came back inside- Auggie and Harley for a treat and me to finish my makeup.
While I was applying my eyeliner and mascara I was ruminating on how brave my little fur-babies were when it comes to keeping critters out of their territory. They routinely chase off rabbits and squirrels and that stinking possum but this incident gave me pause. It made me wonder how often we let our courage take it a little too far. I know that when I am looking at pallets of books that need to be opened, received and shelved I have a tendancy to face that mountain and tell myself that failure is not an option and dive right in without thought of the consequences. This time of year, when our kids are selling back their books and returning their rentals and they all seem to get there at once; I will stand at window working with those books for hours at a time until my hands start to swell and cramp, my elbow starts to holler at me and I over work my wrist so much that I lose the strength and it hurts to try to open a bottle of water. I don't look at that line and think "it's too much, I can't do this all day". I look at it and think "I can bang out this line, no problem". It tends to get me into trouble physically and that in turn makes me a little bummed about the changes in my body and also makes me feel far older than I am. I also think that this is what makes me a Tigger.
I believe I have mentioned this before, perhaps when discussing my tattoos but I love reading "The Tao of Pooh" by Benjamin Hoff. It is an easy to read and easy to process introduction to Taoism. In reading this, the part about Tigger really spoke to me. The book says:
"A fish can't whistle and neither can I." There's nothing wrong with not being able to whistle, especially if you're a fish. But there can be lots of things wrong with blindly trying to do what you aren't designed for. Unfortunately, some people aren't so wise, and end up causing big trouble for themselves and others. The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not. To demonstrate what we mean, we can think of no one better than Tigger, who doesn't know his limitations ('Tiggers' can do everything'), which brings him in lots of trouble.
If don't know if there is a better description of me anywhere. I know better but tend to blindly jump in and try to do it all and then kick myself later when my body rebels. When I am going at some big, demanding project with no thought of how I will pay later it is just like my little guy trying to scare off those big and beautiful deer that were 10 times his size. It's foolish and can have dire consequences. More importantly, I know better and yet it still doesn't stop me from trying. As I sit here this morning with my fingers taking longer than usual to "unkink", my shoulder throbbing, my wrists aching and knowing I still have a lot of work to do both at my job and in preparation for Christmas which is coming at us at light speed, I can tell that I need to slow down a bit if I am to get it all done. I just don't know if I can slow down at this time of year. My stress level is already bumping at the ceiling and I have a feeling that if I try to back off a even a little bit the stress may bust through the roof and send me into a tail-spin. I think that after the holidays (ending with MLK Day in mid-January) I will have to step back and evaluate how I could have done things differently and still reach the goal of getting it all done on time. At the moment I am just too far into the eye of the hurricane to be able to be objective and so I will have to finish along this path and hope that I don't send myself into a major flare by the New Year. There are only 11 days till Christmas and 5 weeks until we are through our "rush". The countdown has begun.