12 August 2011

Small Victories

This has been a weird week. I've been tired, cranky, frustrated, and sick. Because this is not my usual state of being, when I get like this, everything I'm feeling is amplified. Annoyance turns into anger. Weariness becomes melancholy. Small frustrations become paralyzing obstacles. I want to sleep.

There is nothing to be done about the days slowed by illness, but wallowing is an exercise in futility. Part of my frustration stems from my inability to complete anything of consequence this week, so laying around only makes it worse. Instead, I'm going to try one of those annoying self-help tricks, where I list everything I did accomplish.

Wrote a little.

Weeded through half the crap in my room.

Did laundry. And put it away.

Got the new shower rod and curtain.

Nursed my vomiting child.

Tried a new tactic with Cobie, and it seems to be working.

Actually, that last one is pretty significant, because monitoring her behavior has been a huge part of each day.  After writing about her, I decided to stop trying to re-train her. Although she had been sleeping all night in her crate, lately she'd been barking, and then I would find her standing in her pee. Now, most dogs think of their crate as a safe haven, but at this point I decided it must be causing her great anxiety, so I let her sleep in the (gated) kitchen. No more barking.

I had an epiphany. I realized Cobie is like those children of mine that cannot be negatively incented. I had been trying to bend her to my will, and it just wasn't working. As her behavior worsened, I had imposed more restrictions, which made her behavior worse. I decided to give her what I thought she wanted--freedom.

I gave her access to roam the house. I set the timer to take her out on a regular schedule, but I let her determine the rhythm of her day. Apparently, this means lots of sleeping on my couch, while Leo sleeps on the floor below her. When she wakes up, I take her outside. One takes her for a walk, and she and Leo play for a bit outside. Three days; no accidents. To reward her, last night I put her crate in the garage. I gave her a nice, soft mat to sleep on in the kitchen, because that tile can be unforgiving. Especially if you have no fur.

I feel better.

Okay, your turn. List something you accomplished, even if it seems insignificant.  You can even brag, because that can be inspiring!

Then, go have a great weekend.

12 comments:

  1. I do hope you (and the little ones, because that can be equally draining) are feeling better soon. I've never tried this approach to cheering myself up. I'll have to look into it next time I'm down.

    As for me, this week I managed to get all four of my kids new sneakers for school which (a) fit; (b) they liked; and (c) were within my budget. All in one day. It was a major triumph.

    Feel better FGBVs to you.

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  2. @Delia: IN THE SAME DAY? Wow. My head would esplode. I have only recently begun shopping for my children, WITH MY CHILDREN. I would just go buy their clothes and shoes, and hoped they fit. That worked for fifteen years! Now they've decided they like picking out their own shirts and such. Ergh. But I'm still only going to let the teenagers do that, and one at a time.

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  3. Found the files I had made up of lesson plans and all materials that need to be copied for units 8-15...they were buried in the chaos of my classroom.

    Managed to ask POLITELY for the eighth time that someone remove the pair of seven foot chalkboards from my classroom.

    Refrained from saying something nasty about my mil (who has NOT rsvp'd to my baby shower). This was the hardest of all.

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  4. oh, great idea. I've had the same kind of week, but I haven't been sick so I have no excuse.

    Let's see, I did about eight loads of laundry. Cleared the kitchen counter off at least half a dozen times. Kept up with my exercising even though there has been a discouraging lack of positive outcome. Kept my flowers blooming and healthy. OH! And made a pie with cherries from our sour cherry tree, which finally after eight years produced enough cherries for a pie. In fact, I think there will be another one later this weekend.

    Thanks, Megan.

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  5. Made it through a week of work. Now the unbearable part -- on to Aruba (you said we could brag)

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  6. @lora: And continued to grow a human being! I hope your eighth request was heeded.

    @Barb: Exercised! I chose to eat my weight in carbs at the beginning of the week, which may have contributed to the nausea at the middle of the week. Homemade pie! With homegrown cherries!

    You ladies astound me.

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  7. @RJ: Aruba is why we work, isn't it? But goodness, keep your women close down there!

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  8. The heat of this summer has pretty much sapped all the will to do out of the very small amount I usually possess.

    Accomplishments for the week: the kids and I have survived, relatively unscathed, mostly nutritiously fed, and that's about it. I am, however, going to bathe the dog this afternoon.

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  9. My week looks good, if you average it. I did all my good stuff on Tuesday, the day before leaving for Oregon. I did 4 loads of laundry and completely cleaned my bathroom.

    I traveled on Wednesday.

    Unfortunately, I spent yesterday quite ill and slept thru as much of it as I could manage, and haven't managed much yet today. And i'm here to et stuff ready so the estate sale guys can get started as soon as possible! So I'm just going to average out Tuesday's successes. :)

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  10. @Karen: Sometimes, the greatest accomplishment is that everyone is alive at the end of the day. And nutritiously fed? Good for you!

    @Skye: I imagine you also managed to pack, and get to the airport on time, so bonus points to you! Rest until you feel better-the auction guys will figure it out.

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  11. Look what you started?! All of this amazing success is truly inspiring. (And yay you for the brilliant dog work.)

    The week? I walked three times. Wrote a blog post everyday. Did a card reading. Got some food. Made and packed Dan some lunches. Returned and finished two library books. Ha, better than I thought.
    Julie
    (oh and I did a tiny bit of beading)

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  12. @Julie: The walking is the most amazing, because I really just don't want to leave my house to exercise. At all.

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Thanks for reading! Unlike other Diaries, this one isn't private. Feel free to share your thoughts. Politely, of course.