Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

I Made My Bed September 15, 2013

I dont have many regrets in life. I generally make an effort not to regret even the most regrettable of things by finding a silver lining in any situation. But (as hard as it may be to admit) nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes.

Feeling ReflectiveI was reminded of one of mine today when my forever parents came home with a gift for me. I’ve come to expect that there is at least something for me in those goody-filled plastic bags they bring home after running errands. From treats to toys, I’m usually right. Today’s present didn’t come in a bag. It was a brand new fluffy blue cloud of a dog bed. This will be my third since being in my forever home, which I frankly find unnecessary.

If it were up to me I would still have my first one. I had just worn it in enough so that it had all the right smells and a nice layer of my fur atop the entirety of the plush surface. Something tells me the same factors that made it feel homey to me made it fall under the category of “nasty” to my people. The second was headed in the same direction as the first and (in mine and mom’s opinion) it could have been saved before it took its trip to the scary green garbage bin. Dad did not agree.

So alas I now have my third dog bed. All to myself. I wish I could have found a way to convince dad to donate those other beds to a local shelter instead of throwing them away. Like in some karmic way that would repay the wrong I did once. Because in reality this is actually my fourth dog bed. The New Digs

Shelter (let alone comfort) was not always so easy to come by while I lived on the streets so you can imagine my overwhelming sense of excitement when I found it. A discarded dog bed on the side of the road. It smelled like spoiled fish, rotten eggs and felines. I didn’t care. It may as well been the doggie Hilton compared to the cardboard box I’d been living in for the last few weeks. So of course I didn’t want to share it with the family of kittens that came my way that night. There were four of them and they were shivering. They were all alone. They kept trying to snuggle and I shooed them away. The bed was mine after all. Not theirs.

They eventually wandered off, but I will never forget the look of desperation in the eyes of the last kitten to leave. I’m reminded of that look today as I snuggle up in my cozy new bed. It’s a crisp one as fall is approaching and I feel so blessed to have such a comfortable place to keep warm. Thinking of those kittens reminds me of how lucky I am. I generally don’t need a reminder to count my blessings, but I got one today.

I don’t have many regrets in life. But nobody’s perfect. I made my bed and now I have to sleep in it. Fortunately for me, I do a lot of good thinking in my sleep. This is why I know for sure we all make mistakes. It’s what we learn from them that matters.

 

Forever Young March 6, 2013

We’ve all heard (and perhaps experienced) the reality of not knowing what we have until it’s gone. Well, that pretty much sums up my first day without my mom and brothers. I thought I was doing pretty well for myself on my own. I had found a cardboard box that seemed cozy outside a restaurant that smelled like the delicious steak my mom and brothers had once shared. Moreover, I was on my own without needing to compete with my brothers for attention, food, or decisions on what to explore that day. Life was good…for about five minutes.

That is about how long it took for me to realize how lonely I was without my family. It was only about another minute that I realized how sparse the garbage at the restaurant was. Then it started raining right through my cardboard box. At least with my family around, I had love and warmth, which fed the soul more than I realized.

And so began the litany of questions that came along with being a premature adult. “Adult life is dealing with an enormous amount of questions that don’t have answers,” American musician Bruce Springsteen once said. He nailed it on the head with that one. Where had my mom and brothers gone and why was I not with them now? Will I ever see them again?

Questions don’t always have answers in adulthood. I didn’t ever see them again, but I’ve resolved to no longer be sad about that. I would have given anything in that moment to be wrestling with my brothers or getting scolded by my mom. Instead, I was on my own. A grown up. What that day taught me was that grown up is better as a state of mind than it is in practicality.Young at Heart

It breaks my heart to see the little people in my life trying to be “grown up” so soon. I wish I could tell them somehow that it’s actually not that great. I find some odd irony in the truth that (in my opinion) the best thing about being an adult is learning to be better with each passing day. I’ve said before that nothing is worthless if a lesson is learned and I truly believe that. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty,” said the founder of Ford Motor Company Henry Ford. “Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep you mind young.”

I feel the most grown up when I realize how much I have yet to learn. If grown up is a state of mind that I’m forever young. At the dog age of four, most dog-to-people age calculations put me at about 30 years old in people years. Regardless of how it’s calculated, my time on this Earth has taught me to seek answers in what we have now. Before it’s gone.