this one is hard for me because i take in and am responsible for a lot of animals. and it is not some kind of magic number that i use....it is the mix of all of the animals together at any given moment that determines how much we can do.
some days are harder than others. right now we are pretty stable...we have an appropriate to each animal area mix that may not be perfect but is do-able.
but the numbers themselves are the least of it....the greatest part to consider is my personal strengths and weaknesses. i am really good at some things and i totally suck at others and it is critically important that i recognize this.
rescue is not a hobby...it is not a game..it is not some kind of living fantasy tale where i get to write myself in as the hero every day. who i want to be is far different than who i am and what i think i know or can do is a far cry from what i actually do know and can do.
i can make a great dinner of scrambled eggs in my little electric frying pan...but if i showed up in the kitchen of some fancy resturant and tried to be the great world class chef....well...we can all guess what would happen next.
now maybe i could be a great chef...if i took the time and invested the effort to learn the craft really well..but ain't no one in the world going to happily fork over the big bucks to eat my food because i say i am a great chef.....they are going to want and expect..the actual proof that i am all of that.
considering how much time i have actually spent in the kitchen slaving away and learning that craft......good freaking luck with that!
and this is a good comparison to rescue these days...i don't know how many times folks have come into rescue expecting that within a few days or weeks or even months..they will be THE great rescuer. hah...there is as much a chance of this happening as there is of me being THE great chef.
and here is the thing..being great at anything takes a committment to learn and if you already have all of the answers in your head..there is no actual learning room left.
i have been doing this for a very long time and i have not come close to achieving greatness...i am competent, i am actually pretty good at what i do...but greatness has eluded me thus far...altho...who knows maybe it is still looming somewhere in the future?
probably not....there is still way too much that i don't know yet.
jenn said to me the other day....you didn't start out like this...you started out with a few animals and grew from there. and she is absolutely correct. i can't even imagine cold turkey stepping into what is currently here and being able to even think past...oh my freaking god!!!!! but a million and half tiny puzzle peices collected and locked together over the many long years and the picture of saints is here.
know your limits and stay within it is very good advice...but it is ok to slowly reach out and stretch a little further to learn a little bit more too. just don't expect to jump into someone else's life long learning kitchen without the experience, the time and effort invested in learning and think for a second that you can cook far better then they can do.
that's just plain stupid.
rescue is an interesting life...it is a mix of hardship and strife...full of mistakes and regrets and should have's....there some wonderous moments that touch your very core...and it is full of the most incredible animals. but it is a life that requires committment...in learning, in being steadfast and strong and those things are built upon knowledge, experience, sacrifice and plain hard work...we don't just have them because we want to have them...we actually have to roll up our sleeves, be patient and open our minds and actually work and learn.
for me rescue means,,,know my limits and stay within it until i am willing and able to reach out and stretch those limits a little bit further.
it was baby steps that led to saints.....and this is good cuz if i tried that giant leap of simple but unsubstantiated faith in myself, the animals would be totally screwed.