Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Shady Places

Yes, it's still very humid here on the East Coast. But at least we're experiencing a momentary reprieve on temperatures. It's only 80 degrees as I write this (it's almost noon, EST) instead of the 90s by mid-day we've been experiencing. The humidity is still very high (approaching 80%), so it's sticky, but at least it's not as hot.

Still the dogs seem to want to stay in the shade (even on cloudy days like today). Though he still enjoys reclining under the umbrella, Baxter's favorite shady place these days is under the picnic table. We have a canopy over the picnic table, too, so he gets double-shade (shade from the canopy and from the table). It's cooler there.

And since we don't have central air conditioning, I suspect the cool spot beneath the table provides a sort of respite for Baxter, whose dark coat makes him absorb heat more than the other two.

Smart boy. He knows when he needs respite and seeks the shady places that provide it. If I had been as smart as he, I probably wouldn't be pre-diabetic now. If I'd taken time to seek rest and relief when life got too hot; if I'd reduced my stress; if I'd gotten enough sleep, more exercise, and eaten properly (which we ensure the dogs do); if I'd taken more time to guard my health, I suspect I would've avoided the Type 2 threat altogether.

But that's water under the bridge, as they say.

It's not too late, however, to learn from Baxter. And I am. Guarding my health, taking time for respite, finding shade in the heat of the day (both literally and figuratively)--these have become non-negotiables. It's okay, I'm finally learning, to relax in the shade when my body and mind need the relief.

As my doctor said last week, I don't have to be all things to all people (and all canines). What a freeing thought that is! It's okay to be less than perfect (I never was nor could be, though I pressured myself to be). It's okay to take a break now and then, to rest when I'm tired, and to take time for my health. The other stuff will always be there. And what needs to get done will.

That means I can rest in shady places now and then. Gee, I wonder if Baxter will leave room at the picnic table for me.

'Til next time.
Joan

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