Thursday, July 25, 2013

Having the Good Life -

As Tired Girls it may be easier to not pursue the good life. I could have called this blog just the Tired Girl, and given ideas for how to get out of things in life. Despite my tired-girlness though, I want to have it all. To feel, act, sleep, eat, look, love and live well. Eating cereal every night, not having flower planters by my front door of my house, not picking up the bits of messiness that accumulate around my place certainly would make me less tired, but - I want the good life.

For me, a huge part of my good life was my sweet baby-dog Ralphie the bloodhound. He died this past weekend. Our dear friend Dr. "Uncle" Wade performed emergency surgery to remove cancerous tumors on Ralph's spleen. The surgery was a success, but the cancer had taken too large a toll on our boy and he slipped away peacefully afterward. He was - as my husband so eloquently put it "our collective love and focus" for nine years and we are quite simply heartbroken.

The point of this post is not for me to immobilize my keyboard with tears or to slump into the unbearable pain, or to try and make you snort away tears at your desk thinking of your beloved pet or the last time you saw our Ralph.

The point of this post is to stress the idea that to pursue the good life means we are often choosing to ignore the easy life, the safe life. If my husband and I had chosen not to have a dog we certainly would have less slobber on our walls, more money, more time and a bunch of other stuff I guess, but by choosing to have a pet we truly enjoyed the good life. The joy our Ralph brought us far outweighed any of the perceived trouble. I happily hand-made Ralphies's food the last couple years of his life - certainly not a tired girl activity, but I skimped in other areas to acquire the time for what mattered to me, which was him.

I taught a student once whose mother worked from 4am-10am every day at Subway to make extra money so her daughter could train as a gymnast -- and... that mom smiled every stinking time I was with her. I bet she was a serious Tired Girl, but she was working for the good life for herself and her daughter. I would bet she thought less about Subway during her day and more about the joy she felt watching her daughter practice.

This morning I worked to compile every photo I have of Ralph onto one thumb drive. Even the photo file labeled "new refrigerator" on my computer has photos of him (of course one of him looking at the new fridge!). One short video I came across was of Ralph and my husband, Joe, lying on our bed. Ralph was barking-talking to us. In the video I can hear myself laughing. Not a giggle, but like a deep down laugh. That was how I felt about being with him - a deep, sincere sense of pleasure. That is the good life to me.

I could write a novel about what I learned from our Ralphie, what he meant to us, how he saved me, how smart and quirky and human-like he was, what we will miss the most, and to ask the questions about how I will heal.

Instead I hope you will consider what you have, or do, or work for to have the good life for yourself.

A large loving, slobbery, tail wagging, humor-inducing piece of my good life now will serve as an intangible joy in my heart, and I will continue to work for the good life in other ways as well. I will do things like refill a pretty soap dispenser by my kitchen sink instead of having a big soap bottle because I think that looks nicer. In little and big ways I am Tired Girl who wants the Good Life.

My sweet boy made my life more than good - even if he isn't here anymore to slobber on the other parts of my good life.


I have approximately 27 hundred, 2 million, 33 thousand photos of Ralph. None of them feel good enough to represent his charm.


Next time I will share more light-hearted ideas, like the great eyeliner I have discovered and crap like that. But today I am enjoying thinking about how Ralph made this Tired Girl's life good.


What does living the good life mean to you?

4 comments:

  1. I am so sorry. :( I know that just sucks.

    In response to the meat of the post, I am really too tired (read:lazy) to do a lot of good life things and I really do think about that sometimes. I do like to always have fresh flowers in the house which is a really un tired girl thing to do -

    Glad you find peace in writing... I do too. Hope you feel better soon

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  2. Carrie, you are my sweet, funny and wise friend. I love you (and Joe Joe) through and through. I have thought about you guys so much this last week and all I have sent countless mind hugs. I pray they are getting to you and they will help you both heal. I love you my friend.

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