How much is enough? It’s been said over and over again about various things: Jobs, lifestyles, habits and behaviors; they can all be categorized as a “Way of Life.”
Having birds in our lives is much more than just a hobby. It’s a commitment. These creatures we originally and joyfully brought into our homes hoping for a wonderful relationship and a happy coexistence sometimes gets the best of us. Life happens while you’re cleaning a cage or washing the floor.
It goes on with our without you paying any attention.
But the floor needs to be washed, the bird bowls need to be scrubbed, the water needs to be changed and the floor still needs mopping. And the world spins while you’re wringing out the mop.
People move on with their lives and you are too busy shopping for organic vegetables to make Chop. Things change, and the world moves forward. Meanwhile you are cleaning the dander off the windowsills and putting together a bird toy from left over broken toy parts and some plastic bottle caps.
You come to the realization that you gave up a lot in order to provide a good home for these feathered creatures. And when you did that, you made a commitment to them. You may not have realized it, but unless you know you are just fostering a bird until it finds a more permanent situation, these birds are most likely going to live with you for a long time. And while you knew it was going to be work, maybe you didn’t realize just how much work it is.
There are some days when you feel it’s a thankless job. And it is that way unless you’ve taught your bird how to say “Thank you!” Even then there are those days when that sounds hollow because you know that once you’ve washed that floor, It’s just going to get messy again during the next mealtime.
But you keep going. You continue providing for your flock, bring for them, keeping them clean, making healthy meals and giving them the showers they need.
Why? Because you said you would. And believe me, if you do it right it is going to be tough. There are days when you just don’t want to. And that’s okay.
If you’ve had kids, one can imagine you’ve had days like that. The refrigerator is leaking, the TV is on the fritz, your kid has the stomach flu and just threw up all over the dining room rug and it’s not even eight a.m.
There are days like this with my birds when nothing seems to go right. And those are the days when you have to stop just one minute, take a breather and let it pass. And it will pass. Because as the world moves on, so do you. It just so happens that your life includes birds.
This isn’t just having a “Pet.” This is a lifestyle. This is a ways of living that includes altering your schedule, your living space, your daily routine and your budget.
But there are those moments when you realize it’s worth it. You just have to stop a minute and think about it.
Do not ever think you are alone with these feelings. They are quite common. If you have friends with birds, (And I highly recommend finding a local bird club and getting involved) they will be having days like this.
It’s one of those days when you want to throw in the towel and give up. That’s okay. Allow yourself those feelings of frustration and then move on. These are wild animals you have parked in your living room.
Whether you knew it or not, it’s a difficult lifestyle.
But what you get in return can be so satisfying. There is comfort in getting that kiss from your bird. There is happiness in seeing your African Grey joyfully attacking a new toy and ripping it to shreds.
You just allow yourself those feelings of frustration and get the next thing done. After all, you got that bird because you somehow thought it would add something to your life. And aside from a lot of parrot poop, she's taught you a lot if you think about it.
These are your friends. These are your companions. And in the long run they are so worth it.
Nobody said it would be easy. But sometimes it’s the tough things in life we manage to get through that make it all worth it.