I’ll let the dog out.

untitled.pngTwo Saturdays ago, our schedules changed abruptly.  We got a 3 year old Airedale Terrier named Charlie Brown.  He’s been a jumping, wriggling, bounding, bundle of fun – and my glasses will never be clean again.  After losing The Jasmanian Devil a year ago, The Goat and I had fallen into a less regimented schedule, simply because neither one of us had to get home to let the dog out.

I now have a walking companion every evening – and I needed to get back into that routine.  I’m spending more time in the yard playing fetch, which means the gardens are getting the attention they need much more regularly, and the list of chores is remaining manageable.  (Despite a friend’s disbelief, it’s quite easy to play fetch and get work done…especially when Charlie drops the toy on the pile of weeds.)

Because he’s so busy and bouncy, instead of vegging out while watching Netflix,  I find myself doing the little chores around the house that tend to pile up until I think “When am I ever going to get this all done?” – things like changing the winter/summer curtains, moving plants outside, and even the dishes.  However, my crocheting and knitting is falling behind – not a good thing for a yarn shop owner, but I’ll survive.

But, I have started wondering, as we’ve had to adjust our schedules, when we had Jasmine, how did we do everything?  Without a dog, we just stopped paying attention to the timing of things, I guess.  It’s odd, little things, that made me notice how we adapted to being dog-less.  It’s amazing how quickly one adjusts to changes – the good and the bad.

I had fallen into the habit of stopping at the grocery store a few times a week to pick up items for the next few days and only making a large, staple restocking trip every few weeks.  I need to get back into the habit of thinking ahead a week or two when grocery shopping.  I had stopped thinking about whether or not The Goat would be home to let the dog out during an evening class at my shop.  The Goat and I had stopped coordinating our schedules, because it didn’t matter if our schedules conflicted.

Because I was feeling antisocial and needed to drag myself out of that rut, I had started to try and squeeze a few extra social activities into my schedule.  But I was still having a difficult time making my schedule work – even without the excuse of needing to let the dog out.   However, because of Charlie and having to readjust to a new schedule, I may need to rethink a few things.  And that’s ok, as I was already questioning whether or not a couple of the organizations were worth my time.

Let’s face it, the work week is changing for many of us.  Retail, education, healthcare, telecommuting, independent contractors – the workforce is changing.  Neither The Goat nor I work a “regular” 9 – 5 job.  And this sometimes conflicts with activities; since most organizations plan things around the 9-5 M/F work schedule.   And to be honest, organizers need to plan things based on something – why not use a common standard like 9-5 M/F?

I try not to let my schedule conflicts bother me, because I made the choice to open my business, and I chose the days and times I’m open based on what is most logical and effective for a small specialty retail store like mine.  I know it’s not the organizers’ fault that I can’t participate in something due to my shop schedule, as we’re often trying to accommodate the same people – those who have a 9-5 M/F work week.  And I don’t feel that it’s fair for me to question an organization’s schedule, as I’m not any more important than anyone else and I understand planning for the largest participant base.

It’s no one’s fault, it’s just how things work.  Like most people, I tend to plan things like doctor’s appointments, scheduled car repairs, and other errands around my work week – which being in retail, means that those few extra activities I should be able to attend still get brushed aside and I often miss out on things I used to enjoy doing, and probably still would.  It also means that my circle of friends has shrunk, because I’m not able to participate in activities or socialize with like minded people like I used to; and my resume has gotten shorter, due to a lack of volunteering opportunities.

But now that there’s a dog that needs let out and tended to every day,  I’ve got a more exciting excuse than “Sorry, I have to work.”  I can reevaluate those activities that I have had a difficult time squeezing into my schedule;  and I can simply say no to them without feeling like I didn’t try hard enough to squeeze them in.  And believe me, I tried.

As for my social life?  My shop provides me with an ample supply of creative souls to socialize with and The Goat and I have a handful of good friends we spend time with regularly.

And my resume?  I think it’ll look ok if I ever need to update it, after all, I do own my own business.

So I think I’m ok with limiting my schedule because I need to let the dog out.  And I know that Charlie is ok with that decision too.