So, I took the advice I delivered in my last blog, the one about resisting the shrivel; how your work can rob you of your natural juices ….your essence:
As I’d shared, my regular work had become uncomfortably light in the past several months with the majority of my work arriving in the form of referrals. The mounting anxiety encouraged me to be creative in how to formulate a new income and heed my own advice:
Dogs have been a part of my entire life. In the presence of canines I have come to realize the pure value in being “in the moment,” and above all, of being accepted.
Dogs never pretend.
Dogs are emotional and act on the very moment within which they exist. In this light – and my new role as “Liane, the dog walker” I have learned more about myself than I’d imagined possible when I decided I needed to take a dose of my own medicine.
One of my first dog clients was Bailey, who came into my world several months ago when I first signed up on Rover.com. His owners, two professional psychologists, had welcomed a Viszla pup into their lives. They quickly realized that this breed of dog, with his high energy and the usual puppy demands and annoyances combined were a lot to manage in light of their busy agendas and own personal needs.
In comes my first request to board Bailey for five days. I laugh today as I recall the experience, mostly because it’s now faded and secondly because I’ve taken care of Bailey twice this week alone and three months since that day and will again tomorrow. Before I go on with this post, I will attest that Bailey has come a long way since that first super-long weekend we spent together.
Now to refocus on my own growth. When one is not operating within their full demand, feeling valued or being paid their worth, they have a lot of time to contemplate the void (or grey) spaces. In my case, since I do not advertise my business in the usual ways, the realization of the economy was pronounced; the contracts were few and far between.
Frankly, I was getting bored. I reminisced the days I would wake up and walk my dog, regardless of the weather ….and winter was quickly approaching. With it typically meant long periods of time ….sometimes days ….where I often would not leave the house since my work is freelance and did not require me to.
That was when my daughter told me about Rover.com.
For some time, as I repositioned my days into managing walks, with daycare and boarding and the odd writing contract that managed to find me, I tried my best to stay present and accepting, like my own gospel and a mirror, a reflection of how I saw the dogs whom I sat and fed and walked every day.
It was at the time of my first emotional meltdown – probably after a full day with Bailey — the rambunctious Viszla – that I realized I scripted my very own evolution as I resisted my very own ‘shrivel.’
As it turns out, the canine-loving business has become quite profitable, if not a complete deterrent to my writing business (which is now picking up again). I’ve become quite selective in my ‘clients’ and decide just how long and how many I wish to manage on any given day.
I’ve recently adopted a larger dog for an extended period while its owners tour Indonesia for six months. Never having been a large dog owner myself, it has become an adjustment, but a very welcomed one. Knowing full well the hermit I tend to become when the weather freezes over and work slows down over the Holiday Season and somewhat beyond, I knew that caring for a large dog would force me to become more active and venture outside more than I typically would.
Today, I hosted Naja, whose owners are spending all of January in England; tomorrow (as I stated) Bailey will return to my doggy daycare while his owners tend to the psych needs of humans and Sadie, my adopted dog gal is going to be annoyed most of the day while wee Bailey plays with her toys and chews her new bone.
Me? I’m excited to report that I have a couple writing files to close off, a brand new one to begin tomorrow and a phone call from a prospective new client expected at 9am.
There is a New Moon rising tonight and with that comes the end of certain cycles and the promise of new beginnings.