Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

All Over Again December 29, 2014

Everything about it felt a bit like deja vu to me. There was cooking and dancing and silliness and it all reminded me of something I’ve seen dozens of times before. It’s just been a while.

For some time now mom does the cooking. Or dad. But it rarely happens that they cook together like they did tonight. It was nothing fancy either. Just a pretty standard sampling of spaghetti with semi-homemade meat sauce, peas and garlic bread. The music in the background was a throwback to a few years ago too, including some old favorites by “Coldplay.” As they cooked, dear baby Carter happily feasted on a pear. And I watched, as I do, as joy from the ground up came to life in my kitchen.Good Life

This is not to say there is anything wrong with the present. There is a lot to celebrate about even the relatively mundane things about daily life in my forever home. But sometimes there’s nothing like a glimpse of the past to bring the present into focus.

Paying homage to where we came from can have that effect, I’ve found. Though anyone’s past might be marred with negatives, finding the positives to embrace can make all the difference in living joy in your daily life. There’s plenty about my past I could let haunt me, but I choose to celebrate the happy things instead. Family Time Please

Like the feeling of deja vu I had today. It was in moment when mom and dad danced around the kitchen without even meaning to as they teamed up to make the perfectly seasoned pasta sauce. It was in the moment when One Republic’s “Good Life” came on the music player and they reminisced about the time mom caught dad swinging Carter around the living room to the lyrics a few months ago. It was in the kiss they thought no one saw.

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it,” suggested transcendentalist thinker Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The past is not a place I’d like to live, but it certainly serves a purpose as far as I’m concerned. Because really it’s what we do with it that matters.

 

But Do Not Say May 15, 2014

There are things we think. These things are precious and special and private. Then there are things we say, either by word (in the case of my people) or by action (in the case of canines). These are things that cannot be taken back, no matter how badly we sometimes wish they could me.

I find this sometimes happens with my beloved mom and dad. Sometimes, whether in an argument with each other or others they say things they don’t mean in the heat of the moment and there is no turning back once they are said. Words are a powerful thing, a tool to which I frequently wish I had access. Days like today? Not so much.

Because today I finally spent some quality time with my dear new friend Joey. He’s adorable. He makes me feel young again. We play and wrestle and growl and paw at each other just like I’d hoped I would do with my dear aunt’s new dog once she found him. Boys will be boys, so we got a little rough with each other. Such is to be expected of us, after all. Dogs will be dogs.

2014-05-15 17.54.04At one point or another I got hurt in all of it. Again, it was one of those misunderstandings I have with my people sometimes. I was chewing on a rawhide bone for the first time in a while and my gums started bleeding. My dear aunt Morgan assumed it was because of something that happened between Joey and I. I knew better, and wished I could say so. In reality I knew it was because of me and my own silliness I was hurting. Such is life that I was silenced yet again.

Instead my people and Morgan got into a bit of a fit about it and it didn’t seem to end well. Morgan left with Joey and that was that.

But that’s just it. There are things we think. And there are things we say. Frequently I am pretty sure the things I think never make it to the realm of nonverbal communication with my people. Today they would have been in trouble because of the misunderstanding that happened. It was my own fault my teeth were hurting. Not Joey’s or anyone but me.

That didn’t stop them from worrying about it yet I was powerless to say anything to clear up the confusion. Because we never know when we won’t be able to speak. Or (worse) when the words we speak will not be heard. Such is yet another example of the importance of being what we cannot say on a daily basis. So today I re-commit myself to being the words I cannot say. Instead I live by doing.

 

Acres of Diamonds April 28, 2014

I stand for a lot of things. The least of which is a dog’s right to the occasional piece of bacon. But I also make a point to stand for the big things too. Like freedom. Love. Life. The pursuit of happiness. I live these things in my daily life. They are part of who I am.

So you can imagine how it was today to see baby Carter stand for something. He stood for himself today. At the tender age of (almost) four months old, my dear little person actually resembled a little person today. He stood on his own two legs all by himself. Kind of. He had a little support from the ottoman behind him. But it was still such a remarkable developmental milestone to witness.This is what happiness looks like

It reminded me that he is going to stand a lot in his life. It’s easy to forget this since he still spends the majority of his time in someone’s loving arms. He’s not mobile (yet). He still sleeps more than he’s awake. (Not that I can talk in that regard). But soon enough my little person will indeed be standing on his own, both literally and figuratively speaking.

He’s going to have thoughts and opinions about things. He’s going to learn right from wrong. He’s going to learn about powerful emotions. He’s going to live. It’s all so surreal to think about right now, yet I found myself wondering today what he will stand for in his life.

I hope he takes a page from my book about the bacon. If he doesn’t (apparently it’s not the best thing for people’s health), that’s okay as long as he learns to stand for the big things instead. Like freedom. Love. Life. The pursuit of happiness. And Joy. From the ground up, this is my wish today. Because as I watched dear Carter stand up today, the words of American motivational speaker Earl Nightengale came to mind.

“You are, at this moment, standing right in the middle of your own acres of diamonds,” he said. That is all I can hope for today and always.