I finally got around to repairing one of Harry's stuffed animals. He has been playing with his goose, a little grouse, and another stuffed bird that squeaks when he chews on it. Within minutes of tossing his toy around, he will grab a hold of it and start chewing and tearing it apart until a seam bursts open. So I finally sewed up one of the stuffed birds, the other day, and plan to repair the others. He has knocked the stuffing out of them.
Harry is in the friskiest of moods, playful, and frolicking lately as though he were a puppy again. We got him from an Animal Rescue group when he was approx.nine months old, so we never saw him as a little puppy. But that has never stopped us from picking him up and cuddling him as though he were only five pounds. He had a vicious, chronic ear infection, on and off, the first couple years we had him, and we didn't realize how much this was affecting his behavior. He slept a lot, and did not play much.
Now, ear infection gone, and newly clipped, he obviously feels lighter in spirit as well. He's jumping around the living room every morning, waiting for someone to toss him his goose so that he can show off and prance around while we all talk about how wonderful he is. He'll nap a lot, still, but he seems ready for some fun every time he wakes up, instead of dozing back into LaLaLand for long stretches like he used to.
This would be his middle age, I think- if you count dog years as seven years for every one human year. He's in his middle age, like me. I'm feeling a bit hopeful that I may get my second wind as well- especially if any chronic, low lying fatigue and malaise are out of my system.
Medline Plus defines malaise as " a generalized feeling of discomfort, illness, or lack of well-being... Malaise can be accompanied by a feeling of exhaustion, or of not having enough energy to accomplish usual activities."
You could call it burn out, or exhaustion from too much stress. You may experience malaise if you got the stuffing knocked out of you, and no one noticed. I feel terrible that Harry was sick with the ear infection for so long. We did have it treated. We did try different medicines. But it was such a powerful infection that when we took him back to the vet,again, months later, because he was still whimpering over his ear getting touched, she did a more thorough culture and found out he had three strains of bacteria causing the problem. It took a powerful antibiotic, for a longer course of time, to finally knock it out of his system.
Harry couldn't tell us what was wrong. He could only sleep a lot and whimper in pain.Sometimes we thought he was milking it a little, acting like a baby. But finally we realized he was enduring something, bearing up under great pain, and getting no where in finding relief- until the day we got to the root of it.
I can't always put my finger on the spot, either, when it comes to understanding what's troubling me. Sometimes I just know that I am troubled or fatigued. But I forget to assess if I got the stuffing knocked out of me. I'm quick to admonish myself to just get going, keep moving, and stop being a baby.
But sometimes I hear something that troubles me or I experience a break down in communication with someone I love. Last year, ironically in the Spring, I went through a dark season of sadness and sickness and financial instability. I felt pummeled and pounded into the ground.I felt like Harry's goose, with the stuffing all over and a big gaping wound.
Right now I'm doing pretty well. Feeling strong, at least strong enough to keep letting my teenage son know that he is not the boss, strong enough to go on countless shopping trips and errands with my daughter, strong enough to look at the future and tell my husband that I have no idea where I am heading. He nods his head in agreement, looking at me. He can tell I'm not happy about my lack of answers, but I'm not destroyed or in despair, either.
I don't think I have a low lying malaise but if I do, God will resurrect me again- of that I'm sure. I've been in the valley so many times, and have made the ascent to the hills, over and over again. It's been a journey that makes me know He will always revive me, repair me, when my stuffing is knocked out of me.
"Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines" (Hab 3:17), though I fall down or need to get my second wind- He will give me all I need to go another round.
If I go down to the valley, even there- because I have been there before- I will look up and see the high hills.