Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

With or Without January 11, 2015

I’m usually pretty good with tension. When there is proverbial ice to be broken, I know just what to do. Any number of my repertoire of doggie antics tends to do the trick. But today my powers were useless in my very own living room. In The Right Direction

Nails were being bitten. Nervous eating had ensued. I could feel the tension rising with each passing minute. And nothing I could do seemed to mitigate the situation in any way. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a Packer backer as those in my forever family. I just prefer to stay calm if at all possible.

It was not possible today. For me, or for anyone in the room. The final minutes of the Packer game against the Cowboys were intense and scary and exciting and devastatingly amazing all at the same time. I know, I know, it sounds impossible and yet it’s true. It all ended well, though I think at several points throughout the game, it didn’t seem it would.

When all was said and done, the stress and worry was for naught. Everything worked out. The Packers won the game. All was well.

It reminded me of why I’m usually pretty good with tension. I have an entire cabinet of tricks I break out to lighten up the emotions in the room, which us canines have a knack for picking up very easily. I jokingly call it our seventh sense. Cats have nine lives. Dogs have an innate understanding for human emotion.

That’s why I can say with some sense of authority that you can’t sweat the small stuff. The outcome of that game would be the same whether or not we worried and stressed like we did or not. I think there’s something to be taken from that.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another,” suggested American thinker William James. Any good journey will be filled with ups and downs and moments when we think it’s not going to work out. Yet sometimes it always does. With or without the stress.

 

Winning Isn’t Everything October 27, 2014

I’ve never had too much of a competitive spirit. Playful? Sure. But not necessarily competitive. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt to lose. Even when I know I had friends and family rooting for me from all over the place, it still stings a little more than I would like it to. A little more than I expected.

It is with a sad heart I share with you I did not win the costume contest I entered a couple of weeks ago. In spite of the support I had from all of you, my beloved WordPress family, the award went to someone else. When I heard the news, I found myself feeling something with which I am not familiar. Loss. From the ground up, it does not become me.

May The Force

Almost simultaneously, I felt the wheels in my mind churning to find my silver lining. Sure enough, it came to me in droves a mere second or two later. You. The person reading this, standing by my side in this moment. You are my silver lining. Because I may not have won the prize, but I didn’t lose it alone. I lost it with the love and support of every single one of you, regardless of whether you’ve been by my side since I started sharing joy from the ground up in 2012 or you just hopped on the joy wagon today. That is my silver lining.

I know not everyone’s mind works like that. It isn’t everyone’s first reaction to something bad to try to find something good. But it wasn’t always the way my mind worked either. It’s taken making happiness a habit for me to realize that there is a silver lining in any situation; it’s just not always that easy to find.

It is a rare instance for me to disagree with a famously brilliant person, but today that is exactly what I’m going to do. “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing,” said legendary Packer coach Vince Lombardi. As it pertains to the Packers, he’s right. But in every other aspect of life, I can’t say it’s true that winning is the only thing. Especially when losing isn’t half bad.

 

It’s A Win-Win January 5, 2014

It’s not about winning. That was mom’s opinion of a failed attempt by the Green Bay Packers to continue their journey to Superbowl 48. Today our beloved Packers fell to the San Francisco 49ers 23-20 in a playoff battle to remember. My Little Team

It was Carter’s first Packer game, and (while he didn’t stay awake for any of it) that brought with it a new kind of excitement. Packer Sundays are filled with traditions in the Schmidt home, and this Sunday was no different. Except it was. My people prepared the usual delicious smelling food, dressed up in their Packer Sunday best, and cheered on the beloved team.

And it was an exciting game, filled ups and downs. Packed with moments of joy and moments of frustration. So when the clock ticked down to nothing and the loss was imminent, mom’s words brought to the situation into perspective for me.

This game, or any game for that matter, is much like life in that way. Filled with ups and downs. Moments of joy and moments of frustration. All of this is experienced as part of a team, which is sometimes greater than the sum of it’s parts. I was reminded in that moment how blessed I am to be part of this particular team. I know we aren’t going to win every battle. But that’s okay, because I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. They are happiness to me.

“Winning isn’t everything,” Packer coaching legend Vince Lombardi suggested, “it’s the only thing.” And in most other ways, I agree with him. But he was wrong about this. It’s not about winning. It’s about enjoying the game.

 

Foutain of Youth October 23, 2013

You’re tired. You’re sick. Or you just plain don’t feel like doing something. It happens all the time. So how do you stay motivated? I know everyone has their own strategy, but they all have the same underlying foundation. Big girl panties.

From what I understand, the people phrase about putting on big girl panties can apply to both men and women. And it used to confuse me. Until today. Today I saw the value in finding that inner source of energy and embracing it in a time when you least feel like doing so.

It's Free!While I am happy to report my aunt Morgan has moved back to the area from the home of my favorite football team (the Green Bay Packers), exhaustion is the first word that comes to mind tonight. I felt it just being around my forever family and I didn’t lift a paw. Moving is a lot of work (at least from what I can tell). And it’s not usually fun. But it can be. And it was for my forever family (and dad’s friend Chris) tonight.

I watched it all unfold from my comfortable perch on the living room couch, all the while observing the most interesting dynamic. Everyone was tired – no one felt like unloading boxes, moving couches, or assembling bed frames – but the group collectively put on their big girl panties got the job done. And the best part? There they were, this group of adults, laughing like children while they worked.

I found this incredibly ironic since most adults I know fondly recall the time when nap time was a real thing, money grew on trees and there wasn’t a care in the world. At the time, they couldn’t grow up fast enough. Now they wish to reverse the clock and get some of these ultimate simplicities back.

Well, I’ve got a secret. They can. And so can you. Because I figured something out about joy today. Sure it’s free, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows where to shop. The fountain of youth is inside you in all things that bring you joy. You just need to know where to find it. And once you do, it will make the whole big girl panty routine a lot easier.

 

‘Tis the season to be a Packer fan December 23, 2012

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 7:16 pm
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I have a confession to make. I am in love with Aaron Rodgers. He is my hero. Shhh, don’t tell my dad.

Not only does Rodgers throw one heck of a ball on that moving picture window in the living room, but more times than not he makes my parents so happy. Sundays are fun days in the Schmidt household…usually involving visitors and yummy smells in the kitchen that result from the ridiculous amount of food mom makes in preparation for game day.

165710_515270537807_4039697_nWe all dress up in our favorite Packer fan garb and cheer on the team as best we know how. For me, this means I get a lot of extra practice giving high fives to whomever requests them, usually after they finish screaming and jumping up and down. That was one of the first tricks I learned when my parents took me in, so I have a lot of happy memories of my mom and dad (and their various pals) teaching me to “shake,” and “give paw.” Its all the same to me (especially when there are treats involved), but high fives on game day are definitely my favorite. Go Pack Go!!!

Now if only I could figure out how to catch those balls Rodgers is throwing…