Only time will tell whether our decision was right or wrong.
No … wait, that isn’t true, or even a realistic way to look at the big picture. We’ll probably never know if following another path would have made any difference, for better or for worse. And I guess I’m OK with that.
In any case, I’m not prepared to second guess my choices at this uncertain stage of the game.
Let me go back to where this ramble began and see if I can make sense of my musings.
Sometimes the simple process of putting my thoughts into typed words; shaping the paragraphs and pulling order out of the chaotic heap of random letters and half formed images in my brain, helps me sort them all out – and lately, I could really use some sorting out.
This morning, I awoke early after a restless night of tossing and turning. I was tired, sleep-deprived, very much out of sorts, and it was only 6:00 am. Not a great way to start the day.
My fibromyalgia acts up when it chooses and the resultant discomfort can defeat any thought of sleep. Sometimes the cause is weather related, sometimes it’s due to stress or just physically overdoing. At other times, there seems to be no rhyme or reason.
In any case, I was up quite a bit last night. At one point, I was indulging in a 2:00 am cup of soothing cocoa while pacing the floor, trying to convince the muscle aches and pain in my legs to ease. I happened to look out the living room window and was rewarded by the eerie, pale green beauty of a ghostly northern lights display dancing in the night sky.
Like any good ghostly apparition, this one was almost as quickly gone, but it caused me to stop and think. Something wonderful can happen at any moment. You just have to be present.
Maybe I should be searching for the beauty in my life right now, rather than dwelling on the negative aspects.
My husband, Jerry, and I had discussed our own personal comfort levels regarding the COVID pandemic fairly early on, and of course those conversations have been repeated, reassessed and reconsidered as the world around us did the same all summer.
Being in a high risk category age-wise, and with Jerry checking off high risk markers in several serious health categories on top of that, we chose together what we thought of as a moderately conservative approach over the summer.
We limited our shopping trips, moved what prescriptions we could to a drive-up pharmacy and cooked most meals at home. We donned masks in public, switched to online church services and tried hard to train ourselves to observe the 6’ minimum social distancing. This was harder than expected.
I believed (and still do) that traveling and camping in my self-contained RV was a relatively safe, low-exposure activity – one I was comfortable continuing throughout the summer.
Jerry accompanied me a few times, but was mostly more comfortable staying home, where he had his shop, computer and TV. He was in “hunker down” mode.
Although age is pretty much my only risk factor; the same can’t be said for Jer. I might well have chosen differently for myself, but we agreed that it wasn’t going to work for one of us to be super cautious and the other not be.
After much deliberation, and understanding my husband’s legitimate concerns about group events, I made the painful choice to seriously curtail one of my most valued extracurricular activities, my dog sports trials. Oh! That was hard.
Personally, I thought these [mostly] outdoor events were probably safe – especially after hearing from participants about how well-managed the early ones had been. But I also *heard* Jer’s worry and mostly tried to respect his comfort zone.
In the end, we compromised. The pups and I attended three events (out of more than a dozen offered this summer and fall) that I wanted badly to participate in and felt particularly comfortable with.
I’m glad I was able to do at least that much, and more glad that no harm came from it. I can only imagine how I would have felt if I’d inadvertently brought covid home and infected Jerry.
As we moved into September and COVID numbers began to seriously rise, I’ve had fewer qualms about staying home.
Still, looking back at the entire summer and seeing how many of my friends went calmly forward and had pretty near to normal summer trial activities with their dogs … I can’t help but grieve a bit for all I missed out on because of our [possibly] overly cautious decision.
This was supposed to be a big year for Ronni, who at 2 1/2 years old is just reaching her prime and was poised for a very active, competitive year in Nose Work/Scent Work, Barn Hunt and Fast CAT. I was SO looking forward to this summer with her. The three trials we made it to, she did awesome in.
Ronni should have been able to do so much more … WE could have had such a fun, busy summer. I’m really sad about that, but I’m trying to let go of regret. It was my choice; I believe it was the right choice for us with the information we had, and summer is behind us now.
Missing this season with Baxter was even sadder in some respects, since due to health issues – it may prove to have been his last truly competitive year. ☹️ Then again, as long as he wants to play, I’ll be there with him. ❤️
Do I wish I’d decided differently? No, not really, because in the end, Jerry’s life is more important than one trial season. They are games – and God willing, we can play them all next year.
Jerry and I sat down together again recently and had a long heart to heart talk about the Covid situation and how we felt we should proceed from here.
With COVID numbers in our home state at record highs, I can find no justification for changing course. Which I find pretty depressing, all in all.
Still, as I stood at my bedroom window this evening, watching the last rays of the setting sun play across snow-capped mountains across the valley from my hillside home, I had another thought.
The sky was fading from a clear, crisp blue to a sun-kissed salmon-pink, and the snow glowed a pale, icy blue in the distance. I said to myself, “Well, if I have to stay home this winter, I could sure have a worse view. It’ll do.”
2 thoughts on “Risk Management 101: Everyone is Different”
Deb, I think there are so many regrets by so many people for missed events and activities this year, and probably into the next. You have done awesome with camping in your RV with your pups – I’ve enjoyed every travel I was “able to take with you” via your blog. You are right – everyone has to choose their own comfort level, and I have friends on both ends of the spectrum – some who refuse to take many precautions at all, and others who haven’t left their house, at all, in months. I am somewhere in the middle. I don’t watch to get covid, or give it to anyone else, nor do I want to stop living life to the extent that I am not living anymore. So I choose to be careful in what I do, just as you are doing. Overalll, you are an optimist like me…you are looking for that bright spot – those beautiful views, the company of our pups, those things that save our souls when things look pretty dark. Keep looking for those things. Though it may be a while, this too shall pass, and we’ll hug people again, and you’ll do more nose work. In the meantime – do whatever you can to keep yourself and Jerry safe, and still be able to enjoy life. Winter is long. But there’s a lot of beauty in it – from the inside, with hot cocoa, and good pups to snuggle with!
Thank you, dear friend. It’s responses like yours that help me to think positive in the darker hours. 💗💗