I had an awful experience this evening. Admittedly, I am one of those nut jobs who thinks my dog is my “child” and in my next lifetime would love to come back as a labradoodle in a home like mine as my dog gets treated better than most children. I opened the dishwasher and 30 seconds later heard a crash and the dog crying. Heart stopped. Had the dishwasher fallen out on top of the dog? Nope. All I saw was a dog yelping, looking like he was having a seizure, and pulling the drawer full of dishes out of the dishwasher. Heart stopped again. I couldn’t hold him still and couldn’t figure out how he was caught in the dishwasher. I kept seeing his paws caught in between the metal slats and all I was thinking was that he was yelping because his legs were caught and breaking. Somewhere between the paralysis and panic, I screamed for my husband who was already en route from the other room. From his viewpoint, he could see Mojo’s collar was caught in the metal and he was literally pulling the dishwasher out with his neck. My calm, practical husband unlatched to dog and I’m not sure who was more shaken up – Mojo or I. But I do know this – in a 30 second time span I felt a feeling I’ve never felt before. Something comprised of agony from hearing the dog in pain, helplessness because I couldn’t get him out, and an overwhelming desire to put myself in his place and he in mine so he would be okay. 5 minutes later, all was back to normal. Mojo chasing his ball, Mark playing his game, and I sitting on the couch. The difference? I put my work down. I didn’t reopen the work computer or the email. I sat and watched my husband and my dog. My day of “stress” had become inconsequential. Work didn’t matter. What other people thought didn’t matter. All that mattered was my family. And while moments such as described above can be scary, they also serve to remind me that what really matters are the people in your life that you love. Work is a means to carry out other passions to support those that you love, but it’s not your life. It’s who is in your life that matters, not what.
While only a 30 second incident that was probably meaningless to my husband and dog, I know it will be one of those moments that I use to remind me that as long as I have them to go home to – everything else is secondary.