Egad! I’ve been absent too often. Now I find it difficult to show up. Life has been difficult. How many times have I said it already? Enough, I need to get over myself. I need to get a job or something. It is a job trying to kick aside all the stuff that doesn’t work. It is a job trying not to whine like my old self. It’s hard to see from a different perspective. Sheba is helping me in that regard.

The other evening I was trying to coax her to go downstairs with me. She has no trouble scrambling down when someone comes in through the front door. She’s so excited she’s down there like a flash. But when she has to think about it, she’s unsure, hesitant and won’t go sometimes. I don’t know what she was thinking the other night. She paused, hesitated and jumped down the whole flight in two leaps. There was a great deal of noise as she bounced off midway and then on the landing. It was astonishing how she landed on her feet both times. My heart was in my mouth. It taught me a lesson. And that is to let her go down when she wants to, not when I want her to.

It led me also to look at the stairs from her eye level. I squatted down to her height. Them stairs do look pretty steep! Why she felt she had to jump them all at once is beyond me. Maybe when she is unsure and anxious, all she could focus on was the landing and not the individual steps. It’s a lesson not to outguess a dog’s mind or people’s. I have this thought that everyone’s mind works like mine. I might have this tendency to be preachy and give unwanted advice. I suppose I could be offensive. It’s hard to be objective about oneself. But I’m owning up to it from my present day perspective. I have to get over myself because I’m offended by me myself.

I remember an incidence at work years ago. I was a nurse in a teaching hospital, the Royal University Hospital to be exact. Some of our staff had a tendency to change the staffing sheet themselves if they don’t like the unit they’re assigned to or the people they don’t like to work with. I felt that this really wasn’t the right thing to do. I voiced my opinion in our communication book. What I said was to raise the question, if you don’t want to work in a certain unit or with someone, what makes you think that they would or that they want to work with you? And that you are not erasing a name on the worksheet. There’s a person to the name. I saw that it caused a buzz as I saw people poured over the book. Later at lunch, my manager chastised me in front of everyone that what I wrote was offensive. I myself found her offensive reprimanding me in the cafeteria and in front of everyone. I picked up my tray and left, not wanting to be more offensive.

Looking back now, I would probably do the same thing. It was the right thing to do even if some people are offended by it. I would try to be a little more dignified in the cafeteria though and not cry. I just have to get over myself, this constant worry about pleasing others. Well, I haven’t got 50 ways of getting over myself yet. Sheba and I are working on it.

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