Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

He Looked At Me May 3, 2014

The emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. This is one of four definitions on a sign I noticed in baby Carter’s room tonight. It seems an appropriate set of people words to reference today, after the day our family had. It’s downright silliness really.

The best part was (of course) that I was involved in mostly everything that happened. This is not always the case anymore, since all things Carter took over about four month ago. I don’t complain about such things as I have come to be quite fond of my alone time under the bed of my forever people. Day or night, it has become by safe haven from all things baby. I know it sounds terrible but I don’t care. Sometimes you just need some time away.

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This has certainly not been the case for my dear forever mom, who just can’t seem to get enough of the crying, spitting, pooping thing that is my dear little person. But I digress.

Because today it doesn’t matter. None of it does. None of the crying, spitting, pooping messiness that is babies matters. Because today we had that emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. Today my distaste for “smart” phones went on holiday. For today we had joy. From the ground up, it was everywhere today. It was in this new-fangled hanging jumper thingy for Carter. It was in the car ride we all took to go for a walk. It was in the moment when Carter looked at me.

He really looked at me. And I saw so many things in his big brown eyes. I saw love and joy and hope and a future filled with all of these things. I might be biased, but I happen to think my dearest little person is pretty darn adorable.

Aside from any of the not-so-adorable things he does. And aside from the time I choose to spend away from any of it. He showed me a new side of him today. A side I knew was there, but had yet to see. He is a little person indeed. He may cry, but he also smiles. He may fuss, but he also jumps with glee. He may make stinky things (like spit and poop and burps and foofters), but…well, these things I don’t mind.

Not to mention how happy he makes my beloved forever people. The emotion evoked by well-being, success or good fortune. To be honest, we needed none of this today. Because today we had each other. From the ground up, that is all that mattered in these precious moments.

 

Joy: From the Inside Out December 21, 2013

I don’t even know what to say. That’s right, all. Something has rendered me speechless. It’s shocking, I know. Almost as shocking as thinking about the meaning of today.

On December 21, 2012 I felt inspired. It was snowing, and mom and I were happy together, and I didn’t know which came first, her laughter or my joy. It fell from the sky that day. And I remember the moment like it was yesterday. It was like a light bulb turned on in my heart and I knew what I had to do. I had to share this magic with whomever would take it. Joy. From the ground up, it became my 365-day mission to share it with the world.

Dog Blog with a CauseAnd that’s what I’ve done. Every day for a year, I have written about everything from existential philosophy to canine poop rituals. Because that’s life. It’s random and messy and beautiful and heart wrenching and hard and fabulous all at the same time. And I love every minute of it.

That doesn’t stop just because my one-year commitment has come to pass. Quite the opposite, in fact. I have grown, over the last year, to better understand myself, the world I live in, and how those two things interact and create the blessing that is life.

This knowledge has empowered me to take on a new mission that promises to be challenging in a whole new way. I want to continue sharing my unique perspective on joy. From the inside out, our understanding of joy in the Schmidt house is bound to change in the next year. Any day now, my little person is going to bring his or her joy into our world. If we thought we knew joy before, I think we have a whole other thing coming.

I know there will also be sleepless nights and dirty diapers and (gasp) a little less attention coming my way. And I may not be able to share these happenings quite as regularly as I have for the last year. But that’s life. From the ground up, the biggest lesson I’ve learned over the course of my blogging journey it is that this thing called life is certainly worth living to the fullest.

“Nobody gets to live life backward,” advice columnist Ann Landers suggested. “Look ahead, that is where your future lies.” The past has become my future and my future will soon become my present. From the inside out, joy is most definitely upon us. So today I turn the page. I start a new chapter. And I’m not going to lie – it’s one I can’t wait to read either.

 

My Open Heart October 25, 2013

This just in – I’m being invaded. It started with diapers. Then the strange furniture (including the bed called a crib that I can’t jump into). But that could not have prepared me for this. Mom has entered something called the third trimester. I don’t know what that means exactly, but I do know the volume of baby-related buying seems to have increased exponentially in recent days and weeks.

I’m starting to wonder whether there will be any room for the little person amongst all of this stuff. Blankets and diapers and play gyms and diapers. (Did I mention diapers?) But I have noticed something amongst the village of boxes that have accumulated in what my people are calling the nursery recently I couldn’t help but share.

ContentmentMe. I’m all over the place. Or at least a dog that very closely resembles me is all over the place. On the bedding, on the changing table, on the blankets and sheets. There is a little bit of Wiley love scattered throughout the room. And I’m humbled as well as contented by this keen observation of mine.

Contentment. That is a big word in a society that seeks to consume. It’s different than gratitude and yet I know the two are dependent on each other. Contentment. That’s what I felt as I lounged on my rug in this room called the nursery. I’m drawn to it for some reason (and no, I don’t think it’s because of the dog on the bedding who looks like me). I’m not sure how to explain the special connection I have to this one little room in my forever home other than to say it really doesn’t have anything to do with the village of boxes it encompasses.

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us,” writes Sarah Ban Breathnach in Simple Abundance, “but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”

So I’m being invaded. By diapers and blankets and onesies (whatever those are). But none of it really matters as much as knowing the contentment that accompanies the overwhelming joy that fills our house in this exciting time. And for that my open heart is forever grateful.