My youngest is pretty selfish with his hugs– he must get that from me. He started telling his dad he left his hugs in his room at bedtime. It was Will’s way of ensuring that we would tuck him in “in” his room, not just give him a hug in the living room and send him on his way. I thought it was pretty brilliant..
My mom was never cuddly or huggy with us kids. As I grew up I became the same way. Hugs always made me feel uncomfortable. When I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s my mom went though this weird phase where she became huggy. I didn’t like it, it felt weird. I felt like this long after her death.
My hubby is very hands-on and affectionate. He loves to hug, kiss and give me full body hugs at night while trying to sleep. For years I accepted it but would wiggle away if it was overwhelming or sometimes run away and we have found a happy medium. He knows I can take hugs and affection, but sometimes I need it in small doses, and sometimes not at all.
Oddly enough, I’ve discovered over the years, that it is during the time that I’m the most resisting and the least lovable that I need hugs and affection the most.
I believe that the spiritual work that I did over the summer has helped me open up and become more huggy.
The first time I noticed was back in June. The vet thought my dog might have Cushing’s Disease. I didn’t fully trust the vet practice I had been taking him to, so I promptly made an appointment at VetSelect. I worked at Vetselect from 1994-2006 and the veterinarians, technicians, receptionist and assistants there are like family, even though I no longer know half of them. I want to add that this switch was a huge blessing, it’s like going back to family every time I visit. And luckily, Jules didn’t have Cushing’s or Thyroid Disease, he had a fatty liver because he’s too fat– so we’ve been working on his weight.
I don’t know why but I was nervous to go back. I made an appointment with Dr. Jones, one of the best. I worked with her for YEARS so it was a little awkward. It was so weird. She worked with me while I was a young adult in shambles (coming in on no sleep/terribly hungover.. you know). I mean, she did know me when I got married and started a family, but it feels like she knew me more during my wild times. Now I was a middle aged woman with almost grown kids taking my beloved mutt who is my pseudo baby because my real ones are too old to coddle. Sitting in that room, waiting for her to come in made me feel like Mrs. Rosman.
When I was younger and working at the vet, a middle aged woman would bring in her standard poodle, Kelev. Kelev Rosman would often have an appointment and Mrs. Rosman would sing to him while he got his shots. As a young adult, who was far more interested in clubbing and guys than people and their pets, I always thought she was loony. But now, here I was, middle aged and with my ‘baby’, who is a dog and who I totally would break out in a song and dance at any moment if it made him more comfortable.
So it was weird, and I was feeling old and strange. It was a feeling that I’ve never felt in the many times I had been in that exam room 1. But here I was, it had been over 10 years, but it felt like I had just left. Anyhow, when Dr. Jones walked in I did something totally uncharacteristic and jumped up and gave her a big squeeze. I don’t think she is very huggy, so it was slightly awkward, but it felt ok and made me feel good afterwards, so it was all good. I was surprised and a little proud of myself for opening up like that, it was not normal for me.
A similar situation happened at work yesterday. We have a staff member who has been out since last spring when her doctor found tumors in her back. I was never extremely close to her, and didn’t get a chance to talk to her much the two times I saw her at school events last spring.
She stopped by yesterday and visited my room. I immediately (without thinking about it at all) jumped up and gave her a super big hug. We had some great conversations and she is hoping to be able to come back at the end of October– praying she doesn’t need another round of chemo.
In thinking about it, I’ve been more open and huggy with everyone. Only, it doesn’t feel so awkward anymore. Maybe this is what my mom went through when she became more huggy in my 30’s. If only I could have a REAL conversation with her about what I’ve been through the past few years! I DO have faith that she is with me and knows what I’m going through, but sometimes it’s hard with it being one sided. And I guess it’s not, I can initiate things, it’s not always easy though…
So, that’s been on my mind and so has my cat sitter Terri. I stopped at VetSelect (where Terri works) yesterday to pick up some allergy pills. First of all, Terri has been so awesome for many years now. She’s been my cat sitter for over 10 years. When Milo got lost she came out and helped look for him. When we were on vacation and he had a wound she took him to the vet and medicated him until I got home. That was on my mom’s death anniversary and I was so thankful that she did that for me so that we didn’t have to drive home. This past summer, she was watching our cats and called me in a panic because our AC wasn’t working and Milo broke out one of the windows and got outside (normally the glass would be shut and AC would be on). She found him, got him in and closed the window. All was good, but I greatly appreciated her diligence and concern.
Not only is she the best cat sitter EVER, but she was a Detroit police officer for like 10 years before quitting the profession to work at the vet. I have so much respect for this woman, I should have given her a hug!
She waited on me when I stopped for the meds. She told me that she has put together a calendar for the past two years of client’s pets. She uses her own time and her own app, and the vet practice sells the calendars. The first year, she made several hundred dollars and donated it to the Howell Nature Center (an awesome local sanctuary). The second year, the calendars sold really well and she was able to give several hundred to the HNC as well as several hundred to a local organization who helps disadvantaged people take care of their pets. I didn’t think Terri could be any more awesome, but to me this just takes the cake! Here is a girl who doesn’t have much, works her A$$ off (and has since I’ve known her), gives her time selflessly yet is making a real difference. In the midst of all of the hate and anger that surrounds us on the media constantly, lets not forget to find the love, goodness and beauty in everyday life that everyday ordinary people add to this world <3
As a side note, Terri told me about the calendar because she is putting my beloved Milo in there, and maybe Jules too. You had better believe that if you know me in real life than you are getting a calendar for Christmas <3 <3 <3
I am working on writing a letter and making a video to send to Ellen. I would love it if she flew Terri out to her show. Maybe she’ll feed Terri’s cats for a year, that would be an enormous gift! I would love for Terri to get some recognition, she is an ordinary real life hero.
I think that’s it. It’s Saturday and I was up around 6:30. Wouldn’t have mind sleeping in a little later, but my body didn’t want to. I have a morning walk planned, then dropping Will off at his friends and then I am going kayaking to this cool place in Ann Arbor. Hubby, my oldest and my nephew are down there camping this weekend. I’m excited to see them and spend the day on a kayak. I’m so happy that it’s going to be like 85 out.
It’s going to be a great day, a great weekend!