it feels a little less crowded around here this morning, hopefully it will stay this way for awhile. i have been busily turning away animals, cats and dogs, it must be up to a dozen now over the past couple of weeks. people wanting to surrender are getting the "we are full message" on the phone and website..but they always have a "but" so i get to hear the very sad story anyway. i wonder if they realize how much it costs me to hear the stories and then say no...but i am so freaking emotionally and mentally tired lately, i don't want to take in any more. maybe once this thing with the tenant is done, maybe once i can move around here without falling down, maybe when not so many are feeling unwell, maybe when i catch up on the outstanding bills...maybe, maybe, maybe later...or if god could give me a heart of stone please...maybe not.
all of us have been having discussions non stop lately about what brings and keeps the good people here....it is the animals, pure plain and simple. they love these animals as much as i do and want to help make their day happy....they don't need to be my best friend or my romantic partner, they don't need saints to make them worthwhile, they don't need money, or power, or heroics, or a platform for anything...they just need to see a smile on the face of someone they care about....it is pretty universal for all of us that stick by here.
i never told the story of when one of the volunteers arrived....right when i was freaking out over my broken ankle. i was having a fit...manure piles were smoldering 10 feet from the barn and no one thought to let me know, i couldn't get out to see spritely's legs and i was having trouble learning to wash and sweep floors while stuck in a wheelchair. there were notes posted everywhere...do this and don't do that, and i hate freaking notes posted anywhere, and all of sudden, it wasn't my ankle that was broken, it apparently now was my head because decisions were made without me, visitors to redirected past me, and i suddenly became the one who wasn't really here because my ankle was broken...ok, that drove me nutz.
so in walks a new volunteer who didn't have a clue about anything around here. and she needed me to be nice to her and offer direction and i was too busy trying to take back and hang on to my absolute and complete control around here.
i wasn't really all that helpful to her, on my list of what i needed to do, she was like number 452. and another of the disgruntled volunteers was filling her ears about my being depressed and bitchy and not nice to any of the volunteers anyway... blah, blah blah...not depressed, but bitchy yes cuz i was in major panic mode, my ankle was broken and there were a bunch of generous and well intentioned neophytes trying to do my job, but my job is way more complicated than what they knew. finally one day i noticed that i was not being nice or welcoming to this person ( i think it was when she out and out asked me why i didn't like her, gotta love upfront and honest people, it clears up a bunch of crap)...so i told her not to take it personally, it had nothing to do with her, it had to do with me. and she actually listened to what i said, took it at face value and believed me...wow, that is freaking rare.
she kept coming, and coming and coming and she is still here every single week. she is shoulder to shoulder whenever anything is happening and in every crises we have. she loves saints as much as i do...the great ones always emotionally buy in and feel the same responsibilty and priviledge for being here as me. and after a year an of half of total commitment and a rocky, uncomfortable start to begin with, i know why she is here and it is not cuz she wants or needs something from me....she too wants to see a smile on a bunch of old furry faces....we all do.
maybe, i will take in another dog or cat when we are back to just doing what we are supposed to be doing here. but for now i have to do other stuff like tie up loose strings, clean up the chaos, and get back to where we are supposed to be...which is concentrating on the animals around us and not a bunch of other things.