I’ve been realizing lately, just how much I talk to myself. Out loud. And no, I’m not delusional, don’t worry. I’m quite aware that I’m alone and that I’m talking to myself, but it’s just that I’m quite a talker.
And I work from home, so there’s no one here during the day but me and now that the kids are away at college, I’m alone most of the day. I’m usually on my laptop and on conference calls each day from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. but I don’t really have anyone here in person to talk to, other than my husband when he gets home after work. And, to be honest, he’s not a big talker either.
So. Here I am, realizing that I talk to myself a lot, and it’s recently become clear to me that I’m doing it out loud.
Here are a couple of examples.
I take our Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Tucker, on a short walk each day. Short, because he’s 12 years old (or 84 in dog years) and he’s not really very interested in long walks anymore. Lately, each day on our walk, I’ve started to fear that I’m becoming that weird neighborhood lady who talks to herself as I walk him around the block, talking out loud to myself and to him, as if there were no one around to hear me.
A typical interaction goes a little like this.
Tucker pees. On. Every. Single. Bush. Plant. Tree. And I reinforce each time he pees by saying, “Good boy, who’s the best boy? Who’s the best puppy in the whole world? Who’s a good boy?” and this goes on, I’m frankly embarrassed to admit, like this for the entire thirty minute walk.
Then today, I noticed that I was talking to him (out loud again) when he veered off course to pee on someone else’s lawn, with comments like, “Hey, come back here, not on their lawn! Who do you smell, is that the new dog in the neighborhood? You have so many new things to smell. Oh, who’s a good dog?”
I realize this is all very inane and ridiculous, but we have this lovely little interaction as I continually praise and give him positive reinforcement for every single thing he does. And of course, what he does, because he’s a dog, after all, is pee on everything he sees in order to leave his mark, or, as I’ve heard it referred to by dog trainers, leave his calling card to let other dogs know he’s been there. And I praise him for this, because I’m trying to give him positive reinforcement because that’s how I raised my kids, and now that they’re away at college, who else can I praise these days, except for cute little Tucker?!
Anyway, in addition to talking to Tucker, I notice every other little thing on the walk and usually comment. And with the beautiful weather we had today, I noticed myself saying (out loud again), “Oh look at that glorious sky,” as it WAS a glorious, crispy, sunny, beautiful fall-like day, but holy smokes, I really need to keep my mouth closed as the neighbors are going to think I’m bonkers.
Then, as I headed back inside, I noticed the beautiful flowers above that have been blooming on my doorstep since last May, and are still blooming now, four whole months later.
The story with the flowers is that last night, I noticed that they were all wilted and almost dead because I’ve forgotten to water them this week. This was the second time this had happened and I felt badly as I wasn’t so sure that this time they’d make it back.
So, I watered them last night, hoping they would recover, and lo and behold, this morning as I walked out the door, there they were, bright and perky and looking all happy again. So I had to comment (out loud of course), “Oh how beautiful! Look! You’re back up and blooming again!” and then I realized I had said it out loud and got a little nervous again about hearing myself talking out loud.
It’s one thing to talk to a dog. They can actually hear you and somewhat respond. But to find yourself talking to an inanimate object like a plant, can give you a little bit of a pause.
But, the other thing about the flowers is that they responded and came back, a little the way I feel these days. I’ve been a little down for the past few months, but like the pot of flowers, have surprised myself by making a comeback.
I follow a lot of other breast cancer bloggers on line and several of them in the past year have died after a recurrence of their breast cancer. Every time someone I know in the breast cancer community dies, I sink into a pit of fear and despondence and I retreat into my shell and don’t post or write for a while. The last occurrences shut me down for almost a year. It’s scary to think of a recurrence but I don’t want to let it own me, and so when I saw the flowers on my front porch make their quick recovery, I felt optimistic again, and felt a renewed sense of purpose.
How about you? How are you doing these days? I hope you’re enjoying this unexpectedly beautiful September and gaining a new sense of energy this season.