Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Dog’s Year In Review January 13, 2014

I think we all had a feeling. And it wasn’t even the kind of feeling that we really just wanted it to be over and behind us. It was the kind of feeling where we just knew we were ready for the next chapter. So it was really no surprise to me when Carter Joseph Schmidt entered the world almost three weeks early. Looking Forward

Tomorrow marks his two-week birthday (still a couple days short of the January 16 due date) of December 31. It also marks the two-week observation of New Year’s Resolutions for people all over the world who aspire to make 2014 the best year ever. For some, these resolutions – eating better, exercising more, finally kicking that bad habit – are in full swing. For others, they’ve already been forgotten.

That’s why I don’t particularly care for the theory behind resolutions. So last year I resolved not to make resolutions. Instead, I set goals for myself to live in the spirit of Christmas every day, love actively and live life forward. Because in reality you can’t really put Christmas away when you live a life of joy. From the ground up, it makes its way into everything you do. Everything you are. So I committed to living life forward by sharing everything I am with the world, hoping to touch a few hearts in the process.

Little did I know the impact a little terrier mutt like me could have on the world with something as simple as my perspective on the everyday happenings in my world. My musings have hardly gone “viral,” and yet I am touched daily by the kind words of readers who I have come to see as a whole other kind of family in my life.

Family has taken on a whole new meaning to me this past year. I’ve always been a people watcher, but as I have observed my little family more closely this year, I have learned so much about people. And relationships. And love. From the moment I knew mom was pregnant to the first time I met Carter, family means something bigger now.

I would say 2013 was a success. Not just because I  (for the most part) met my (somewhat challenging at times) goals. But because doing so helped me get to know myself a little better. And getting to know oneself is always the first crucial step in being able to truly help others in the most selfless of ways.

My feelings about when Carter was due to arrive were right. Maybe my feelings about 2014 will be too. And I am ready for the next chapter. Because if its anywhere as good as the last one, I know it with all of my little doggie heart. I have a lot to look forward to.

Happy trails in 2014, ya’ll.

 

 

You can’t put Christmas away: Goals for 2013 December 31, 2012

I overheard an interesting conversation between mom and dad today. Dad was putting some Christmas things away, and mom scolded him. “Are you putting Christmas away!?” she questioned. His response surprised me. “Don’t be silly,” he said. “You can’t put Christmas away.”

Best known for writing the country classic “Happy Trails,” singer-songwriter Dale Evans had a similar commentary on the holiday season. “Christmas, my child, is love in action,” she said. “Every time we love, every time we give, it’s Christmas.”

Loving enough is certainly not the problem. I love my people (and all of their people) wholeheartedly and unconditionally. It’s how I show it, how I “give” that I think I can improve.  Quality over quantity as they say. Christmas is not meant to be about the number of gifts under the tree, so why would one measure its spirit quantitatively?

1920s singer and comedian Margaret Young had a theory on this. “Often people attempt to live their lives backwards: they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so that they will be happier,” she said. “The way it actually works is  the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then, do what you need to do in order to have what you want.”Happy Trails

Who am I? I am a four-year-old terrier with a whole lot of love to offer the world. How will I accomplish this in 2013? I will begin by setting goals instead of resolutions. Webster’s dictionary defines “resolution” in a number of ways, including “the act or process of resolving, the act  of determining, or (my personal favorite) the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones.” What on Earth does that mean? As for me, I would rather set goals, which Webster defines as “the end toward which effort is directed.”

What do I want for 2013? What are the ends toward which my effort will be directed?

1. Remember that you can’t put Christmas away. It sounds simple (and perhaps even cliché), but I don’t care. Call it my effort to analyze a complex notion into a simpler one.

2. Love actively. Every day I will find a way to show my people I how much I love them. Literally speaking, I would like to convince my mom to take me to agility classes. I think it would be good for both of us – physically and mentally – to work together toward a common goal to get fit while spending time together.

3. Live life forward. I know who I am, and I want to share my perspective with the world. I will set aside the time necessary to keep sharing my thoughts on life with the world in hopes that my words might inspire someone else to do the same.

Happy trails in 2013 ya’ll.