I talk a lot of how things have changed the older I get....mainly cause they really do. As I move further into my 40's (will be 42 in less than a month), everything seems to be changing, my body, my mind, my heart.
I am going to talk on the last one in this blog post. My heart...and what I mean by that is things that give me joy, that make me happy and calm me.
As far back as I can remember, I always loved babies. I loved looking at them, cuddling them, smelling them....it was my happy place. As I had my own children over the years, that did not change, I LOVED my babies....but in the last 4 or so years my heart's contentment has changed. I think I already talked about this in another blog post, where I just don't have that aching in my heart for babies of my own...but it includes other people's babies as well. Sure, they are cute and I still do enjoy them at times....but my heart has really been won over by animals.
I was never much of an animal lover....they were cute and I enjoyed going to the zoo or seeing them in nature, but I never really "loved" any animals. I would never just pick up one to cuddle. We even had several cats over the years, but they were just part of the house (to me anyway) but not part of the family.
Even after we adopted Maddie (almost 9 years ago!) I still thought of her as a dog at our house...not a member of our family. Sure, she was cute and I loved clicker training her (she is super smart and LOVES treats....so she was easy to teach tricks to), but I rarely cuddled her just for the fun of it, or even cared that much about her. I was still in the midst of children/babies....they still squeezed my heart more than animals.
I don't remember any exact moment that my heart began to change...it might have been as I realized that having babies was a thing of my past....could have been when we were hurt by people we thought were our friends....could have been when I finally realized what all the fuss is about with animals....they truly just want to be around you, not expecting anything but a little food and some easy to give lovin'.
My heart now swells for animals (not all animals....still not a big fan of birds...lol But I do think they are pretty to look at but do not want them anywhere near me), but seeing cats and dogs makes me smile. I love cuddling with our two dogs, and Thunder (our cat) loves me the most and I am proud of that.
If we are out and about and there are dogs, I want to pet them (this is new for me...I would never have wanted to do that 5 years ago...) and ask their names and what kind of dog they are.
Every once in awhile, I will think, oh we should get another puppy....but then I look around our already full house and think, Nope, not right now. lol Unfortunately, I feel the day will come soon enough that we will get another puppy....because one of our dogs will have moved to the eternal farm in the sky...so I will enjoy the dogs we have now until the day comes to get a new one.
I honestly want to say that the change came from getting old...from the wisdom of the years that I have lived. But honestly, I really think it has way more to do with other humans. And as bad as that sounds, it is the truth. Animals are way less stressful than humans, any age humans....babies right up to adults. Dogs are also good at reading emotional stress and our dogs (maybe not every dog but ours for sure) tend to act accordingly. They snuggle a little closer when I am feeling down or upset. People as a general rule, either do not pick up on these or have their own stuff to contend with thus not having the time and/or desire to help others with theirs. (I totally get this...I am guilty of this most of the time as well, so no judgment just an explanation of why I love animals.) Our dogs are, in my opinion, the greatest tangible example of unconditional love.
I think there are people who are born animals lovers, I have several children who really LOVE animals....right from day one. And I never really understood how/why...but now that my heart has changed/softened towards animals, I understand.
I still have allergies to some, my heart wasn't able to change that...hahahaha But even just seeing them sets a calm over me and makes my heart (and face) smile :)
And if you are worried that I no longer like human interaction...don't be. As much as I consider myself an animal lover now....I also have gotten over some of my hangups with other humans and have been slowly inching my way back into a world where I have friends....and it has been going well. We were hermits for a few years, but have opened ourselves back up...so now I have both human and animals friends to keep my heart happy.