Monday, December 16, 2013

The musings of Dr Liz - 2013 Reflections

The past few weeks have been "quiet" on the blog posting side, not because I was slacking off, but because it is sometimes wiser to keep your mouth shut (or in this case, stop my hands from pressing the "publish" button.)

RIP to our dear Fitz

I have been reflecting on the events of this year - the highs, the lows - on a personal, professional and business level.   You see, for me, these three things are so intertwined,  that the sadness of what I do professionally can bleed into the other two.  And with that, the other two need to be really joyous to be able to cope with the constant onslaught of sadness.

And when you get a year where the personal and business sides aren't so great, then.... reflections help put it all into perspective. 

My parents always taught me to smile - every day - no matter how you may be feeling inside, or what the outside world may throw at you.  So I do smile - every day.  Don't our pets do that to?  Whenever you see them, aren't they always smiling at you? Happy to see you?  Doesn't that make you feel better? 

My parents also taught me to take deep breaths, and face challenges that life may give you.  After all, the challenges I face can no way compare to the challenges that they had faced in their youth, or the tragedies that others have or are facing.   Our pets also have to face challenges now that they never had to - all of the things of our modern lives - the things that take us away from them, like the computer games and the hard working families that barely have enough time for each other, let alone the family pets. 

As a veterinarian, I, like many of my colleagues have had an emotional ride - sometimes it is "Woo Hoo - how exciting - we have helped your pet make a full recovery".... to the lows of saying goodbye to old  friends.  As Russell Vale Animal Clinic is in its fifteenth year of business, sadly, this year  leans towards saying goodbye for many of my beloved pets.  And so, reflections allow perspective.

I keep an album of all of the beautiful cards of thanks I have received over the years... they include
Dr Liz (me) with Tegan, and an abandoned kitten - now known
as Patches and in a loving home - One of our "wins" this year!
notes of thanking us for our care in the recovery of loved pets, as well as thanking us for our gentle hands at the end. This year, this book has been opened a lot more than in previous years - to reflect upon  as well as to add to it.

"Not to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough.
 We have a higher mission--to be of service to them wherever they require it."
Saint Francis of Assisi (1182 - 1226)

The core of what we are at Russell Vale Animal Clinic is to be "of service" to our animal friends whenever they require it, with kindness and compassion.

It is this thought I hold close to my heart during my reflections.  Have we been true to ourselves this year? Have I and my family been of service to our  animal and human friends?  And if we  have, then it is a good year.  And upon reflection, that is all anyone can ever ask of themselves - to be true to oneself.

It is easy to look at the superficial things of business success  (the awards and prizes) and business failure (the old beat up car, house needing repairs, and lack of money in the bank account) - and find that the balance sways from side to side, with the equally sway up and down of the emotions (success/failure).  It is easy to feel despondent about life not being fair, or go the way you had planned it to go,  or to be angry at those who attack you.

But it is with  love, truth, compassion and kindness which makes a family and a life, and in developing this, our lives are enriched.

As you reflect upon this year, remember to be kind to yourself and to others.   If you have been true to yourself, then it has been good year, irrespective of what has happened around you and to you.

I am Dr Liz, and on behalf of all of us at Russell  Vale Animal Clinic, we wish you and yours a safe and Meowy Christmas, and hope you all have a Barking Great New Year!