I am so tired of driving! I never used to mind driving very much; probably because I don't have a regular commute or anything, so I don't spend long amounts of time in the car very often. But the last three months, I feel like all I've been doing is driving! And it's "driving" me crazy ;)
I've already put nearly 5,000 miles on my car this year, which is much more than ever before. The average American female of my age would have driven about 2,866 miles at this point (yes, I looked it up, because I was curious). We've just had so many appointments for various things this year, and I've been driving to Detroit, Toledo, and Ann Arbor quite a bit. With all of the construction going on in Detroit and Toledo, I'm spending a lot of time driving.
Anyway, yesterday I had a therapy appointment, and it was a very productive one.
We worked on a self-esteem issue I've been having for years, and I felt like a huge weight was lifted when I left the office. Without getting too specific or personal on here, I had basically been focusing on all of the things I wasn't doing in one particular area of my life, instead of looking at all the things I am doing. My therapist helped me to flip that mentality, and I feel much better about it!
I also talked with her about something I'd been thinking about for a long time, but only recently started researching--getting Monica and I registered as a Pet Partners team.
When we fostered Monica last June, I knew there was a good chance we'd end up adopting her. We fell in love with her because she is such a loving cat! She ADORES being petted and held, and it's almost annoying in a way--when you stop petting her, she taps her paw against your arm or hand until you pet her some more. She just loves it!
She's also not "touchy" in the way a lot of cats are when they are done being held or petted--when Estelle has had enough, for example, she gives a few warning signs to back off. If you don't, then she may bite your hand (not enough to draw blood, but as a way to say, "Hey! Stop petting me!"). Monica is never really "done" being petted--she would sit there all day long if you continued to stroke her, haha. But, at worst, she would just turn and walk away if she was done.
This got me thinking about how she would make a great therapy cat. Pet Partners is a non-profit that registers handlers and pets as therapy teams who can then interact with all sorts of people in settings such as nursing homes and group homes. When Mark was alive, he would frequently talk about taking care of the animals at his group home--they had some farm animals there, and it was the mens' job to care for them. Mark took a lot of pride in that.
Anyway, as I learned from attending Purina's Better With Pets summit for the last few years, pets and people can do great things together. And pets are fantastic therapy for people with PTSD, Alzheimer's, intellectual disabilities like the men in Mark's group home, people approaching end of life, etc.
Going by myself to a nursing home to visit with strangers would be very hard for me, because of my shyness--but if I had Monica with me, I would feel more comfortable because she is a nice ice breaker. So, I think it would be a win for everybody--me, for stepping out of my comfort zone and helping others; Monica, because she will get lots of attention; and the people we visit, because Monica will love all over them :)
The registration process may take a while, especially with everything else I have going on right now, but I think it's worth doing. I just have to take an online course, have Monica approved by the vet, and have an evaluation. I think Monica is perfect for the program, so I'm kind of looking forward to it!
Tonight, we're going (along with my parents and Nathan) to Brian and Becky's for dinner and to visit with Luke! I knew I would love being an aunt, but I never realized just how much--it's so nice to get a "baby fix" every time I see him.
Nathan just finished remodeling his bathroom (he and Brian did the work themselves) and it looks fantastic! I don't have a final photo of his bathroom yet, but this is a picture from a few weeks ago, when he was almost done with it (obviously, the toilet is not in the shower, haha).
My mom had the idea to give Nathan a "shower"--to buy him some bathroom accessories for the finishing touches. My mom, Jeanie, Becky, and I pitched in, and my mom and I went shopping last night. We put together a nice basket of stuff for him. (He doesn't know about it, so I hope he likes it!)
Art, rugs, towels, waste basket, valance, etc. We're going to give it to him at Brian's house tonight. It should be a fun evening!