Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

So Late So Soon December 2, 2014

It’s not always easy. It’s a choice I make when I wake up every morning and a thought I affirm before I fall asleep each night. Yet after a certain amount of time has passed, it has become second nature. A habit of happiness, I call it.

One of the hurdles I find myself frequenting is similar to one my forever family also battles with pretty regularly. Anticipation. It’s a double-edged sword. In some cases, it brings as much (if not more) joy as whatever is being looked forward to. And that’s okay.Happy Post Love Fest

Though sometimes I wonder if we aren’t anticipating our lives away. I, for example, found myself longing for it to be the weekend. Already. It’s only Tuesday, which means there are three full days before the weekend officially arrives. Three full days I’ve just wished away.

It reminds me a bit of something I’ve heard mom say a few times since dear baby Carter was born. “It’s the best of times and the worst of times,” she’ll say, borrowing the words from English author Charles Dickens. Like her, I believe it can indeed be both kinds of time simultaneously. I think it often happens for growing middle class families around here. While I am all for embracing the good with the bad, there is a sense of melancholy about the words I can’t get behind.

It’s the same kind of melancholy I felt today when I realized my longing for the weekend was akin to wishing three days away. Three days to breathe. Three days to be blessed enough to wake up and start the day. Three days to love, live and find joy in the little every day things around me.

“How did it get so late so soon?” asked American writer Dr. Seuss. “Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how time has flew. How did it get so late so soon?”

Just because it is second nature to me doesn’t mean it’s always easy. I too have my struggles on my daily quest to find the good in the people, places and things that make up my life. But there is a constant that has a way of bringing things back into focus.

Time. From the ground up, it has a way of reminding me to press pause sometimes and think. About life and what it means to be alive. About how valuable time really is. About joy and how it lives in us. And today, about how somehow the best and worst of times can exist simultaneously and somehow manage to make us better. Stronger. Happier.

 

 

 

Like A Heartbeat May 17, 2014

I think there is a distinct difference between a habit and repetition. At least from what I observe in human behavior. From what I can tell, a habit occurs mindlessly, like when I scratch that same spot by my collar on my neck seventeen times a day. This is different from when I spin in circles trying to find the absolute perfect spot on the bed or the couch or the floor or my dog bed. It is different from repetition, which (at least in my humble doggie opinion) occurs as the result of a conscious effort of some sort. Writer's Block?

I got to thinking about this today as my people worked in the yard. It’s the same work they always do this time of year, with the flowers and the hanging baskets and the mulch and the bird seed. It’s all too familiar, being the third time I’ve witnessed it all. It seems like a lot of work to me from my given spot of relaxation at the moment. Yet it seems to bring them joy and happiness. So my heart sings, no matter how tired it gets watching them work so tirelessly.

It made me think a little about this struggle I’m having with the blog. I’ve been at a crossroads lately trying to figure out whether my doggie opinion on things is still relevant and interesting. It certainly is in my humble mind. But it’s hard to tell sometimes.

I guess this is true for anyone at some point in life. Anyone can start to question why they are doing something – is it a habit or mindful repetition? And is either one so bad? This is a living part of my struggle as I was starting to worry I was repeating myself. But today, as I watched my beloved forever people plant the same flowers in the same place they have for the last three summers, I realized something.

A little repetition isn’t so bad. It keeps us steady. It reminds us where we came from and where we’re going. It’s like a heartbeat that keeps life’s beat in order. “Every heart that has beat strongly and cheerfully has left a hopeful impulse behind it in the world, and bettered the tradition of mankind,” said Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. That is the least I could possibly hope for on this journey of blogging. So I chose to beat on. Not out of habit, but through embracing the repetition that makes life real.

 

The New Normal January 31, 2014

This I did not expect. Or at least not to the extent to which it’s happened. Change. From the ground up, change has been the name of the game in the Schmidt household for the last month. One month ago today, my little person entered the world. Happy One Month!

This Boppy Thing is for me right?I thought I was ready. From the gadgets scattered all over the house (most of which I didn’t understand) to the stacks of baby books I helped mom page through, we were set. But I was wrong. What I wasn’t expecting was admittedly the most obvious of things. Change. To my days. To my nights. My life as I knew it has not been the same.

We canines are creatures of habit. We love our routines. Prior to baby Carter’s arrival, I had come quite accustomed to the everyday routine around here. That has all been thrown to the wayside for the last four weeks or so, and I can’t say I liked it at first.

But today I occurred to me. Dad asked if I wanted to go on a car ride, my first with my little person and my forever people. It was a short ride involving the thing my people call errands, but it meant the whole wide world to me that I was invited along to enjoy the occasion.

That’s when my heart and mind came together in the realization that it’s going to be okay. This is our new normal. We’ve settled into new habits and new routines. There are remnants of the time before that have melded seamlessly with all that has changed. Sleep is still tough to come by (for all of us), but most other things have hit a stride. And my people are happy (albeit overtired) so that means I am happy.

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change,” American self-help writer suggests.

I’ve never been that big a fan of change. I wasn’t expecting it, wasn’t prepared for it, and now that it is happening, I can’t say I liked it at first. But one month ago today, my life changed forever. We may not be getting much sleep. And literally everything about our routine has been uprooted and updated. But this new normal looks pretty good from where I’m sitting. Change. From the ground up, it’s not so bad after all.