Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Petsitting a Pomeranian

Cute but cantankerous.

I've started reading Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, by Bill Burnett, which is about getting unstuck and changing your path forward (or at least that's what I think it's about after reading only a few chapters). The earlier chapters talk about prototyping your ideas--trying them out on a small scale with limited commitment before going all in.

Makes sense, right?

If you're an associate in a law firm interested in moving in-house, a secondment with a client prototypes the idea.

If you're contemplating early retirement, an extended staycation prototypes the idea.

Or, in my case, if you're spending a little too much time wistfully perusing #maltipoosofinstagram, a few petsitting gigs prototypes the idea.

I logged on to Rover, created an account, and quickly booked three petsitting gigs: one shih tzu, one pomeranian, and one maltipoo (YES!).

Y'all, this gig is not for the faint of heart.

I found that pet parents leave out the most important details, for example:
  • my dog is on anti-anxiety medications and has severe separation anxiety
  • my dog doesn't respond to his own name, but will come running if you yell "TREATS!!!"
  • my dog will fight you to the death if you try to clean up after him because we regularly allow him to feast on his own poop

The list goes on.

I learned that maltipoos are every bit as precious as I'd hoped, but that it's not the right time for me to add a puppy to the family. I'd known the worry of leaving a dog at home during a thunderstorm, cleaning up accidents, and encountering aggressive dogs while out on a walk with your own tiny dog for nearly two decades earlier in life, but the memories had faded. 

I love dogs, but think I'd like to wait until retirement to bring a puppy home.

Prototyping works.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Read 12 Novels (Part 1)

One of the joys of life after law firm is having enough time to read for pleasure. This year, I plan to read at least 12 non-fiction books and 12 novels. I've made progress and posted the six non-fiction books I've completed so far here.

I'm four novels deep:
  • Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf. A friend recommended Haruf's Plainsong trilogy, which was available through the public library, but currently on hold. I read this while I was waiting. Short and sweet.
  • Milkman by Anna Burns. Don't take this one with you on a vacation. It's exhausting and slow moving although I enjoyed the conclusion. Perhaps this is more of a reflection on my own taste in fiction, as this novel won the Man Booker Prize in 2018.
I thought I would power through another novel this weekend, but no such luck as the pomeranian I'm petsitting has no chill and is on a mission to do all the naughty things.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stretch Goals


One of my exercise goals for 2019 was to make time to stretch for at least five minutes for fifty days. The hope was that completing this goal would create a daily habit. Mission accomplished!

I'm a bendy person by nature. I plopped down into a full center split as a toddler and never looked back. Sure, I had to work on developing strength to support my flexibility, but flexibility itself was never work to the point that, after I retired from dancing, I didn't continue to make a conscientious effort to stretch.

This changed once I started spinning thanks to a helpful nudge from Peloton in the form of a prompt to begin a five-minute post ride stretch after every ride. I'll probably never be as limber as I once was, but I feel better now that I'm stretching again.

Next, I'll work on incorporating some strength training into my exercise routine.

Sunday, June 2, 2019


This past week, we drove out to the eastern edge of Texas--past at least two Buc-ee's!--to Beaumont to attend my boyfriend's niece's high school graduation. Watching each graduate crossing the stage, with happiness or anxiety or a bit of both written on their face, I wished I could see into their futures. What would become of the valedictorian headed to nursing school or the guy with the flashy red loafers?

The graduate we were celebrating will attend Baylor in the fall. At the family lunch the day after graduation, there was some talk at lunch about SAT scores and admissions essays. I couldn't help but think of the high school seniors I had interviewed on behalf of my own university in years past.

Each interview has been a precious window into what's it's like to be a high school student today, which--it turns out--is not that different than what it was like twenty years ago when I graduated from high school. Sure, the technology tools are different, but the anxieties and aspirations are, at their core, unchanged.

Will college live up to my expectations?
Will I live up to expectations?
What will I become?
Who will I help?
Who will I marry?
Where will we live?
How many children will I have?
Will I matter?

These were the questions I had in mind when I walked across the stage at my own high school graduation. Twenty years later, some remain unanswered, but I have more time and for that I am grateful.