Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Life in the Driver’s Seat January 22, 2013

Dreaming While DrivingIf you ask me, making the impossible possible seems a lot more attainable than it used to. Entire libraries have taken to tiny personal devices, televisions keep getting bigger, and computers keep getting smaller. Creative innovation never goes out of style, but its darned trendy right now. Heck, I’m starting to think people may find a way to make pigs fly in my lifetime.

So why not dream big? “Like pioneers on the trail, we will learn to live by our own lights and the stars of heaven, for that is all we need,” Breathnach write. My stars point north toward a whole host of possibilities. The world is my dog park, full of fun and opportunity.

That’s why I think I go into opportunity overload when I stop and think about what skill I would choose to master above all others. Sure, there’s obvious things like winning awards for agility or being the best at catch. Then, there is the other side of the possibility spectrum where I wish like no one’s business I could talk. But recently, I discovered it. My own personal pigs fly kind of dream all the way from my ground-level perspective. I want to become a master driver.

I know how it sounds, but a dedicated group of dog trainers in New Zealand have successfully trained some of my (very lucky) canine comrades to captain cars as a means to strum up adoption rates. Street smarts aren’t just about common sense, you know.

In all seriousness, there is a deeper thought behind my slightly zany (yet attainable) mastery mission. Among many variations of the definition of the word, Merriam-Webster defines drive as the operation and control of a mechanism. To drive is “to operate the mechanism and controls and direct the course,” the definition reads. While I am fascinated by the logical implications of the word, the philosophical meaning behind it has me feeling the most inspired. Most people can live life going through the motions behind the wheel, reacting to the world around them as they encounter it. Not me. I want to actively live life in the driver’s seat so I can direct the course to happiness.

 

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.