By Terri Rocovich
First of all let me apologize for not responding to anyone's comments to my last blog. Since the day of that last blog, life has been a bit of a challenge. Let me explain. I was actually in Kauai on a family vacation when I posted that blog and life was about as good as it gets. Kauai is clearly one of the most beautiful places on earth, and I was spending cherished time with family and just relaxing for a week which, as we can all relate, is a rare treat.
However, upon returning to my house on Tuesday morning, all holy he*l broke loose and my tranquility from the islands was gone in an instant. In a past blog, I have told everyone about my canine and feline family. The oldest in this group was my cat Orkin who was truly a cat of nine lives. Well sadly even a cat with 9 lives runs out of time. I returned home to find a very sick cat and my house sitter (who shall never be my house sitter again) was not attentive or smart enough to realize how sick she was, even though it was clearly obvious and alarmed me instantly. I scooped Orkin up in my arms and rushed her to the Animal Urgent Care but after a day and a half of supportive care and a battery of tests it was determined that Orkin's kidneys were diseased and not functioning. So in a flood of tears and regrets asd to my bad judgement in house sitters, I put Orkin to sleep. Boy after all these years of owning and sometimes losing beloved animals, why doesn't it get any easier.
Then to continue my ride on the stress train, less than a week later a friend of mine had serious life threatening complications after knee surgery, one of my former students was missing after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and then to add to the chaos, my horse Hank reinjured himself and is now extremely lame again. Boy they were not kidding when they said when it rains it pours. But the light in this tunnel (other than the train) is that life is made so much more tolerable by the unconditional love of family, friends and animals. As always my family, even though don't always understand me, are always around to support me and console my losses and alleviate my stress. My friends, who do understand me, are there to comiserate like kindred soles and then there are my animals. I am not sure how much they truly comprehend but they understand when I am upset and they are there. Cruizer, my cat who was the closest to Orkin did spends days wandering the house as if looking for her and took up residence on my lap (a place formerly held by orkin) as if to say, "she may be gone but I am here to fill the void".
Now there is also some good news at the end of this sad tale. My friend who had the knee surgery was finally released from the hospital (to recooperate at my house since she lives alone) and is steadily getting stronger. And the best news is that my former student was found safe and sound in Japan and was even interviewed on the Today show this morning. All of her possesions were swept away by the tsunami but she is OK and has stayed in Japan to aid in the relief efforts. She is an amazing young woman and I am proud to know her.
So to all that commented on my last blog, thank you. It was great to hear your thoughts on finding the right horse. I am still on my hunt but I have faith that the right one will come along soon. As for my poor Hank, that drama is still in play and will most likely be the subject of a future blog. I figure that all of the drama of the last few weeks is just part of life and is always good material for my book; although I don't quite know how I can work a tsunami into the plot.
How do you all deal with a firestorm of trouble? What are your ways of relieving stress and coping. God knows I could use a little advise. I usually try to take stock in what matters and take comfort in the simplest of pleasures like hugging my horse, chocolate, a good lemon martini and a long hot shower. But these days I think I need a few more tricks, so do share.
So sorry about your troubles - particularly the loss of your cat and the horse trouble. I don't have much to offer in the way of advice - I think holding tightly to the good people, animals and other things in your life is the most important thing.
Well, a relative of ours recently summed up all of it in one small phrase:
Its like picking peas. Don't look for the end of the row- you just keep your head down and keep picking.
Along with keeping me head down and nose to the grind lately, I've been able to spend a good bit of time in the paddock with the new pony. Family soothes the pain, but there is something about the pony and my dog that heal just as well and bring peace too.
I hope things continue to get better there.
Terri, it seems you are weathering and coping with great ability!
Thanks for putting life in perspective as well. A too-busy week and muddy horse and car that needs to go into the shop are simply life's little jobs compared to the big ones.
Terri--I think we all go through these times and its just not easy. I can still remember the fall that we lost our old dog, my son's pony, and his favorite cat within six weeks. What helps me the most is that I've been through other periods where a lot of difficult stuff happened and know that they are followed by periods where things stay peaceful and delightfully uneventful.I am so sorry to hear about your cat and about Hank. Hang in there.
It is times like these that makes us appreciate when times are good. The loss of cherished animals and pain and suffering in friends and companions is hard on us emotionally but it also takes a physical toll. Take care of yourself, love on the pets that are still with you, and spend time laughing and catching up with friends and family. It is the best medicine ever.
Lots of hugs - both furry and otherwise - help me when I'm stressed and running low on good feelings. Sometimes just being still and watching my horses can be the best therapy around.
Still there is a lot to be said for a group of your bestest girls and lemon martinis and chocolate for all! Well, that and some escapism in a good book, thanks to all the authors here for that!!!
I've had my share of hard times and I pretty much do what MM said about the pea picking thing. Sometimes the whole picture is just to big to be anything but overwhelming. Breaking things down into smaller pieces to either digest or resolve or whatever action is necessary and them prioritizing them so you can keep that kead down and keep going works best for me. I always try to take some time with my horse so I can stay centered and then I just keep on trucking through the muck until I find the other side.
I might add it's important to tell myself I can get through. That is an important part of the equation. Good luck!
Terri: I'm sorry about your troubles. We all go through them, and while we're in them it's often hard to see the end of the tunnel. "The only way out is through" may sound tough, but it's true that once we're in the bad stuff, we're also on your way to better stuff. Well, usually... I'm not sure the poor Japanese would be impressed by these words at the moment...
I liked Mrs Mom's image of picking peas. You just have to keep picking.
Keep your chin up, and be gentle with yourself. Hot baths with essential oils followed by early nights in cosy pjs work wonders:)
Lots of love to you.
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