Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

It’s Just Stuff November 1, 2014

I don’t have much to my name. Well, technically, I don’t have anything to my name since it all really belongs to my people. They purchased all my toys, and my food and my treats. They pay for the water I drink. So I suppose you could say I have no worldly possessions. And you know what? I’m okay with that.

I got to thinking about this today after what I thought was a pretty efficient trip outside. It has gotten rather chilly around here in recent days as winter begins to peak its way into our lives, so my long and luxurious naps in the sunshine of spring, summer and fall have drawn to an end. Dreaming a little dream

When I went outside to take care of business, there was nothing different in the kitchen. When I came back in a few minutes later, that was far from the case. There were 10 bags stuffed to the brim with mom’s clothes. I should probably preface this by saying that clothes are not something lacking for my dear forever mom. She has dressers scattered throughout the house, in addition to the one in the bedroom where her closet is full. And then there’s the spare bedroom closet, which may or may not contain an entire second wardrobe.

The problem is I think she has a hard time letting go. That’s the sweater she wore on her first date with dad. That was the suit she wore when she nailed the big interview. That was the dress she wore to a good friend’s wedding.

All of that ended today, at least for the 15 minutes or so I was outside. That’s all it took for her to put aside most of the memories and fill those bags up to take to donate to a local resale shop. Thanks for supporting our mission, they will say to her as she donates hundreds of dollars of skirts, dresses, dress suits and tops. And, at least for today, I think she will feel good about her decision.

I know I would. I don’t have anything to my name and I’m okay with that. Ultimately, it is all just stuff. And you can’t take it with you. She still has her memories. No one can take that away. Nor can anyone take away my nonexistent worldly possessions. Which is fine by me because I have everything I need. I have a roof over my head, food in my dish and a family who loves me. What more could I ask for?

 

Battle Bra Royale November 10, 2013

It started with a bra. Then one became three. Three became six. Soon the carnage was all over the bedroom floor. Bras. All over the place. And mom. In tears. Inconsolable tears.

So I did what any dog would do. I grabbed myself one of the bras and swung it around to entice mom into a game of tug of war. Surely that would cheer her up. I was thrilled when she took the bait and grabbed the other end. But that was where the fun stopped. The game didn’t last long at all, mostly because we ripped the bra straight in half. I was about to grab another one and start again, but that’s when the sobbing started.I like tug of war

I suppose it was only a matter of time until Battle Baby Bump Royale reared its head again. Except this time, it was worse. A lot worse. This time, it was my mom versus her bras. And the bras won. That’s right, folks. Battle Bra Royale has now commenced at the Schmidt household. It all started off innocent enough, with mom making a stop at Soma (which what would become the first of many different bra stores) on her way home from that place called work the other day.

Joy became her when she came home with her purchase. But the next morning that game of emotional tug of war began again. The dream bra was no more. It had become a nightmare, digging and rubbing into her in all the wrong places. That’s when the crying started. She soldiered herself off to the place called work anyway, only to return home briefly before heading back again. This is when I tried to console her with my games…and failed miserably.

I think it happened overnight. The impossible became possible. There’s no politically correct way to say this, so I’ll just come out with it. Mom has big boobs. Larger than average, by far. And that was pre-pregnancy. Now? Well, apparently three different stores couldn’t help her. They are that large. But just as any good game of tug of war too must come to an end, I am relieved to report this story has a happy ending.

Two painfully emotional days – and four different stores – later, she finally returned home last night with success. The battle has ended. Mom has emerged victorious in her battle of the bras. And I think there is something to be learned from the battle scars. Sometimes the silliest things play tug of war with our emotions. In the moment, the culprit can be hard to recognize. But we can rise above. We can persevere.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?” questioned Nobel-prize winning physicist Marie Curie. “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and this thing must be attained.”

It started with a bra. But it doesn’t end there. Mom has been gifted with something pretty special. She’s gifted with the miracle of life that is pregnancy. And when she meets that little person in a mere matter of weeks, I know that’s when the battles won’t matter any more. Because that’s when the war really will be won.

 

Flying The Freak Flag May 28, 2013

I’ve never understood why women wear high heels. Don’t get me wrong, I would consider myself fairly up-to-date with the fashion world thanks to various television shows and my mom’s slight obsession with a place called TJ Maxx. But (in general) I simply don’t understand why women would want to make the simple task of walking more difficult.

Heck, from what I understand about doggie booties, they do miracles in protecting our sensitive paw pads from the elements, but I’m still not sure that justifies their level of discomfort. Strap four inches of height to that? Forget about it.Fly our Flags

I know (based on the ridiculous amount of shoes of various heights and colors my mom owns) four inches is not the norm. So you can imagine my surprise today when I saw the strangest thing on my walk around my pal Diesel’s neighborhood. We saw her at the same time, Diesel and I, and I could tell he was thinking what I was thinking. The woman was walking a collie and a small terrier of some sort down a major road in our community in four-inch wedge heels. I felt a bit like one of those cartoon characters whose eyes bulge out of their heads looking at this woman.

Why not enjoy your walk with your best four-legged pals from ground level? Why be so uncomfortable?

As these questions swirled around in my doggie mind, it hit me. I sure can talk the talk, but when it comes to walking the walk, I had definitely tripped up. Here I am, always talking about accepting (and even accentuating) the things that make us unique, and I am being judgmental of someone’s fashion choice? Shame on me.

Her reasons for wearing those (albeit incredibly uncomfortable looking) shoes are her reasons, and I have no right to question them. The scenery along the journey to self-understanding looks different for everyone, but the destination is the same. We are all at different points in our quests to get to first get to know who we are and then try not to be afraid of it.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment,” suggested great transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson. To be yourself is to be a leader – in your life and the lives of others. My mental commentary on the woman and her four-inch heels was not reflective of my appreciation for the spices in my melting pot of life. It flew in the face of my positive outlook on all people, places and things. It wasn’t me.

After all, there’s a lot of things I don’t understand about this world I live in, but that doesn’t give me the right to analyze and critique simply because I don’t understand. That stranger woman’s shoe preference doesn’t matter in the overall scheme of life. In fact, good for her for being comfortable enough in her own skin to make a statement like that. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting we all go out and buy a ridiculous pair of shoes to stand out in our various parts of the world. Quite the contrary, in fact. I’m encouraging us all to look deep within, dust off our own personal freak flags, and fly them with pride.