I said no. To a puppy.
I have said no before...well, surely I have. Mmmm, well, now I think about it, not very often.
I refer here to saying "no thanks" to offered opportunities and time management rather than the definitive "no" or disciplinary "no" which I am guilty of saying rather too much I'm sure.
Want to join a children's choir? Yes of course.
How about rollerskating? Yes, yes.
Nice shiny new curriculum involving either art, history, or geography? Yes Please!
Dance class at 8.30 every Sunday morning? Yes, yes, yes!
New book at the Library? Yes, surely I can make time to read this.
Cheese-making? Yes..., we love cheese: I must be able to fit this in.
French lessons? Oui!
Holiday gifted workshops? Can't miss that.
More chickens? Cluck cluck yes.
Driving 2 hours and camping by the beach in the National Park, so we can attend a one-off Aboriginal custodian's talk? As if I could ever miss that!
Do we have the time in the schedule to commit? No, not really, but I then lay awake juggling times and days, cramming chopping squeezing. But then the inevitable happens - something has to get dropped.
I am an optimist. I think that is the problem. I convince myself that with the right schedule, timetable, waking up time, I can fit in the new commitment. It will all work out...except when there is no...more...time.
We have now reached that point
And the planned puppy had to go. I felt like crying when I woke up in the night and thought "this is when I'd need to take the puppy outside to wee", or out and about on our busy week I'd look around and think "no dogs allowed here - next month Mike or I will need to stay outside and wait with the puppy". There was the raw food diet to incorporate. The need to learn the few public spaces dogs are allowed. Who would mind the pup on all-day at the Gallery in Brisbane days?
Something was wrong with this picture.
I realised this was one thing I could not swallow up and make it work (am thinking of our enormous python Bessie who is large enough to swallow a large possum or indeed a wallaby and just digest it and move on, unhinging her large jaws and winching in the food.)
I am an opportunity python! Oh dear.
Time to say no.
So I did. The girls were remarkably calm about not getting the puppy we had been planning for weeks. July looked thoughtful and said "Now we can go to the holiday drama workshop!"
That's my girl!
Needless to say, I am working on discernment and detachment. Now if only I can find the time to read "Buddhism for Mothers"...