When you become an adult, and all the trappings that sometimes go with that, whether it be a full time job, owning a home, a marriage, or having a child or two, your own wishes and dreams outside of those things are often not always first.
And when you love other people, sometimes—many times—you simply have to put them first. Their needs, their limits, their desires.
Some of your dreams—those lifelong hopes collecting dust on a shelf—must lie dormant for a while, perhaps forever. There is compromise and patience. There is letting go and holding on. But you stick around to see how things play out. They just might go your way.
In my case, one dream just did.
One of the things I said I would do after graduating from college was own a dog. I wanted to settle some scores from childhood and growing up. But apartment living did not allow for that. Neither did full time jobs for both of us, not to mention law school at night. We simply couldn’t make it work back then.
Then, somehow twenty years lapsed, my dream unfulfilled.
I grew up with a few dogs. I fell madly in love with each one, especially the last two. Ultimately neither of them lived out their entire lives with us. For different reasons, they were transferred to new homes well before they were old and infirm. The reasons are not germane here, but the heartbreaking effect of that is.
So is the ordeal that my daughter endured when (and because) we had a cat for a while. Again, the details are not important, but my daughter’s passage from anxious to the point of immobility and extreme physical symptoms within her own home to being able to enjoy this right here below, is nothing short of miraculous, a word that I do not use lightly.
I’ve already written about why we wanted to the dog for her, but there is so much a part of this that’s for me. This dog represents things in childhood that I had no control over. This dog represents making choices as an adult that are completely my own or as part of a married couple. This dog represents a shift in personal and professional priorities for me, at least for now, which requires (and thankfully allows) me to be in our home virtually all of the time. Everything has its tradeoffs. Me leaving the full time workforce as an attorney a few years ago has certainly shown me the wonderful and gritty ramifications of that choice, especially lately.
But Zoe is absolutely one of the wonderful ones, and I am glad I stuck around.
Copyright (c) 2015 Kristen M. Ploetz