As a side job to support myself through college and adulthood, I picked up petsitting. Aside from picking up poop, cleaning up diarrhea, and otherwise getting tackled by a large dog, I absolutely love this job. My clients are wonderful people, and I’m meeting these fluffy and adorable creatures. The pets make me happy and I’m more than willing to play and occupy the dogs. I absolutely love this job.
I will admit, sometimes my clients are on the wealthier side. Not all, but some. I’ve seen guest houses, tons and tons of pools, a hot tub, a pool table, large properties, theater rooms, and even stayed at a house on a lake. At times I wonder if I will be able to afford these luxuries, or if I even want them.
One of the clients I work for is an older couple, one who is already retired and the other is still working for the military. They have a large and loving family, and while they live on their own, their property is big enough to have the whole family over if they wanted. It’s not so much the amenities that get to me, but the size, beauty and privacy of the place. It’s out in the rural part of the city, where cars don’t normally pass by, and the city is about a few minutes drive. I look up into the sky and I can see so many stars, almost as if I’m out by Point Reyes again. The house has large trees, unlike the small, stubbly ones that are growing by the new suburbs near where I live. There’s a sense of peace that I get here that I normally wouldn’t get anywhere else.
I’ve gotten that sense of peace before at the lake house. I was running late with work and didn’t finish until about midnight. I was frustrated and irritable, especially since my dog peed on the client’s rug. I went out to the backyard, which overlooks the lake, and I just sat by their pool. (Oh yes, they live on a lake, but also own a pool). I didn’t swim, just breathed. Watched the reflection of the street lamps waver and skim over the water’s surface. It was mesmerizing, and I’d forgotten how much I miss the water.
So the biggest luxury to me isn’t pools, or a lakehouse, or even having the latest electronics, but it’s being surrounded by nature. Problem is, I’m starting to wonder if this is a luxury many of us can afford.