Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

So Late So Soon December 2, 2014

It’s not always easy. It’s a choice I make when I wake up every morning and a thought I affirm before I fall asleep each night. Yet after a certain amount of time has passed, it has become second nature. A habit of happiness, I call it.

One of the hurdles I find myself frequenting is similar to one my forever family also battles with pretty regularly. Anticipation. It’s a double-edged sword. In some cases, it brings as much (if not more) joy as whatever is being looked forward to. And that’s okay.Happy Post Love Fest

Though sometimes I wonder if we aren’t anticipating our lives away. I, for example, found myself longing for it to be the weekend. Already. It’s only Tuesday, which means there are three full days before the weekend officially arrives. Three full days I’ve just wished away.

It reminds me a bit of something I’ve heard mom say a few times since dear baby Carter was born. “It’s the best of times and the worst of times,” she’ll say, borrowing the words from English author Charles Dickens. Like her, I believe it can indeed be both kinds of time simultaneously. I think it often happens for growing middle class families around here. While I am all for embracing the good with the bad, there is a sense of melancholy about the words I can’t get behind.

It’s the same kind of melancholy I felt today when I realized my longing for the weekend was akin to wishing three days away. Three days to breathe. Three days to be blessed enough to wake up and start the day. Three days to love, live and find joy in the little every day things around me.

“How did it get so late so soon?” asked American writer Dr. Seuss. “Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how time has flew. How did it get so late so soon?”

Just because it is second nature to me doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I too have my struggles on my daily quest to find the good in the people, places and things that make up my life. But there is a constant that has a way of bringing things back into focus.

Time. From the ground up, it has a way of reminding me to press pause sometimes and think. About life and what it means to be alive. About how valuable time really is. About joy and how it lives in us. And today, about how somehow the best and worst of times can exist simultaneously and somehow manage to make us better. Stronger. Happier.

 

 

 

A Loving Heart October 17, 2013

I don’t want to know how I’m going to die. Or when. But I hear there is a new invention that offers a countdown to the last moments of life. It’s called a Tikker. And those on either side of the fence that separates the scientific thinkers from the philosophers can find things to legitimize the idea.

Me? I don’t want to know. There is a certain (in my opinion) less morbid mystery in not knowing the details of our eventual demise. It challenges us to live each day like it could be our last. It keeps things in perspective. It teaches us to live better. And I like that.

But I got to thinking about how I would change my life if I bought into this Tikker idea. If I knew when life would end, what would I change? What exactly would I do differently? And (perhaps most importantly) how would I spend my final moments? I surprised myself today with an answer to all of these questions in a single word: love.

I wouldn’t change a thing about my life or how I live it. I make it my life’s work to find sources of joy from the ground up to share with whomever will take it. I would do the same if my Tikker told me I would die tomorrow. But it gets a lot deeper than that. It has roots running through my soul that have sprouted into this thing called love for my world. I love you world

I wrote of this love tree recently, and today it grew a bit larger in my heart as I contemplated the one thing I would want to tell the world if I knew my moments were numbered. I know what I would say. And in the spirit of living each day like it could be our last, I’m going to just come out and say it.

I love you. Yes, you. Each and every one of you who take the time to spend a few precious moments with me each day. My world is comprised of my forever people, my family and my friends. It includes two-legged friends and four-legged friends, who I know either in person or through the blogosphere. You bring me happiness, love, friendship and joy from the ground up.

A certain sustained level of humility keeps me from believing the Charles Dickens’ idea that “a loving heart is the truest wisdom,” but I know my character benefits greatly from all those I love. And I wouldn’t change a thing about that.

So it’s settled. I don’t want to know how I’m going to die. Or when. But I do want all those I love to know it. Because to me love is life. Why then think about death?

 

The Twilight Zone October 12, 2013

If dogs have a Twilight Zone, I visited mine today. My people were still my people. My forever home was still my forever home. All of my toys were put away in their basket in the living room (I checked). Everything looked the same. But the strangest little thing was different.News? What news?

And I didn’t even notice it at first. I just did what I usually do when the television features an animal. Live or animated. From whales to cows. It doesn’t matter. My normally silent self goes a bit berserk when there is an animal on the television. I have even come to recognize certain music that accompanies commercials with animals and react before I even see that group of dogs invading the screen in my living room.

So it was actually true to form for me to react somewhat aggressively to what I saw on the television. That is, until I realized it was me. There I was, wearing a shirt and tie, reporting the latest updates in the tragic story of the death of NFL star Adrian Peterson’s 2-year-old son.

I woke up the very moment I realize what was happening. I looked around to find I was still in my forever home, lounging peacefully in my doggie bed. I instinctively ran to check the television, but it was turned off. Relief washed over me in confirming it had all been a dream. An incredibly unusual dream.

And it got me to thinking. I hate bad news. I despise scandal. I prefer to avoid thinking about death and loss. I would make an awful news reporter. I’m not too proud to admit it. I seemed all right at it in my dream, but that is the Twilight Zone we’re talking about.

Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying being tuned in to what is happening in the world is a bad thing. Quite the opposite. But, like anything else, I need balance. We need balance. My people don’t watch a lot of news, but when they do I hear a lot about death and shootings and sickness and the struggling economy. Stories of personal growth or success are few and far between. If you ask me, these news bytes are just as important for us to hear.

Fortunately we are not living in the Twilight Zone. But I think American novelist Charles Dickens would agree with my opinion on modern society. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” Dickens wrote.

Indeed, there is good and bad in each and every day. I just prefer to focus my emotional energy on the good instead of the bad. “What is a weed?” transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson questioned. “(It is) a plant whose virtues have never been discovered.”