I like routine, especially when it has been tweaked over time and works well. But sometimes you need a shakeup. Usually that comes from some situation not of your own making, but still.
Dolly has definitely shaken up all my routines. Honestly, the first six weeks we had her, I had no routine at all and despaired of ever having one again! But of course that was just the beginning puppy stage all rolled up with Thanksgiving and Christmas.
When January hit—with all the company gone and Jeff back at work—routine-setting became my priority. I haven’t been able to put things back exactly as they were, but I will admit that a few things are actually working better than before. Like feeling an impetus to get things done when I’ve gone to the trouble to put Dolly in her crate in my office. I can’t just fritter away that time or I’ll feel badly that I’ve kept her cooped up for no good reason. Because of that, I’ve actually been more productive than usual.
Of course now I have a guest while I drink my morning coffee and spend time with Jesus. Dolly has become more comfortable with that, either chewing on a toy or sleeping—usually at my feet.
Instead of checking email leisurely on the sofa—with a second cup of coffee—I now go immediately upstairs to my office. Dolly has an open topped crate up there (which I’m sure she’ll figure out how to get out of soon!). She is content in there while I work for 2-3 hours. Then it’s out to potty and off on a short walk. If it’s nice, we go outside while I eat my lunch and maybe read. Both the daily walk and being outside more have also been good for me.
Afternoons consist of errands, more work, and a workout—all in varying order and amount, as the week dictates.
All in all, Dolly and I are adjusting well, each of us adapting to the other’s needs. I’ll even admit that I’m looking forward to the time when she’ll sit with me without a restraint as I work. But for now, for my sanity and for the cleanliness of my house, we need her to have boundaries.
To be fair, my husband has had to change his routines, too. And his changes have been far more significant than mine! Yet the joy in his voice when he greets her in the evening tells me he has no regrets. And when I watch them curl up together on the sofa, both taking little naps before bed, I am happy. It is those moments when I know the sacrifice of my routines has been worth it.
As a character stated in a book I recently read: “Authentic love is the greatest joy there is, Miss Kelley, but it requires a thousand little deaths to self.” [From The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold—look for my review of it in my January Reads post at the end of the month!]