I was lying down yesterday, as I often do after a harried three hour work schedule at the library, and I had a brilliant idea…"I should get a massage!!" Most of my ideas are in fact, brilliant, until I calculate the logic or the financial ruin I would be left with, and then they become simply dumb ideas. The last of which was to follow in the footsteps of Elizabeth Gilbert in “Eat, Pray, Love” which would have ultimately led me to experiencing the richness of numerous pastas in Italy, scrubbing floors in an Ashram in India, and wearing a sundress while riding a bicycle down the dirt streets of Bali while having my fortune told by an old wise man who claimed to be hundreds of years old. Getting a massage could lead to my ruin, like smoking pot, a gateway to bigger and better things. So I nixed the idea of the massage, lest I end up broke and hungry in a foreign country.
Unfortunately, without these fanciful ideas to offset my perpetual state of anxiety, I would be toast. My thought process goes something like this: “You should walk the dogs, you really should walk the dogs. Good dog owners walk their dogs every day, not once a week out of guilt.” “But my boob hurts” I replied to myself with indignation. “You’re just pulling the sore boob card because you are too lazy to walk your dogs, just admit it. You’ve gotten lazy.” “I’m not lazy, I just don’t feel like struggling with two unruly Beagles on a leash. I just want calm. Can’t I just live in a state of calm without constant guilt?” Then the idea hit. "I’ll put in a relaxation CD! That will calm my nerves.” Brilliantly, as usual, I took it up a notch. “Meet me in the living room, six o’clock sharp!” I shouted to Bailey and Lilly. “And DON’T be late!” I really did say that, I didn’t just think it.
So, like any good dog owner would do, I set out a big rug in the middle of the living room, I lit candles, I popped in a relaxation CD and turned all the lights low. I pulled out dog brushes, toothbrushes, doggie tooth paste, vinegar and water for ear cleaning and a 5x magnifying glass to look for any signs of fleas. Fortunately, when they aren’t walked often, they aren’t exposed to fleas and ticks as other unfortunate pets might be….I started with Bailey.
“Bailey, come!” He looked at me with suspicion in his eyes. “Come!” He crouched down like he was being scolded. “C’mon Bailey, it’s time for your doggie massage. People pay good money for this you know.” He didn’t trust my intentions or believe my words. But slowly, wanting to appease, he crawled toward me. “Good boy!” I whispered, keeping a calm voice so as not to disturb the tranquility of this soon to be meditation/mindfulness session. I began to massage his ears, his neck, his stomach, and his legs. He has ticklish toes, so I bypassed the feet. Although I feel he should have been appreciative, he was blatantly annoyed with the inconvenience of my sudden desire to treat him like a doll being played with by a five year old girl.
Lillian was my next victim. After seeing Bailey’s reluctance, she followed suit. My normally excitable girl came slowly, just as Bailey had, crouching down and crawling forward. I gently began to massage her back, then her ears, then….her feet. Lilly loves foot massages. As “Swimming Into Serenity” from the relaxation CD quietly played in the candlelit background of my self-produced dog massage parlor, I sat cross-legged on the floor in an almost Buddhist fashion…while Lilly fell into a deep hypnotic trance, on my lap, belly up, all four feet spread up towards the sky, with not a worry in the world. I think I may have heard her snoring.
Sometimes, the dumbest of ideas can be downright brilliant, and in the end, I didn't have to spend a dime. Even my own anxiety drifted into oblivion with the sweet sound of calm and the aroma of the vanilla scented candles. Needless to say, Bailey and Lilly slept peacefully through the night,as did I.
Sweet Dreams and Always GOOD Dreams,