When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t find the dog.
Rita usually sleeps in our room, upstairs, but will just as likely be found on the landing or, given the warmer summer evenings, downstairs by the couch.
This morning, she was in none of her usual spots, which is when I remembered something that happened earlier this summer.
My son, home from college, works an evening shift most nights and gets home after 11:00. Rita is not one to miss the chance to hang out with a non-sleeping person so she keeps him company until his much later bedtime, sometimes in the family room and sometimes in his bedroom. One night, forgetting she was in there, or perhaps thinking she wanted to stay, he shut his door and went to sleep. When I couldn’t find her the next morning I finally popped his door open to find her sitting there quietly, both hopeful and resigned.
Again, this morning, there she sat. And once released from the confines of Duncan’s bedroom, she headed straight outside for a much-needed breath of fresh air, among other needs.
Hopeful and resigned, she didn’t whine or bark. She made the best of it, sitting and waiting for her chance to get out, dependent on someone else to take action to change her circumstances.
I admire her patience, but it’s her resignation that makes me uncomfortable, a reminder of the ways I allow myself to stay stuck in “good enough” when just one small action would open the door to an even better way to live.