Forced relaxation

I know, that’s sort of an oxymoron. Let me explain.

Within the past year of changes and adjustments, you could say I had grown a bit obsessive, perhaps even compulsive, about keeping our house clean and clutter-free. Which is nice, but is not without some underlying stress. Because when that order is disrupted in any way, Momma has been known to blow a gasket. So I had been working hard at not blowing gaskets, and it wasn’t really working all that well. Because the pressure is always still there, building and growing under the surface. Holding it all in proves to be very exhausting.

But now we have this puppy. This puppy that I wanted, and am determined to love the way she deserves to be loved. But this puppy is, as puppies typically are, a handful. Piper is actually rather laid back, probably more so than your typical puppy, but she still loves to chew and she is not yet potty trained. So she requires nearly constant attention. And that interferes with my previously established housekeeping routines. Which is hard for me to accept, but I have not once forgotten that having a puppy was something I chose. I signed up for this, and I am determined to make it work.

I’ve been walking around full of anxiety since we brought her home on Sunday, afraid of what would happen if she pooped in the house. Do you know she pooped in the hallway this morning and the house did not come crashing down? In fact, my vision of feces smeared all over the walls and floors – and who knows what else – did not become a reality. Everything was okay. If she poops, she poops. Clean it up and move on.

See, each new day gets a smidge better, for two reasons. One, she is learning what is acceptable here in her new home. Two, I am becoming more comfortable with imperfection. That’s a big one for me, because I thought I WAS comfortable with imperfection, but what I’ve seen of myself these past few days is that it was all a lie. It was only true on the surface. Deep down I still craved perfection, and was deeply unnerved when I didn’t have it.

That deep unnerving, that inner irritation, the precursor to every blown gasket, is slow torture, and it does no one any good. It makes for a miserable me, and then I end up taking it out on my family. They don’t deserve the miserable me. The tense, wound up, nagging woman has to go. I want my house  to be a peaceful place  to come home to. This new adjustment, this life with a new puppy, is forcing me to be okay with a little imperfection. Thanks to Piper, I think we’re headed in the right direction.

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