Tuesday, February 26, 2013
DH and I were skyping last night, talking about obligations.
He's never really connected with Kep. He's just not a dog person. And yet, when ever he was home and I was travelling, the dog was well cared for, walked daily and petted and talked to. That is because DH felt obligated to uphold the dog/master obligation contract ( I will provide your needs, you will not bite me and you will protect us). This "contract" is the difference between domesticated canines and wolves.
In finding an awesome new home for Kep, our obligation to him is at an end. His new lady has agreed to fulfill that obligation. He will now respect her home, companion her other pets and hopefully help train her younger dog. She will feed and brush him, walk him and bring him to the vet when needed.
Many people think that the word obligation has negative connotations. It's a weighing down of free choice. It's a chore. Many wish they could avoid feeling obliged.
Life is an obligation. There are legal obligations and moral obligations. They all come with a huge up-side.
You are obliged to work well for your employer. You get money ( it doesn't buy happiness but neither does poverty!) You are obliged to provide for your children. In exchange, you get to watch them blossom. ( and get tattoos). You are obliged to pay your rent/mortgage. You have warmth and shelter.
But what about self?
It's easy to let all of our other obligations take precedence over our obligation to ourselves. When we do this, we become less healthy and, less happy.
We have an un-written contract with our bodies. We take care of it, it enables us to live a fulfilling life. If we break our part of that contract, our bodies rebel. We get sick, we get fat, we get tired. (and yes, I know sometimes our bodies get sick in spite of our best efforts).
As my obligations to pets and kids and home shift, I can focus on my obligation to myself even more. I can take more time to exercise. I can choose healthy food that I like, (even if no one else will touch spaghetti squash.) I can establish a sleep routine to help my body rest without interruptions.
It's an obligation worth fulfilling. It's not a bad thing. It's not a chore.
It's a privilege.