"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anatole FranceThe problem with seeing tragedy down the road is that you must nonetheless experience the full fruition of that pain. Mom lost her 7-year-old girl just three weeks after she’d been the picture of health to the extent that she’d taken her to be bred. We were expecting puppies, not death. And yet, Lara passed yesterday afternoon while we were rushing her to the emergency vet. I watched her go through the same phases of shedding her physical form as I had Kyra this past September. The labored breathing, the twitching, the gawping for air. It’s just as hard when it’s an animal you’ve helped care for as when it’s one of your own. Anatole France’s quote is appropriate both for the joys loving furbabies brings, as well as for the unparalleled pain, as they steal softly from our lives even as we grasp at the final straws of hope that they might recover to enjoy a few more magical moments with us.

I’m as emotionally and physically exhausted as I’ve ever been. We’re just at the point at work when we’re gearing up for a new contract to begin, so there will be no time for time off for the next few months.

Being the awesome friend she is, that meant today Gayla texted about starting to plan this year’s writers’ vacation. She has an epic idea that involves a cabin in the wilderness, and offers a glimpse of some serious fun and relaxation if I can just make it until then. (Of course, we’re both urban fantasy authors, so while it’s possible we will discuss Kitty’s House of Horrors, I will cross my fingers that plot line doesn’t play out for us… BWAHAHAHAHAHA). I suppose that glimmer is what will have to keep me putting one foot in front of another for a while.

On that note, we managed to walk every day but Thursday, sometimes multiple times in the day, and racked up 11 miles. We’re mostly fitting these jaunts in 15-25-minute segments since Kou is still only 4 months old–and it’s been cold and icy enough here that taking a fall on slick sidewalks is a good possibility if we don’t stick to well-trodden paths. I didn’t write at all this week–aside from some interesting assignments at work.

I was notified that my qualifications were reviewed and found appropriate, so it’s time to start studying systematically for the PMP exam. I cracked the books a few times, but would be hard-pressed to go beyond the superficialities of the five process groups (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling, and closing) versus the ten project knowledge areas (integration management, scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, communications management, risk management, procurement management, and stakeholder management). We’ll see where the intersection of exhaustion recovery and brain power intersects, but at this point I somehow doubt I’ll make my self-imposed March deadline to pass the certification.

We’re finally organized enough that I posted some things on eBay, too, which also takes time and attention… If anyone wants to help put me out of that misery, go ahead and make a buy-it-now offer so I can take this task off my plate…


Otherwise, I’m crossing my fingers for a somewhat quiet week as hubs and I come up on our 17th wedding anniversary. Maybe we’ll get back to that stay-at-home date night idea. Or I’ll take a day off before work gets really crazy. I’m definitely thinking a break would be a good thing at this point. In the meantime, check out how the other ROW80ers are doing, and I’ll be back next week to report on my mental and emotional health. 😛

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