• Charli

Being Aware

When I was walking Jack yesterday morning there was a general sense of activity which isn’t so apparent at 0620 most mornings. There were more cars and two lorries that passed us and we saw at least two other dog walkers. Often we see no-one and less that 3 cars will pass us. I was aware of this shift but not concerned in any way.

However as we made our way on our usual route (being creative on early morning walks just takes too much time and we have our 34 minute walk down to a fine art), I became aware of an elderly gentleman emptying the contents of a plastic bag into a bin. I wasn’t perturbed at all but did think inwardly how unusual it was to see somebody. The man crossed to our side of the road and made his way to his car. The passenger door was open as we approached him. Suddenly Jack tensed and started barking. I have never known him do this and after my initial surprise was quite relieved. I reassured him that all was well, as the gentleman turned and bid us good morning. We carried on our way.

I am delighted that Jack behaved in this way. I have been thinking a lot recently about our walk and how easy it would be for someone to recognise our route and attack me (I have always been paranoid and that isn’t going to stop now). Nonetheless I felt much more comfortable this morning, safe in the knowledge that he would protect me if needed.

He was acutely aware of the minor change in our routine and reacted as he did to protect me.

I think sometimes we forget to tune in to our surrounding or how our behaviour might affect others.

In His previous life His wife would often vacuum again, even though she know He had done it, because it wasn’t to her standard. The fact that He is visually impaired, offered to vacuum in the first place and IS A MAN, should have sufficed. I try very hard not to clean up when He has been home all day. It isn’t easy and sometimes I get it wrong but more times than not I recognise that he has made an effort and the least I can do is to respect that.

During some chit chat with a friend the other day about housework and general domesticity, she admitted that she will dust, wash or vacuum even though one of her daughters has done it. She knows she has OCD and recognises that she is undermining her daughters but struggles to let go. This stems from childhood insecurities and impacts on her behaviours. She is intelligent and is trying to work it through but it will take time.

We need to be aware of our surrounding and how things we say and do impact on others.

Weird – and I kid you not, I am home alone and Jack has suddenly started barking at something outside. I am not stupid enough to go out and investigate but I have locked all doors and he is now snuggled up on the sofa beside me. It might just have been the wind, but I am aware that something disturbed him and I am listening to him.

Being aware – a poem

trust yourself and learn to heed

the voice in your head, your heart’s beat

the throbbing of veins, the sink in the pit

of your stomach, the question of whether it fits –

the noise, the movement, the change in tone

learn to listen – no need to go it alone.

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