Monday, March 02, 2015

Emerging from hibernation

My house in the snow
I feel like I've been housebound for ten days when it's actually only been three full days. Last week in spite of ice and snow, I got out to dinner twice, the grocery store once. The three days I was home I had company twice--once for wine and once for dinner. So I wasn't really as pitiful as I felt.
Still today when I could freely walk down the driveway, I felt like I was coming out of  a long winter's sleep.
When I'm home alone too much, my anxiety builds up and I get too introspective--like, "Hmmm--how do I feel now?" Even last night, after my company left, I was a bundle of nerves, possibly due to the incident with Sophie, partly because I was determined to get out today. My lunch date cancelled, so I went grocery shopping--we're supposed to have sleet again Thursday and possibly be still frozen on Friday. So I stocked up on essentials--wine, cottage cheese, bread, and the like. In spite of nervousness about emerging into the world, I felt like a normal shopper in the store, talked to people, etc.
For the first time since last Thursday, Jacob was here and we did homework all. darn. afternoon. That boy can find more distractions--he has to go to the bathroom, he has to call his father, he has to love on Sophie. It was wearing on my nerves but good to have him back in the house. He was studying Africa, and I know nothing about the geography nor all those small countries, except I could usually help him with pronunciation. He explained to me several times why I was wrong about Addis Adaba--but then he used that answer. "I'm not arguing," he said. It's now an old joke between us.
Update on Sophie's temper tantrum. Vet says that is just what it was--misplaced aggression. She was really mad at the other dog but couldn't get at him, so Jacob and I were both handy and got the snarls and snaps. Punishment is not the answer. Ignoring her by going into another room is recommended, which we did. Jacob and I were both wrong to reach for her collar, and I was wrong to smack her in instinctive anger, something I'm not sure I've ever done to a dog. He said to watch her eyes: if they're dilated, she's upset. And of course if her ears are back. He recommended just walking away until she "settles." When she does, give her a command, like "sit." And reward her if she does it. Soon, he promises, the command will replace the need to walk away and will be her signal to settle. We'll see. Who knows? We may never have another incident (fingers crossed). But it struck me that might be a good technique to try on Jacob too.
A bonus of a day still much at home alone: I wrote about 1200 words. I read about someone who writes in whatever fifteen minutes she finds handy. I would normally think, "Oh, I only have fifteen minutes. I can't get into it." You know what? I can, did several times today.
Somehow the result of all this is that I'm really tired tonight. G'night all.

No comments: