Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Truth About Happiness May 14, 2014

There’s this problem I have with loneliness. It’s one thing when its you feel lonely. It’s something very different when it’s someone you love. I am struggling with something I didn’t know whether I should share. But she said I could, so I’m just going to say it.

Love.My mom’s dear friend Dorian has a problem. She loves. A lot. And that is not a problem as far as I’m concerned – far from it, in fact. But currently she is wrapping her heart around my dear little person Carter, and his new little buddy Noah. She loves them so much she could bite their little baby cheeks off. (Apparently this is a sign of love I don’t understand. I don’t ask questions.)

But it also makes her sad sometimes. Like tonight, when she came over to help mom make a lasagna for baby Noah’s mom. It was a happy time with a happy mission. But she was a little sad. I could see it. Mom could see it. And it bothered us both. Because if I’m being honest we don’t even have to ask what’s wrong. We just know because we love her so. (And maybe a little bit because she’s told us.)

She’s lonely. She wants what her two dear friends have. She wants a husband. And a baby (or three). And it makes her sad sometimes that she is single. She doesn’t have a boyfriend (at least at the moment), let alone a husband. This is not for lack of searching, believe you me. She is always on that thing called a (not-so) Smartphone talking with potential boyfriends on the Internet while she’s here. I can’t say I blame her. There are a lot of potential good things out there on this thing called the Internet.

But I have a theory about loneliness. And happiness. And most things emotional. Sometimes the harder you work at something natural, the harder it becomes to figure out. From the ground up, I am a believer in the power of not searching for these things. Because I think sometimes the harder we search, the harder things get to find. People call it trying too hard. I’m not sure you can ever really “try too hard,” but I do think there are adverse consequences when you do. Sometimes it’s a better strategy to stop looking. To stop trying. Because sometimes, I think that is when all things good make their way to you.

 

If You Believe May 1, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:57 pm
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I saw something today I can’t back. It’s one of those things in life you can’t un-see. Or un-hear. Or, in my dear forever mom’s case, she can’t take back. She peed herself a little today. I watched it happen. And apparently it was something that just happens. Or so the infamous “they” say.

It started out innocent enough. It was bath time. Carter was happy. Mom was happy. Her friend Dorian was happy. And so it was bath time and we were all happy and then it happened. Dorian said something funny and I don’t even remember what it was. Neither does mom. Certainly Carter doesn’t remember such things. But he kicked (happily) and mom and Dorian laughed and the next thing you know…well…Happy Blogging!

I don’t know how to describe it other than to say it was funny. For me, maybe more than mom. But I realized shortly thereafter that might be the point of such things. Sometimes there are things in life that don’t make sense. These things frequently take us by surprise – good or bad, these are the moments that stick with us. That make us remember things. Silly as they may be, it doesn’t matter.

Because in that moment I was reminded of the importance of believing in people. Sure, they will let you down from time to time. They may even pee themselves. But they care. Ultimately that is what really matters anyway, right? At least that was the case according to American anthropologist Margaret Mead.

“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world,” she said. “For indeed that’s all who ever have.”

I saw something today. It was silly and embarrassing and my mom would probably kill me if she knew I was telling you. But alas, I am sharing the story because I feel the lesson is worthwhile. Sometimes you need to believe there is humor in this world. Sometimes you need to believe. It’s as simple as that.

 

 

 

 

Snuggles To The Rescue March 15, 2014

It’s not the first time and it won’t be the last. Joy. From the ground up, I’ve found it in one of its most simplest forms. And I feel a little bit guilty since I was a kind of resentful of it at first. Because I hated that it wasn’t me anymore. I was no longer the primary source of joy in my forever home. In a way, I have been replaced.

But today I realized that I’m okay with that. I still get plenty of cuddles. I still bring plenty of joy. But now it’s Carter’s turn to be the master of joy in our home. Over the last 10 weeks since he’s been around, I have taken the secondary role in the house. When people come to visit, it’s not me they are coming to see. It’s Carter. When people come to snuggle, it’s not me they are coming to cuddle. It’s Carter.

