Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Small Stuff October 24, 2014

Laundry. Cleaning the bathrooms. Doing the dishes. Emptying the Diaper Genie. These are certainly far from exciting ways to spend one’s early Friday evening. Yet that is what I observed today as mom scurried around the house dusting and tidying and picking up. I figured someone special must be coming over for her to randomly be taking such care with the house so suddenly.

As it turns out, I was right. But it wasn’t who you’d think. The small stuff

Apparently, the point of her efforts was simply to have dad come home for the weekend to a clean house. He was working a bit later than usual and she thought it might be nice to have a few less chores to worry about over the weekend.

It’s little things like this my people do for each other that make my heart smile.

But there is another side to the coin, and it is just as important to recognize. Just as the small stuff can be, and often is, something to cherished, it can also become its own kind of roadblock if we let it. In the early days when dear baby Carter first came home, for example, mom and dad set aside most of the same “small” things. Laundry piled up. Bathrooms weren’t the cleanest place in the house. Dishes accumulated in the sink. That was a time not to do it. That was a time to not sweat the small stuff. Because there was something (rather, someone) who was more important in those moments.

It’s a strange dichotomy to be sure, but certainly one the heart can navigate its way around if we let it. The little things that mean so much should own that special place in our heart, while not consuming us when something else takes precedence.

“Life is what’s happening while we’re busy making other plans,” suggested American author Richard Carlson. Don’t get me wrong, I like making plans. I like structure just as much as the next doggie. But sometimes going with the flow means seeing the small stuff in a different light. For better or worse, the small stuff has a life of its own. Don’t let it rule yours.

 

Give Me A Reason October 19, 2014

I’ll admit it. I hate Mondays. I heard today there is a reason no one ever says it’s lazy like Monday morning. I know it was a play on Lionel Richie’s “Lazy Like Sunday Morning,” which I think was clever and incredibly accurate since Monday is (by far) my favorite day of the week. Thank you Artist In the Sky

It’s no secret that I love all things weekend. But I think Mr. Richie was on to something in his mention of lazy Sunday mornings. Need a reason? From the ground up, I’ll give you 3.

1. Sleep. In general, it is not the same as it used to be before dear baby Carter came into the picture. That is why I mention it in reference to the weekends, when it does happen a little more than usual. Every bit of it is precious, made even more valuable to me because it’s always more fun for me to sleep with my people than without them. That, and as Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci suggested “a well-spent day brings happy sleep.” There is nothing like happy sleep.

2. Snuggle time. Related to, yet separate from the sleep referenced above, the majority of Sundays incorporate some amount of snuggle time with my beloved forever people. It’s always hard-earned, since Sunday is also a time to get odds and ends done around the house. I think all that effort makes it even more rewarding for them to sit down and relax, which makes the snuggles all-the-more special to me. It reminds me of American poet Shel Silverstein’s words “I will not play tug o’ war. I’d rather play hug o’ war. Where everyone hugs instead of tugs, Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug, Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins, and everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.” For me, it’s more than snuggles. It’s like a hug for my heart.

3. Family fun. In the fall, it’s Packer football, pie baking, and playing in the leaves. The kind of fun we have together as a family indeed varies by the season, but I’m happily surprised to find the arrival of dear baby Carter has done nothing but add to the fun. Laughter and silliness abound in the most random of situations on a lazy Sunday when all really is well with my world. These are the things that are capable of healing the soul in a way no medicine can.

I know it’s not like your resident doggie optimist to come right out and say I don’t like something. If anything, that should tell you just how much it’s true. Because there is nothing lazy about Monday mornings. There is less sleep, snuggles and fun on Mondays. It’s that simple.

The best thing about Mondays is that Sunday is one day closer than it was the day before.