Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Truth About NYE December 31, 2014

Fancy dinners and parties and dresses and champagne. All of it is so beyond me if I’m being honest. Yet that’s what so many people will be embracing from all over the world today and tonight as we ring in the new year. There is all kinds of anticipation for this big night of refreshment and renewal and you’d probably think it’s something your resident doggie optimist would stand behind. You’d be wrong.

I actually would venture to say that this New Year’s Eve holiday is probably one of my very least favorite of those my beloved forever family chooses to celebrate. I never mind the leftover goodies from dinner (which they usually opt to make themselves at home). I definitely appreciate the extra hour or two of snuggles that happens as we all countdown to midnight. But ultimately I feel a bit like the day itself is entirely overrated.

That all changed a year ago. Dear baby Carter was born exactly a year ago today, on New Year’s Eve. I still don’t understand why I couldn’t have been there at the hospital to meet him right away, but that’s okay. I honestly had no idea the joy he would bring into our home. Into our lives.When You Wish

Beyond that, I realized as I reflected back on this year that is 2014, that he’s taught me some things about life. Perhaps most important on this eve of the new year is what he helped me figure out about this holiday. It happened every morning he woke up since the very first day he was here in our home. Rebirth. Renewal. Not every day was a good one, but that is exactly what tomorrow is for. A fresh start. A new beginning.

I think that’s what bothers me so much about this holiday. It’s not one day a year we should be celebrating life. It’s every day. Every day we wake is a blessing that should never go unnoticed. Even the challenging ones and the ones that make us wish we could go to sleep just so it can be tomorrow. Because tomorrow is indeed another day. New Year’s Day in our case. Here’s to a year filled with new beginnings.

 

Just One You January 29, 2014

I’m glad I am a boy. And a dog. I’ve got it easy when it comes to so many things. I don’t have to worry about money, or a food source, or whether or not I’m loved. My people take care of all of that. And the whole appearance thing is so easy for me. The inside matches the outside. I’m all heart, and I work with what I’ve got. And I like it. It’s as simple as that.Be You

That couldn’t be farther from the way it works for the two-legged women in my life. The ones I see on the television are always altering the way they look with hair products and makeup and clothes and diet plans. So many diet plans and fitness commercials air this time of year, no doubt targeting those who made New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. The ones I see in real life aren’t all that different from those on the television, who (for some reason I still don’t understand) they seem to try desperately hard to imitate.

But it gets worse. I apologize in advance for the blanket statement, but the way I see it too many women want what they can’t have. Skinny women want to be skinnier. Curly-haired women want straight hair. Small chested women want a bigger chest (and vice versa). It’s madness.

I got to thinking of this today when I noticed a new kind of joy in my life. Just one you (JOY) appears frequently on labels baby Carter’s clothes. At first I thought nothing of it, but today it got me to thinking. Indeed there is only one baby Carter. And I am thankful for that. He is uniquely him and that is just as it should be.

The same can be said for the women in my life. There is just one of you, and instead of changing it with all kinds of hair products and diet plans, you should be embraced. I’m glad I’m a boy. And a dog. Because I can spend all that time I’m not worrying about unnecessary self improvement on reminding the women in my life how special they are. Joy. From the ground up, it is found on the inside not the outside.

 

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.