How did you celebrate?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it. I love the food. I love the time spent with family gathered around the table. I love the focus on the things that we are grateful for in our lives. This year was a little different for me though.

Last weekend, our oldest dog, Jessie, was struggling, which is probably an understatement. She is 12 and has been very healthy, until Saturday night when she stood up and could not stay vertical. Over the next couple of days, she continued to struggle to stand and walk on her own. Unfortunately, she also had to endure 3 incidents of vomiting as well. Needless to say, our family was more than concerned that we might be nearing the end for her. A trip to the vet on Monday morning revealed that she was likely dealing with a significant bout of vertigo (which is not unusual in older dogs), and not the effects of a stroke or brain tumor (which is what we were afraid of). She had her ears cleaned and was sent home with anti-nausea medications.  

We were planning to head up to Long Island to visit Carol's family and celebrate Thanksgiving together. Unfortunately by Wednesday, Jessie was not feeling well enough for us to leave her with my Dad for the couple of days that we would have been on Long Island. So I decided to stay home with the dogs to monitor Jessie's progress, while Carol and our girls headed up to Long Island to enjoy the holiday with the family.

During the time that the girls were away, I was home by myself. While I enjoyed having some peace and quiet, some time with my Dad, some time to do some reading, and some online shopping, I definitely missed my girls. The temporary solitude was great in the short term, but I was grateful when the girls came home and made our house feel like a home again!

Earlier this week, I came across a post from Adam Grant (we just discussed his book Hidden Potential a couple of weeks ago) that really hit home for me. In the post, he discussed the fact that the best cure for loneliness is not frequent interaction, but MEANINGFUL interaction. He goes on to say that it is not the quantity of our connections but the quality of those connections that truly matters!

No matter how chaotic your life may be, we all go through times when we may feel isolated or lonely. It is a normal human experience. The key to getting out of that funk is not necessarily to simply be around more people, but to connect with those people that you are around, in a deeper, more significant way.

If (or more likely when) you start to feel isolated or lonely, look for more fireside chats and say no to the loud parties to get yourself back on track.

(In case you were wondering, Jessie has been doing well recently. She is definitely not back to her normal self just yet, however the improvement has been slow and steady. Needless to say, she is getting extra hugs and kisses from all of us!)

Movement is my medicine,
Dr. William "Chip" Bleam

Dr. William "Chip" Bleam


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