Goin Back to School after Disability or Retirement

Aside

Going Back to School after Disability or Retirement

By

Lee Davis

          You’re retired, or disabled, but know that life is not over for you. You’re bored, and everybody thinks you should just sit back, and enjoy yourself.  You smile nicely while you cringe inside when people tell you how lucky you are.  All you can think about is how terrible life is now that you’re not working an 8 to 5.  You wonder why people don’t realize that you have more to give.  You feel like you’re wasting time, and if you have to spend one more day in front of the boob tube, or listening to the elders complain about their ailments you’ll go crazy.  You have fixed everything that needed fixing around the house.  You have read all the books that you intended to catch up on, and watched all the movies that have waited on the shelf.  Now what?  Your friends tell you to indulge in your hobby, but that has even lost its luster.  I went through this too. I was wallowing in the self-pity of nothingness too.  At least until I decided to go back to school.

Going back to school is a liberating move to make when all else has been taken away.  Your self-esteem will grow and when you look at yourself in the mirror you will like what you see.  Don’t worry about all the people who will tell you that you’re foolish to do such a thing.  Most people look at school as if it is hard work, but when you reach a certain point in life when you are in need of stimulation school can be your savior.  Many people have decided to go back to school when a change in their life was needed.  I am not only talking about people needing a new profession.  I am concerned mainly here with the person who has been placed on disability, or has retired from their profession.  There are many avenues that can be pursued through our colleges, and they all lead to a sense of contentment, self-satisfaction, and happiness.

The happiness you will experience while enriching your life will be the proof you need that this has been a good move for you to make.  There is art, astrology, geology, history, sciences, writing, and politics just to name a few classes that are available.  The list off classes offered is lengthy, and the colleges are full of older students taking courses to improve a hobby, or to earn a degree in general studies.  Some older students are even furthering existing degrees to earn their Masters, or Doctorate for self-gratification.  I never knew I could write until I went back to school at the age of 51, and ended up taking 2nd place in the universities writing competition in creative non-fiction short stories.   Today, five years later I write daily, taking much pleasure in my endeavor, and I am still enrolling every semester for one class or another.

Taking a class or two every semester allows you to engage with other people on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. You will talk with people who are different from the normal everyday people who you talk to now, because its’ a different life from your normal everyday existence.  People who are attending school are going places in their mind, and you will go with them.  Some are going on to new lives as young adults, where some are furthering their life in a new way at a new point in their life, such as the disabled, or retired.  They’re taking a different fork in the road.  They have made the decision not to sit, vegetate, and be unfulfilled.  Instead they are choosing to grow, and its easier than you think to go back to school.

Taking a class, or a full semester is easy to carry out.  If you are below a certain income level, on disability, or retired there are all kinds of financial aid that the staff in the offices at the colleges will help you get.  If you are a disabled veteran the monies may be paid for by the Veterans Administration.  Auditing a class may be a consideration for you.  You pay a lower rate per credit hour, or only student fees if you take a class this way.  There is also refreshment classes offered that can help you brush up on your skills.  It is possible to go back to school without being rich, and once the financing is taken care of you get to choose which classes you want to take.

Choice is what you have now.  Being in a place to choose what your life will be will empower yourself, so that you may flourish no matter what class you decide to take.  You will sleep better for being up, and moving.  Nobody will be doing this for you, because you will have the independence you want, and need.  You will smile, and be happy.  The motivation you will give yourself, in your own endeavor will come easy.  You are not done with life, and you do have more to give.

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How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

Aside

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How to Stop Your Dog from Eating Poop

          Many people have asked one another this question for as long as dogs have been man best friend.  Unfortunately for the majority of that time the best advice has been simply to pick it up after the dog done his business.  That way it will not be available for the consuming.  Well good for those who can, but unfortunately not all of us are in a situation to where we can constantly monitor our dog while they are doing their business, so the advice of picking the poop up does not fit all households.  The reasons for this behavior are many, and the cure fleeting.  Most of us are left to curl up our faces, and scratch our head in bewilderment when our beloved dog comes over for a hug bearing the awful, dreaded poop breath.

Veterinarians will tell you that they are lacking something in their diet, being a mineral, or vitamin deficiency.  Now that may true of some, but you know that you feed your dog good dog food, his/her coat is shiny, his/her eyes are bright, and he/she does not have worms.  Some people will tell you that its’ just what dogs do.  Then why do not all dogs relish in this behavior of eating feces?  Others will tell you that it is because the dog is bored.  I live in the forest, and have 5 dogs, and they are anything but bored in their daily life.  You know that your dog is not bored with life.  We may never know why eating poop has become a fancy of some of our best friends, but I will tell you how to stop it.

The cure for this awful habit is putting a tablespoon of crushed pineapple in their food.  It seems that the addition of pineapple to the regular dog food actually makes the poop taste bad to the dogs.  That’s right.  You have to make it taste bad.  I know what you’re thinking.  Doesn’t it already taste bad?  Evidently for some dogs it is a delicacy, and you must be consistent to bring an end to this behavior.  Now you must do this every time, at every feeding time, without failure until it takes hold.  Some dogs stop the next day, while others take a few days.  Once your dog has stopped eating poop you must continue the new ritual until the habit is broken, because your dog will continue to go back, and try it again just to make sure the poop really still tastes bad.  The whole process usually takes two to six weeks from start to finish depending on the dog.  I had two out of my five dogs do this.  One was cured inside of a week, and never looked back. The other it seemed to take forever.  He would quit for a week, and then go back, and try it again.  I would start the process again for a total of three times before it took hold for good.  Now he wouldn’t even think of eating poop, preferring to give it a wide berth when passing by it.

