My husband and I have been thinking about the process of moving lately–or to be more specific, NOT moving. It would seem, with the way our offices are shaping up, we might be sitting tight for a while [until his office closes, perhaps]. Oddly, this is almost a relief: I hate the application process, the waiting, the research and “what ifs”. California is our seventh state [not counting home states or natal states], I guess moving is less enticing the 12th time around [if you count trips to and from parks at the beginning and end of each season]. While I don’t find this area to be a perfect fit for us, it is beautiful, dramatic, and entertaining. On top of that, something is different this time around.
We were walking the dog the other day and spoke about the fact that I’ve been a little more content, in a sense, here. It seems that in the past, if I felt that I wasn’t being productive job-wise, I threw my frustrations at the location [Kansas got a lot of hate from me, even though, looking back, it really wasn’t Kansas, it was me]. Unemployment doesn’t sit well with me, I guess. But it was also more than that. Reading Richard Louv’s book, The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder, it seems that perhaps I had nature-deficit disorder!
We had a park close by, a pond near our apartment, and we took little trips around the area [not to mention, tornado chased], but it was like I was not getting enough nature somehow. Or perhaps, I just felt out of place, a self-conscious shadow following me as I poked plants and frogs. Moving to South Carolina, we went to the beach a lot, watched alligators, and even tried to take up running. Still, something felt off. While I have yet to test my theory in other locations, I hypothesize that having a dog was what was missing.
I don’t mean to suggest that the dog equals nature, but that the dog forces me outside at least a couple times a day and offers an excuse to poke at a plant or bug for a while. Instead of “What is that crazy girl looking at?”, I feel more like it’s “She must be bored waiting for her dog to finish sniffing.” And while this dog is not the ideal athletic partner [getting her to run? Ha! I’d have better luck winning the lottery! She’s bred to sit with sheep, not herd them.], I lost all the weight I was trying to run off in South Carolina just milling around with her.
Haha, it’s funny, I didn’t set out to write a post about my dog, but I guess she’s got a spell on me! I look forward to our future walks, and if we move anytime in the next few years, exploring a new place with her. Eventually, I know we’ll have children to share our love of nature with, but for now, an old ranch dog does just fine.