Sunday, June 05, 2005

Hose 1; Dogs 0

In the contest between canines and water hose, the hose won by a nose.

It's hot here in southeastern PA. Today it's supposed to hit 90 degrees (F), and the humidity (blech) is rising. After a delightfully cool spring, I suppose it's time for summer weather.

So lately I've been filling the new, splashy yellow kiddy pools for the dogs. We replaced the old blue ones after the canine kids chewed on their rims and bottoms while they were empty. Silly us. How could we have not predicted such behavior!

So out come the new pools, just in time for our coming heat wave.

Elsie hasn't figured out the pool-filling process yet, though. She's not sure about the hose. Baxter and Ridge gently and skillfully sip from the hose while the pool is filling--a skill they learned after many snoot fulls last summer. Elsie hasn't mastered their technique.

Time after time, the Elsie Squirt pushes her whole snout into the spray only to get another nose full. After a few head shakes and sneezes, she's back at it again.

You'd think she'd learn: face + hose sprayer = nose full. But she doesn't seem to care. She just goes back for more.

Either she has an incredibly high tolerance for water-in-the-nose discomfort or she's a glutton for punishment. Either that or she's oblivious to the cost of water-in-the-face fun. I suspect it's the latter.

Why does she do it to herself? Silly girl.

Again, she reminds me of me. :o)

Why do I go back again and again to behaviors I know will come with a cost: not getting enough sleep, overbooking my schedule, spreading myself too thin? I guess, like Elsie, I hope to learn to manage it all in time. But sometimes my life feels like I'm drinking from a fire hydrant: too much force; not enough me.

After too many years of overwhelming snout fulls, this spring I finally decided to cut the water off at its source--to turn the water pressure down a bit. I've fulfilled all my speaking engagements and am not booking any more for at least a year; I've cut my freelance writing back to one contract at a time; I've limited my volunteer activities to one church responsibility and one for my son's high school marching band. I've also lessened my expectations for keeping my house in order (so what if laundry doesn't get folded every time!).

And, I'll tell you, I feel like I'm sipping from a gentle stream. It's so refreshing. I should have done this a long time ago.

Thanks, Elsie, for the reminder that it's okay to slow the stream; it spares me the discomfort of blasting-in-your-face pressure. It allow me to relax and enjoy the sun.

Elsie may have lost the contest between her and the hose, but in my contest with pressure, I'm finally winning. And it feels good.

'Til next time,

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