Hi, everyone! It's the Mom Person here ... I know, it's been awhile. I know, too, that the blog as a whole has been slacking of late, and yes, I do realize that even though it's Tucker's blog, I can hardly blame him or the others for the lack of action on the blog lately. They may be the stars of the show, but I'm the one with the thumbs. So for those who have commented or emailed me that they are missing the sight of the five furry faces I'm lucky enough to get to see every day, I apologize. The fault is all mine, and the reason, I'll be honest, is two-fold.
Number one, I've just got a lot going on right now at work. This in itself is nothing new - it's basically been the story of my life for the past nine years. (Before this I worked for ten years in the public school system, which is another story altogether.) The best way I can describe what it's like (at least for me) to be pretty high up in a mid-sized advertising agency is that it's like being the star of a television medical drama, except that unfortunately your co-workers aren't (usually) nearly as attractive. Even more unfortunately - neither are you! What I mean by this is - there's a general atmosphere of barely controlled chaos, a lot of rushing around, a fair amount of pressure, a goodly portion of blood, sweat, and tears - but none of the latter three are (usually) real. Or in other words - it's not REALLY life or death ... it just seems that way!
Having said this, though, when clients are spending, in many cases, hundreds of thousands of dollars at your recommendation, they have certain expectations. And if those expectations aren't met or exceeded on a consistent basis, your agency stands a darn good chance of losing the client. In which case, you stand a darn good chance of losing your job. So no, not life and death, but still, pretty important, at least if you have aspirations of continuing to have a well-paid job, good health insurance, a roof over your head, dreams of a reasonably comfortable retirement at some point in the future, etc. etc. Which I don't mind admitting that I certainly do. I wish I could be more like my new hero Jenna who spins her own wool, grows her own vegetables, eats eggs from her own chickens, and is basically a does-it-all-herself kick a$$ homesteader who's authored two books and still manages to hold down a full time job as a web designer for Orvis. But since I don't know how to spin, have a black thumb, and have nowhere to keep chickens, I guess I'd better keep on keepin' on doing what I know how to do. And that, my friends, has been keeping me pretty gosh darned busy of late!
The second reason why the blog's been pretty dark lately is because I've just plain been lacking in inspiration. When I started this blog, I wanted it to be fun, lighthearted, even silly, because, frankly, I think all three of these things are sorely lacking in the lives of many people these days, including my own. And it is my animal companions (yes, I know they're not children, despite what this blog might lead you to believe) who bring the largest share of these three things into my own life. BUT ... as anyone who lives with animals knows, they are very much creatures of habit. This, for me, is another of the things that I both admire and appreciate about them. Their far too short lives are more or less variations on the same theme, and their daily routine, whatever it happens to be, both grounds and reassures them, as well as makes them extremely happy. They greet every day, each one for all intents and purposes the same, or very similar, as the day before, with an unfeigned and unbridled enthusiasm that I envy. Each morning when I raise my head from the pillow, I hear two little tails beating a rapid tattoo of joy against the comforter. And if they could speak, I imagine what they'd say in the first fifteen minutes after waking would go something like this: "Another day! YES! I wonder what we'll do first! Well, I have to pee, so I guess we'll go out into the yard! The yard! Awesome! All these great smells! Now what? Breakfast? Terrific!"
The rest of the day, I suspect, would be more of the same. For the dogs, anyway. Cats are a little harder to impress, as anyone who shares a house with them knows all too well. Yet, for all their hauteur, cats cling with an almost religious fervor to the small rituals that comprise their daily round, and not only is it rare that they exhibit any signs of boredom with their lot, they instead convey the impression that anything less than this endless and serene cycle of events would meet with their extreme disapproval.
My point? Yes, I do have one, I promise. And in a nutshell, my point is ... I feel like I haven't had any novel material for the blog lately because my life recently has been all about getting to work, getting done what I need to get done, and coming home again. I haven't really gone anywhere, haven't really done anything, and consequently, much to their chagrin, Tucker & Phoebe really haven't either. And the cats, while certainly not bored or the least bit boring, have not, either, been super blog worthy of late, probably because I haven't had the necessary time to really observe them or spend the time with them that I usually do. Also, as I suspect many of my fellow Bloggers are, I have been, almost since childhood, a frustrated writer. I've been penning short stories, novellas, messing around with more than one novel, for a long, long time now, but especially since I've moved up in the agency, I haven't had a lot of spare time or mental energy to devote to, or better, my craft. In fact, I realize now, though I didn't at the time, that one of the reasons I started the blog was to have some sort of creative outlet, one that didn't demand a great deal of time or energy, something that was fun and easy and light. And it has been all those things, and it's also allowed me to "meet" some great people I otherwise wouldn't have. But while I'm quite sure that even if I had the luxury of devoting myself to writing full-time, I am no Pulitzer-worthy talent (not by the longest of long shots!), I've recently had the niggling feeling that perhaps I could be putting the talent I do have to better use, or like maybe because the blog is, by design, pretty "fluffy" in more ways than one, it lacks merit.
SO ... I was quite pleasantly surprised to see, when scanning the comments from yesterday's post, that I'd been honored with the Versatile Blogger Award from a fellow blogger. It means even more because Tena, the person who gifted me with it, is a person I truly admire. I first became acquainted with her on Dogster, and I can't tell you how many people she's tirelessly offered advice and guidance and support to in the Behavior & Training forum. Of course, Tucker & Phoebe are perfect dogs (yeah, right!) so I've never had to hit her up for advice, but the point is, if I needed to, I could, and she would, I know, be there for me, just like she's there for everyone else. She also, of course, has an awesome blog which I suggest everyone check out posthaste, if you're not already familiar with it.
And so, friends, we've finally circled around to the title of this blog post - Reinforcement. As in - I got some, and, as it turns out, it came when I really needed it. I'm not curing cancer here ... or even paper cuts (which is a shame, because I gave myself a bad one earlier today, and damn, do those things sting!) ... but I am having fun, and since that was my goal in the first place, I guess I'm succeeding!
That's it for me today, everybody. No one will be blogging this weekend, because I'm going away for the weekend and NOT taking the dogs. (I know - shocking!) They are staying home to be "sat on" along with the cats, and my parents' dog, all in an elaborate scheme to surprise my mom who just retired after 30 years as a public schoolteacher. Go, Mom! BUT ... I will be back next week and am going to do my very best to get back on some sort of regular blogging schedule. After all, I do live with the five most adorable, brilliant, wonderful, perfect animals on the planet. It would be nothing short of criminal to keep them all to myself.
Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend!
P.S. I have to name fifteen blogs to pass this award along to, and I want to give it some serious thought, so I'll announce those probably Monday or Tuesday, and will refrain from posting the award on our page until then.