Remember that you are breaking a tasty, fun habit that took some time for your dog to acquire.  Be patient.  This cure will send the message (“Not supposed to eat poop.”) home, your best friend will be cured, and you can hug your dog without having to deal with the dreaded pope breath.

House Sitting as a Possible Job

Is House Sitting the Right Job for You?

          You have always heard about people looking for a House Sitter, but you never paid it much thought, because you felt it was never really a job.   Now in need of extra money, and since you know how to care for your own home you feel that you could do this.  The truth of it is if we were to sit another person’s home the way we conduct our lives when we are in our own home, it may come up short of many home owners’ expectations.  You have decided the first step is to find the job’ and without realizing it, with no training, anything could happen.

           You answer an ad in the local newspaper looking for someone to House Sit while the home owners go on vacation.   You meet, and they tell you what is expected for the week that they will be gone.  You believe that you can do the job, and they like you.  You make a commitment to be paid $75.00 a day, which is the going rate.  You are to come straight after work, walk the dog and tend the cat, keep the house clean, collect the mail, pick the newspaper up off the walk, spend every night as if you were living there, and to have no company.  The clients are to leave early in the morning, and you are to show up after work, 5:30 pm the following day. 

          Now here is where the problem begins.  Instead of conducting yourself in the manner that your clients have expected, you lead your life as usual. You get off of work.  Make a quick run to your home.   It’s now 6:15 pm.  You stop at the grocery store for needed supplies.  It is now 7:00 pm.  Then you stop at your friend’s house, and are talked into staying for dinner, and a movie.  Your friend convinces you that nothing will go wrong anyway, and even though you know you shouldn’t you relent to your friend’s wishes.   It is now 10:00 pm, and after a 20 minute ride you arrive at your client’s home to do your assigned job at 10:20 pm.  That is a full 4 hours, and 50 minutes late for the first day of your House Sitting job. 

          Upon opening the door the dog bounds out.  He is used to being walked no later than 6:00 pm.   Then because he is not leashed he takes off running down the street.  You decide that he will come back when he is ready.  When you turn on the lights you find the garbage torn apart, and scattered all over the kitchen, living room, and its furniture.   The dog typically does not go in the garbage, because he is normally fed by 6:30 pm.   After finishing cleaning up all the trash, you notice stains on the couch from the garbage.  You try to wash it off with soap and water to no avail.  Now the cushion is stained and soggy, so you stuff the cushion in the dryer, and put it on high.  You settle in for the night, comfortable in the fact all is under control. 

          After a half an hour the front door bell rings, and it is the neighbor.  He’s complaining that the dog is loose, and has torn their garbage apart.  You tell him that dogs will be dogs, and that you are house sitting for the week while the owners are away on vacation.  The dog races through the door, and the neighbor leaves furious.  You scold the dog, feed him, and forget to take him for his walk before you decide to go to bed.  You also forget to feed the cat, and to check on the couch cushion.

          Through the week you carry on as usual, with the exception of the cat.  You decide to fill a big bowl with kibble, so if you forget again it’s no big deal.  You fail to clean the cat box.  You pull the now destroyed cushion out of the dryer, and write a note to the owner on how it was the dogs fault.  You collect the mail, but let the newspapers pile on the walk.  You never showed up before 10:00 pm, and so far you have let your boyfriend stay over for three nights. You never walked the dog before you went to bed, so every morning you have woken up to a mess by the front door.  This has not only left a huge stain on the wood floor, but has made the house stink to high heaven. He has also been allowed to run free, which is what brings everything to a screeching halt.

          Its seems that the neighbor just couldn’t take it any longer, and rather than call the police he decided to call the owners place of employment in order to get a hold of the home owners to tell them what has transpired at their home since they have been gone. 

          The owners show up two days earlier than expected, and for some reason that you don’t understand they are very upset.  They find that you have done everything wrong.  The woman is in tears over the state of her home, and the husband is fuming, because they had to cut their long needed vacation to come home early.  They lost money on the hotel, and had to buy two new airline tickets to get home in a hurry.  You never showed up at the appointed time agreed upon, allowed a man to spend the night, ruined the newly upholstered couch, and did not clean up after yourself.   You figured you would clean the day before they were due to come home, so the sink is full of dishes, the bed is unmade, and the bathroom is a mess.  Furthermore you let the dog run loose, which is not allowed in a gated community.  You think you did a week of work as a job well done, while the client does not want to pay you for falling short of their expectations of what a House Sitter should be.  You strongly explain how you took care of their home with the same care that you would have taken care of your own home, and that is where the problem began.  

          A professional House Sitter takes care of their client’s home the way the client takes care of their home.  Just because you know how to take care of your own home, and you may have good intentions, does not mean you can be a professional House Sitter.  House Sitting is not easy, and not a quick buck to be made.  Professional House Sitters are trained individuals that have spent time in building their credibility.   They take notes upon meeting the prospective client, making sure everything is understood between both parties, and documented.  They conduct themselves in a professional manner, and are usually bonded.  That does not mean that you cannot do this as a chosen profession.  It means that preparation is needed, as it would be for starting any new profession.   If you decide to pursue this vocation then do your due diligence to avoid misunderstandings, and problems that may arise in the future.  There are not many people that do this for a living, and you may find a much needed niche for yourself.

Writing is My Passion

Having a passion is the best way to lead one’s life.  It may have taken me some time to find mine, but now that I have found my passion there is no stopping me.  Carrying a small pad, and pencil ready at the wait, I write constantly.  In the past I concentrated on writing creative non-fiction short stories, which came easily to me.  Now I find that I have a talent for writing articles.  I hope you enjoy reading my writings, as much as I enjoy writing them.