On September 9, 2011, I started a 30-Day Blog Challenge. To see all 30 prompts for this challenge (and Day 1′s response), click here. And then return to Life is Grace until October 9th, to read my answers/responses.

Day 27: A problem you have or have had in the past

I tend to feel responsible for things (read: guilty), even when I’m not. It’s quite ridiculous!

For instance, there is a woman who lives across the street from us and has 2 dogs. One of them is adorable (Lilly), the other is a grouch (Oscar–no, I’m not kidding… I guess we do live up to our names sometimes!). Often, when I take Ollie outside–whether just to get the mail or for a quick walk, her garage door goes up and out she comes with her two dogs. It’s gotten to the point where I’m wondering if she’s sitting at her front window waiting for us!!!? 🙂

Lilly and Ollie love to play together, And it’s so much fun to watch them. He really likes playing chase with her. But their play dates often last at least 20 minutes. All the while, Oscar stands there on his leash and growls. Ugh. So what I intend to be a quick jaunt to the mailbox turns into a long play session. And sometimes I don’t have the time. I’ve also found that Lilly’s mom isn’t so great at taking a hint. She’s also not that good at picking up on my not-so-subtle signals either… Things like “OK Lilly, we’ve had so much fun but Ollie and I need to go inside” seem to make no impression; she makes no move to scoop up Lilly or put her back on her leash. And when I tell Ollie to come inside, he does. While she stands there talking about how much Lilly loves to play with Ollie. Well, if Oscar’s growling is any indication, it’s no wonder she loves to play with Ollie!!

I’m embarrassed to say that the last time I took Ollie outside, Lilly and Oscar’s mom was there with Lilly and Oscar. So I very quickly headed around the corner with Ollie to avoid her. Pretty bad, huh? She already had Lilly off her leash and I assumed they were expecting a play date. So instead, we took a walk around the block! Of course, Ollie loved our walk, and I did too. But what I didn’t like was that I had chosen to avoid her rather than just saying: “We don’t have time to play today”, or “we can only play for a few minutes today”.

Seriously, what’s my problem that I can’t look this woman in the face, even tell her that I work from home and then scoop up my dog and go inside? It’s that I feel responsible… She hasn’t picked up on my subtle (and, well, not-so-subtle) cues, and I don’t want to be blunt with her. But apparently, that’s what it’s going to take!