I was living my dream and it was a bit of a nightmare.

I was able to pop out of bed every morning at 5:30 am to do stairs and I was completely exhausted.

I had more periods of calm and peace and I was in the midst of chaos.

My dream was to foster puppies. It also happened to be my daughter’s dream. Thanks to Covid which was keeping us close to home and out of extra curricular activites, Eden and I managed to convince my husband (who for the record was not on board at all) to let us do this. We decided we should start with an entire litter.  Go big or go home if you will. And for three and a half glorious exhausting weeks in October we opened our home and our hearts to 8 puppies.

Did I mention that they were surrendered without their mother? And that the surrogate mother developed mastitis after 2 days and had to go to another foster home? And also did you know that puppies can develop explosive diarrhea when they switch from mother’s milk to formula soaked kibble mash? Well now you do!

We learned so many things during this adventure into puppy land about puppies and about ourselves. A few of these lessons have helped me navigate life and work during Covid. But here is my biggest take away – IT CAN BE BOTH!

Let me explain.

For years I thought that once life was more settled and calm, I would be happy.

Once I had 2 children and a dog and a partner I would feel fulfilled.

If things weren’t so chaotic I would feel better.

If I got more sleep, I would have more energy.

This whole puppy experience showed me that it isn’t if/then or either/or but it’s AND. Did that sentence full of conjunctions confuse you?

Simply – it can be both.

In the words of Glennon Doyle…

 

I’m experiencing this brutiful in most aspects of my life right now but especially at work. Working in schools during Covid-19 is not ideal (that’s putting it gently). I don’t think I’ve ever worked with this level of uncertainty and stress in my career.

AND

I’ve experienced many moments of simple joy and profound connection to others.

Most days I feel like I have accomplished nothing.

AND

Learning, collaboration and people rising to the challenges presented to them – these things are happening all around me every day if I take the time to notice.

It’s like when the Grinch steals Christmas and the Who’s down in Whoville still sing.

It sucks (to quote Justin Trudeau!) and it’s incredible.

I feel dread during the day and yet also look forward to what may come out of the day.

It truly is both. Brutal and Beautiful.

Just like a houseful of puppies.

Don’t believe me. Check out these two moments. The Beautiful and the Brutal.

If life is feeling brutal right now consider this a gentle reminder to look for the beautiful. It’s there and it may be hard to find.

Stay strong and soft,

As a happy ending, these 8 pups who had a brutal start to their lives, have all been adopted into caring beautiful forever families where I have no doubt they are living the dream!