Those who know me well know that I come from a long line of women who worry and being the type A+ person that I am, I have taken the worry gene to new heights. I obsess about everything from the smallest issue like whether or not I can have one load of laundry washed/dried and put away before we leave for school to how we are going to survive the third round of unemployment without imploding. Both my mom and my husband agree that I even worry about the fact that I might not have anything to worry about though sadly, that has not happened since 2002. Right now we are facing a struggle with one of our children that has me impossibly sad and being the proactive person that I am, I need (notice I did not say want) to fix this, but the remedy seems somewhat elusive right now. We are working it though and part of that process for me means that I need to talk about it 24/7. Talking and communicating help me process and order the chaos in my life. Unfortunately for me, the same is not true for my husband which has led me to talking to my dog, Phoebe, almost non-stop. Poor Phoebe lived through what we in our family call the Boston Debacle, essentially Round 2 of unemployment, and she is sick of listening to me. I have said this before but I swear if she could talk like Martha the Talking Dog, a children's book that my son and I have read over and over, the first words she would say to me are 'shut up!' Those words might be followed by the suggestion that I get some therapy and fast.
My mom has told me for years to 'talk to myself' when feeling stressed and by this she means that type of calming self-talk which would not only help me to put the situation in perspective, but might perhaps offer a more 'glass half-full' approach to my stressor. Over the past few years, I have talked to myself in this manner so many times that I have begun to tune myself out, basically my self-talk pretty much consists of me telling myself to shut up. Obviously, my 'self' has been talking to Phoebe.
Recently, Phoebe saw me watching my son's new beta fish, Shark. Afterward, she pranced over and started barking at the little Art Deco tank in which Shark swims happily, staring at us as we watch him swim or nestle in the pretty pale blue blue rocks on the bottom of his abode. At first, I thought Phoebe was jealous that I was paying attention to Shark, but now I realize she was trying to clue him in that he might be my next 'therapist.' I think if she could speak she would want him to know not to make eye contact with me or I might start prattling on and on about this problem or that, one stress or another, bemoaning how we ended up in this infuriating and frustrating situation. Phoebe truly is precious to want to protect her little fish sibling from me. I actually wish my children were as kind to each other as Phoebe is to Shark. That said, Shark had better watch out because while Phoebe can walk away, he is the proverbial sitting duck and I am feeling very chatty these days.