We are finally back and excited to share our rebranded site, My Rescued Life. The site is about 70% complete and 30% a work in progress, which is kind of what I strive for in real life so we are good to go.
So what’s different? My Rescued Life is a lifestyle blog about the things that matter to me – second chances, rooting for the underdog, helping animals, and living a compassionate life. Just like on The Daily Pip, I will post inspiring rescue and adoption stories as well as resources, humor and cuteness for rescue families. I am also going to focus on dog friendly Chicago and supporting local rescue and adoption efforts – in hopes you will do the same in your community. This is the short answer – you can read a more in depth answer below.
My Rescued Life
I’m going to go out on a limb and share some things I haven’t shared publicly before, because they are part of my story and maybe they are part of yours as well. My Rescued Life is about being kind and rescuing animals, but it is also about rescuing myself.
I spent much of my early life battling depression, the most severe and life threatening in my teens and twenties. Some of it was related to life experience and some of it just bad luck genetics.
“Depression lies” is a popular catch phrase, but the reality is that depression does way more than lie. It’s kind of like comparing a broken back to a stubbed toe. Depression eats away at you from the inside out and then spits out the chewed up, gnawed on remains of your life and dreams as a reminder of all that you have lost. Once upon a time, I wanted to be writer. But that dream was one of many things that depression gutted and destroyed.
I was lucky – I finally got better in my early thirties. But the fear of depression returning is almost as bad as the real thing. It’s like when you are walking alone at night and feel like someone might be following you, waiting to take you down. My life after depression was about staying safe, not taking risks, not trying anything new, and forever selling myself short. I hid in plain sight, stayed quiet, settled for less, and was so weighed down with regrets I couldn’t breathe.
But then I woke up.
On October 19, 2013, when I was 45, my heart dog Pip passed away and left me shattered, almost broken. I had two choices: fall back into depression or back away from the ledge and start over. Somehow I found the strength to choose the latter – and I started writing again. Pip’s final gift was a second chance, bringing me full circle so I could begin again.
It’s never too late to find your way back – starting over is not about life being perfect, it’s about you (and all of us) being authentic and brave.
Live Kind, Be Fierce, Love Animals
Living kind means loving animals, trees, the natural world, and each other – and trying to live in a way that does as little harm as possible. It’s about recognizing the interconnectedness of all things and making compassionate choices that strengthen these connections not fracture them. Living kind is about supporting causes, brands, and businesses that are cruelty-free, earth friendly, and generous – those that give back to the community and support animals and people in need.
Living kind is also about treating ourselves kindly. Many of us in the animal welfare world and women in general are so busy saving others that we forget to save ourselves. Some of the kindest folks are also some of the harshest on themselves (and I’m guilty of this). Living kind is also about compassionate self-care.
Being fierce is about making time and protecting what matters to you as if your life depends on it (and in many ways it does). It’s about making the most of second chances, not quitting, and getting back up when you fall – because you will fall. Being fierce is about taking yourself seriously but not so seriously that you lose your sense of humor. It’s about not waiting for the perfect time because there is no perfect time. Life will always get in the way. Stuff will always come up. Being fierce is about being afraid but doing it anyway (and laughing about it).
Loving animals is about sharing our lives with dogs, cats, rabbits, and all pets that make us laugh, feel less alone, keep us warm, and heal our broken parts. Loving animals is about gratitude that we get to share the world with such extraordinary creatures. Loving animals is about making compassionate choices that do as little harm as possible and recognizing that these choices are different for everyone.
Loving animals is like kindergarten when we learn that the world doesn’t revolve around us – we need to share, not break stuff that doesn’t belong to us, and play nicely with others. And the same goes for trees, water, mountains and your neighbors. Be kind, be grateful, and try not to mess the world up for others.
I hope My Rescued Life will make you laugh, think, dream, cry, smile, rescue, adopt, and feel inspired to live a more compassionate, brave and authentic life.