I read an essay once, written by a woman, who had been the only child of a woman who was an only child. The author found herself, at midlife, the mother of a young son. There was a line in the essay that went something like this: there's nothing as good for a middle-aged heart as a young son.
I would add, or possibly, a puppy.
My heart went kind of middle aged this year, weighed down by a lot of life. Miserable stuff and just plain slogging. The warm weather came late. The deadlines came early. There was a lot of putting one foot in front of the other. Oh, and swearing. I never was a swearer, but this spring, my vocabulary blossomed -- like a sailor's! It became a barometer of stress - how much I swore. (I do not record this out of any kind of pride; it's just the truth.)
The first three weeks of puppydom were, again to be honest, pretty crappy. (Oops. Well, I also speak literally here.) I think I've said as much here before, but I really had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, despite having had dogs as a child and teen. And, as a friend said after adopting a child, there's a lot of adjusting and we're just impatient and want to have the adjustment period over.
Gentle Reader, the adjustment period is over. Once we figured out our dog and our dog-raising style, and he figured out his bladder and bowels, it's been a delight. I've fallen in love. I've lost seven pounds, just by walking him.
And the weather has warmed and we can swim. Today was the first real day of summer holidays and by eleven this morning, my kids were making massive, splashing tidal waves in the pool, lowering the water height by several inches, then standing on the deck in the warm puddles, all the while laughing in the sunshine.
The deadlines have passed and the urgent work is over. I've readjusted my arrangement with another client to better suit my needs. I'm playing around with a new business idea, a new novel and edits to the last one.
I went to the movies. We figured out summer holiday plans that are both fascinating and that work with a dog. (It's not Quebec, zut alors, but I've made my family promise I can speak in French. To them at least.)
You know what they say about riding a bicycle - that you never forget. It's true of fun also. I have to admit that it feels very much like the first days when you're in another culture and you speak the language, but you forget words, and verb tenses, and syntax, and it feels very foreign. Later, it will come more easily. Later, you will speak without thinking, will make jokes and convey personality. Fun is that foreign language for me right now. I'm daring to begin to believe I can unburden myself, put my feet up and relax for a bit. And even stop swearing.