Losing a loved one, surviving a natural disaster, suffering from health problems—they’re all stressful. But what about good changes? Are they easier to handle?
All I know is that change is hard.
Everything is Changing
If you’ve read Something Wagging before, you might have heard a whisper that we’re making big changes.
Our house is up for sale. We’re selling nearly everything we own. We’re planning to buy a sail boat. And we’re taking off for open water with our dog Honey.
Sounds fun, right?
In fact, when we tell acquaintances and neighbors about our plans they reply, “You must be excited.” And then they start musing about tropical sunshine or that great cruise they took to the British Virgin Islands.
Are we excited?
Sure, once you sort past all the worry, panic, and good old-fashioned terror.
Luckily the dog is still calm.
The Dog and Change
Honey is going to experience some major life changes. Only she doesn’t know it yet.
She doesn’t know why we’ve put a square of Astroturf in the yard and cheer excitedly when she deigns to pee upon it.
She doesn’t know why we insisted she sit with us on the swinging bench near the lake and why we were so pleased that she laid down and dozed.
And she certainly doesn’t know that I’m researching tracking systems, tethers, and medicines to keep her safe in our new life.
What she does know is that the people she lives with act stressed out and a little crazy. She knows that after a flurry of cleaning getting ready for a showing or home inspection, she’ll get a long walk. And she knows that no matter what else is nuts around the house, she always has a comfortable bed and good food.
Luckily for her, that’s enough to keep Honey from feeling as stressed and neurotic as her two people.
The People and Change
Adult humans are vastly superior to dogs when it comes to our ability to think and plan events in the future. And yet our ramped up anxiety levels as we think and plan events in the future has me wishing I were a dog.
I try to follow Honey’s lead.
We’ve been taking lots of long walks for fun (and because we can’t afford to do much else). I’ve been trying to enjoy the feel of sunshine on my face when we got a few warm days in a row. I may even try rolling on my back in a pile of goose poop.
Okay, maybe I’ll leave that little specialization to Honey.
But if someone could convince me it would take away my anxiety, depression, and weird vertigo that just won’t go away, I’d give it a try.
Change is Good
Moving house, taking a new job, getting married—every one of these events causes amazing stress. And yet can be the starting point of a wonderful new life.
I have faith that disrupting our lives and setting sail on a new adventure will be the same way.
But sometimes I wish I had more than faith that things will be better in the future.
Sometimes I wish I could be a dog. And know that as long as I had a full belly, a comfy bed, and people who loved me everything would be okay. Then maybe change wouldn’t be so hard.
Your Turn: Have you experienced a major life change? How did you manage the stress? And how did your animals?