Lessons from the Dog
This is going to sound crazy, but I hate walking my dogs. Let me say that again. I. HATE. WALKING. MY. DOGS. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly. But the idea of putting my sneakers on, leashing them up and walking them around the neighborhood makes me have heart palpitations. For real.
Ok, let me back up. I'm a full time pet sitter. Which means I walk dogs for a living. I've never bothered with a pedometer, but if I had to guess, I'd say I walk anywhere from 2 - 5 miles a day. Seven days a week. I used to walk more, but over the years I've cut back on how many dogs I pet sit on any given day. So when I come home in between pet visits, the last thing I want to do is walk my own dogs.
And they wonder why they couldn't have ended up with a different dog mom! Walking is their all time favorite thing to do. Especially Izzy. I think she would choose a walk over a meal. Maybe. As long as she gots treats for walking nicely.
So now that I got that all out in the open, I don't really hate walking my dogs. I'd rather put my feet up and rest for a while before the next round of pet visits begins. While I was in Florida, I didn't have this excuse. Plus, it was always sunny and warm. Even though it was January and February. We didn't have a fenced in yard where we were staying. So we had to walk them every time they needed to do their business. Once a day, we'd take them for a real walk, not the quick kind where you tell them to hurry up and go back inside. And after we got into a groove, I really came to enjoy it.
When I returned to PA, I promised the girls I would continue to walk them daily. As long as it wasn't pouring. And I kept my promise. Even if it was cold. Or drizzling. Or windy. It made them happy which in turn made me happy. I would even take them to various parks to walk. And before long, if I skipped a day because I seriously had too much work or the weather was so bad, I missed it.
Going for a walk forced me to take a break from the computer and get some fresh air. It's so easy to get caught up reading emails, scrolling Facebook, checking Instagram. Before I knew it, I'd googled one thing and end up with 20 tabs opened. Most of which had nothing to do with what I googled. Which I no longer remember what that was.
Taking a walk with my girls forced me to be wise about my time. I had to make sure I left 30 minutes in my day before it got dark out. When I came back to work, I felt refreshed, more energized and creative. Which is funny, because I just took 30 minutes off of work. How was that making me more productive? Just the simple act of moving my body, getting some Vitamin D, and clearing my head made all the difference.
You're probably wondering why this is such a big deal since I walk dogs for a living. But that's just the point. It's my job. It's kind of like when you make yourself a sandwich but it doesn't taste nearly as good as when someone else makes the same sandwich. These are my dogs. And I walk them for pleasure. This is my time with them. No phone calls, no texting, no checking social media. Just me. Izzy. Kita. Together. Exploring our world.
I think this is what they've been trying to teach me.