The Healing Power of Mush

So yesterday was one of those annoying days.

First of all, my work schedule is temporarily not itself. I am working mornings I am used to having off and having mornings off I am used to working. And I assure you, to a not-morning person such as myself, the difference between working Tuesday morning (abnormal) and Tuesday afternoon (normal) is significant.

Second of all, a whole bunch of people in my life chose this very same Tuesday, a day on which I cannot stress enough that I was already up at an unnatural hour, to do a lot of small minorly annoying things that all together added up to me being fairly irritated. I don’t like being irritated. It irritates me, creating a horrible negative feedback loop of irritability and irritation. I suspect this makes me as unpleasant to be around as it makes being around other people unpleasant for me.

Third of all, I was at work longer than anticipated, throwing off my afternoon dog plans. I’d planned to go scootering with Maisy and Squash and then take Pip to the dog park. By the time I got home, there was no way to do both before dark, and the state parks and dog park are both on substantial acreage in the woods without any lighting. Quite reasonably, I think, I don’t find stumbling around in the woods after dark fun in any way. It irritates me, and we all know where THAT leads.

But I decided to go ahead and go scootering with Maisy and Squash even though a tiny piece of my brain tried to tell me that this might not be a good idea in my current state of mind.  I ignored that naysayer and listened to the part that was telling me the fresh air would probably do me good.

Although I always go to one of two local state parks to scooter, I don’t always take the exact same route through the trails. I have my favorites, but I like to mix it up a bit to keep the dogs from getting too familiar with any particular route. I don’t want them on automatic doggie pilot – “we always turn left here” or “here’s where we turn around”. I want them to listen to what I tell them to do instead of what their muscle memory and habits tell them to do.

Anyway, on this particular Tuesday the route I started out on was one we hadn’t run in a while. And The Boy – my wonderful, terrible Boy – started out by adding another heaping serving of annoying to my plate. He was immediately more interested in who had peed where, when, and making sure that everyone would know where and when HE had peed. After something like 4 or 5 false starts, I was about ready to admit I should have listened to the naysayer.

But I took a deep breath, counted to ten… and then something terrible and wonderful happened. I finally, FINALLY got him moving, and then after only about twenty yards further on we spooked a couple of deer grazing right next to the trail. And to my complete and utter amazement, The Boy Who had Ignored Numerous Consecutive On-Bys in Order to Pee (and his sister The Hound) went right on by those deer. Saw them, heard me shout ON BY, and kept right on running. And continued to run nearly flawlessly for the next twenty-five minutes listening to almost every Gee, Haw, Easy, Whoa, and On-By. Almost, only almost, but still… I mean, I’m used to that from Maisy. Pulling is All for Maisy. But like many teenagers, Squash is not always completely seriously dedicated to his work.

But on today of all days, the Unnatural Tuesday, the three of us clicked in some kind of crazy Zen mushing mind meld and flew through the woods together. And the wind washed over me and wiped away all the petty annoyances of the day. And although we got home just after dark and we couldn’t go to the dog park I took Pip for a walk anyway because I was feeling jolly.

Tomorrow’s Thursday, and for the time being I have Thursday mornings off. I’m thinking we’ll go scootering again, so we can keep that wonderful positive feedback loop going and going. I’m thinking it will probably repel all the petty annoyances of the day.

 

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