Mental Health, mental illness

Mood Improvement 101

KIMG0119.jpgToday was borderline crappy – work was fine, but I was in a personal funk that began last night. I decided to take a walk to clear my head and stay moving after I got home. Armed with a new play list to listen to, full of upbeat songs that make me happy, I headed for the door.

As I was putting my running shoes on, Honey realized what was up. She’d been laying in the front room anyway, waiting for Jason to get home from work. She’s been having a harder time adjusting to him being gone during the day since he started work again.

She sat down and looked at me, all cute, being so good. I put on my fanny pack and she realized I had not yet said yes to her, and she walked over and sniffed her leash, looked at me, and sat again.

Fine, I thought. And got two plastic bags for her two inevitable poops.

She knew it was a “yes” then, and began freaking out with happiness. I got her leash from its hook near the door, from our sign that says, “All you need is love…and a dog”. She started running circles around the room, which made attaching the leash impossible, of course. I waited her out. When the leash was finally on, more excitement ensued – perhaps the most of all. She lunged for the door and I made her wait until I got the door shut before we took off.

She did, indeed, poop twice. She peed about twenty thousand times; as she is the only spayed female dog I know who marks her territory.

But we walked, and it was fine. We had to cross the street five times to avoid other dogs. She was flawless: AKA could not have cared less about them. However, the other dogs were more vocal about their excitement to see Honey, greatly annoying their owners.

In the last stretch of our walk, close to home, I was carrying two full bags of poop when a van pulled up by me and slowed down. The driver called out, “You don’t know the secret?” or something equally alarming. I kept walking, but acknowledged him. “You gotta feed ‘em after you walk ‘em – not before. They always gotta crap after they poop!”

I cracked up. “Good point,” I said, and he drove off. I didn’t bother to tell him that Honey protests Jason’s working by not eating until he gets home, and therefore had not eaten since last night and had probably hardly drank.

We arrived at the last intersection, the one to our street. And then there was Jason, smiling through the windshield, behind me as I looked back before crossing the street. He slowed down and watched us run to the door. Honey didn’t realize it was her daddy until he pulled the car into the driveway we were next to.

We went over to the driver’s side and as Jason opened his door, Honey was there, already leaping to get in his lap. He had to fill out his mileage log (for tax purposes, as he drives for work now) so Honey and I went inside to get drinks.

And I felt better. It’s hard for me to feel out of control – if something has upset me and I can’t do anything to change it, it is really difficult for me. But I realized this, and I know that I have to let go sometimes. Getting upset doesn’t help things change, either. Taking my beautiful dog for a walk, laughing at her cute sideways tongue, and stretching in the peace of my home with my husband commenting about my cuteness. Those things help.

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