Tonight I heard the words spoken that I already knew to be true. “Carter is like an anti-depressant,” my mom’s friend Dorian said. “Who needs Xanax when you can hold a baby?” I’ve known the power of touch to be pretty special since I was a young pup. I love the power of a good cuddle, not just for me but for whoever I am cuddling. But to hear it spoken aloud that honestly, that openly, was truly refreshing.

I think that can be hard for people to do sometimes. To say what they are really feeling. Sometimes its hard enough to feel what they are really feeling, especially when it’s not something positive. Like when you’re lonely. Or sad. Or (gasp, I know it happens to everyone sometimes) depressed. But it takes a level of honesty to admit these things, and that is the same sort of openness that lets the good in. As tough as it can be to be emotionally vulnerable, being just that allows the good in with the bad.

I would know. It would be very easy to let all of this bother me. As if baby Carter is somehow stealing my joy mojo. Instead, I was reminded today that it brings me the sincerest form of joy. Because it’s that special kind of joy that warms an entire room. I’ve always believed joy is best when it is shared, and this is no exception to that rule. In a way I have been replaced. But I’m okay with that.

I think Elizabeth Green said it best. “Sometimes the most ordinary things could be made extraordinary, simply by doing them with the right people.”

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If At First You Don’t Succeed February 1, 2014

The way I see it, they don’t exist. And yet, every now and then, mom says something that seems so strange. It’s such a foreign idea to me, and yet it must be true. Not everyone is a dog person Wiley, she says, usually in response to me doing something she deems intrusive to one of our visitors. (Jumping into their arms the second they sit on the couch, for example).

How can that be? We are so great. We protect. We love unconditionally with all of our being. We never judge. We listen better than most people I know. There is a reason we are called man’s best friend. And yet, if mom says it, I suppose there might be some truth to this idea that perhaps not everyone who comes to my forever home is a dog person.

Most recently, it happened when mom’s friend was over for dinner. I have this habit of scavenging for any bits of crumbs that may have made their way onto the clothes of people when they are done eating. This, of course, follows another habit I’ve been trying to kick (and failing miserably) known as begging throughout the people eating process. I blame my starved puppyhood for my instinct to sniff out any lost bits of delicious smelling food I can. But I digress as apparently these are not behaviors of a “well-mannered” canine.Selfie with the non-dog lover

Regardless of my reasons, I’m definitely a cuddle bug. (At least that is what mom calls me). I snuggle and burrow into places I barely fit all the time just to be close to people. To show them my love. So when mom says this about not everyone being a dog person (therein apologizing for my bad manners) I can’t help but take offense. I do not apologize for the way I chose to share joy with people.

This may sound forward, but I would much rather be the dog who tries to convert even the non-dog-lovers than one who doesn’t bother trying. And it would seem I have my first convert. Her name is Dorian and she was pretty tense around me when I first met her. She and mom have been friends for 14 years so this was something mom knew about her friend – she was not a dog person. She would pet me hello but that’s about it. Well I have managed to change that. Now the two of us snuggle like the best of them. And I know it to be true because the last time she was here, she told me so.

She was in the process of cooing over Carter (something I’ve come quite accustomed to) when she said it. I love you too Wiles, she said, and I think you’ve changed my mind about four-legged friends. Well that was just about one of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten. It just goes to show you, you will never know if you don’t try.

“Try and fail, but don’t fail to try,” American author Stephen King suggested. I guess it’s possible that there are non-dog lovers out there. And they are definitely missing out. But if all of this has taught me something its that you can’t take these things at face value. Because it’s always worth it to try.

 

So It Begins January 3, 2014

Dorian, Baby Carter and II thought I would be jealous. Once upon a time it was me they were coming to see. They would come and praise me and love me and pet me and bring me treats. That has all changed now.

The familiar faces whom I have come to know and love now come instead to pay attention to little Carter. They praise him and shower him with love and bring presents. I thought it would bother me, but it doesn’t.

Today as one of mom’s oldest friends held him I was overcome with the confirmation that this is my little person. My bundle of joy. And he is busy bringing joy to everyone he meets. Am I jealous? Heavens no. I’m proud to be part of this loving family.