Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

We Are Young January 12, 2015

The first time happens at about the same time every day a few seconds after I hear the familiar phrase. “Good morning sunshine,” my dear forever mom says to dear baby Carter before she picks him up out of his crib. And so begins another day.

Today was no different. “Good morning, sunshine,” I heard mom say as she picked a very smiley Carter out of his crib. A few minutes later it happened again as she picked him up after changing his clothes and when she put him in his high chair for breakfast and when breakfast was over and she took him out of his high chair. Thirty-three. That is how many times I counted my dear forever mom pick up a all 25 pounds of Carter today before I lost count.Big as the sky, old sport

She never complains about it, and I would estimate that well over half of the time it was for no other reason than to sneak in a quick kiss on the cheek or to give a hug.

But as the day wore on, I noticed it was getting harder on her to pick him up. So I wasn’t surprised when she told dad tonight that she feels tired. When she used the word “old,” however? My heart skipped a beat. And not in a good way.

She wasn’t connecting the way she is feeling to the amount of unconscious physical activity she engaged in throughout the day. By anyone’s standards, it wouldn’t be easy picking up and putting down and carrying around a one-year-old as much as she does in an average day. I am a very strong believer in the power of the mind over things like age, in that we are as young as we feel.

So when it happened a few minutes later, my heart was overwhelmed with relief. Carter started giggling for no apparent reason other than that maybe he was really (really) enjoying his peas. The giggle was something unlike anything any of us had ever heard from him. And the best part was how contagious it became. Mom and dad were giggling. My tail was wagging. It was a very happy and dare I say child-like moment for my forever family. In moments like these, we are young.

And so ends another day. Sure, it was exhausting in its own way for everyone involved. But it was also invigorating and refreshing and I can’t wait to start it all over again tomorrow.

 

In A Moment January 3, 2015

I woke up smiling today. I didn’t know why at first (as I sometimes don’t), but I encountered the reason as soon as I made my way outside to my backyard paradise for my early morning stroll. Snow. From the ground up, it has always been a favorite source of joy for me. I know some people (especially anyone who plows or shovels it, or tries to drive in it) don’t particularly care for the stuff. But I love it.

It’s so simple and understated as it falls silently from the sky, covering everything in a snow blanket of diamonds. Happy memories abound for me and especially my forever mom, who has on occasion been so excited to get outside and play in the snow with me that she has abandoned all common sense to do so. (Coats and boots? Who needs them?)

Family in the snow

Today was no exception to this, as we got our first significant snow that dear baby Carter could enjoy. It has been an unusually warm and dry winter in Wisconsin thus far, with hardly any snow to date. Though I’m sure the headaches involved with snow were not terribly missed, I could tell my forever mom was waited with baited breath for this day. This day when she could share her child-like appreciation of the simplicity that is snow with her son.

There was no forgetting boots and coats this time around either. Carter was so very bundled by the time we made it outside that I wasn’t sure he’d be able to move. True to form, he figured it out.

Really it’s no surprise I woke up with a smile today. Because in the matter of a few hours, there we were. Mom and dad and Carter and aunt Morgan and I, playing together in the snow like a bunch of ninnies. Dancing like no one was watching. There were snowballs. And giggles. And silliness. We played and they laughed and I couldn’t tell whether my tail wagging or their laughter came first. Joy. In a moment, there it is.

 

No Time Like the Present November 10, 2014

I realized today there are a lot of things I simply don’t believe in. Like counting calories. Or ghosts. Or crabby people. Or fretting over the small stuff.

Today I realized all these things have something pretty important in common. Life. From the ground up, it’s too short to waste time on these things. This is coming from me, a dog who has never had to worry about counting calories, doesn’t believe in ghosts, has openly expressed disdain for people who don’t take the lives of others into consideration, and embraces joy in all its unique forms.

Truth be told, just because I don’t necessarily personally battle with all of these things doesn’t mean I don’t understand and appreciate the impact they can have on the people I love. I know mom and other ladies in my life battle with the calorie counting issue on a daily basis and I hate it. I hate the way mom looks at herself in the mirror. She is beautiful regardless of whatever image she has in her mind of perfection.

Then there’s ghosts, which I think everyone has in some way, shape orStanding Strong form in their emotional closet. But ghosts represent the past, which is a place life is too short in which to dwell. I do believe it helps shape the present and, in turn, the future, but that is the only role it should play in my humble doggie opinion.

I think that extends itself right into the issue I have with crabby people. I do believe in remembering the person behind people, in the same way you would live the golden rule each day. In light of that, I wonder why folks would share their negativity with others. I find it to be unfortunately even more contagious than joy. There is no time like the present to move along with life.

Which is why I don’t believe in sweating the small stuff. There are all kinds of things that can put people into a bad mood if they let them. But I think that’s key. Life is how we proactively react to it as far as I’m concerned. Beyond that, it’s too short to waste time worrying about these things. There is no time like the present to start living.

 

Punch In The Stomach March 23, 2014

At first I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It was a stroke. My feline neighbor friend Penny finally reported the news to me this afternoon. The other day when I saw the flashing lights and heard the sirens, it was for her person Rose. Her person Rose had a stroke.

I don’t know much about these things. Except that when I don’t know much about things I am more likely to fear them. Not this time. I decided this time would be different. Just because I don’t understand what this stroke business is about will not keep me from finding the silver lining. Which, in this case, is pretty obvious.

All SmilesRelief. From the ground up, it swiftly overcame my fear. Rose is sick. She is in the hospital, and will be for some time. But she is there to get better. She is there to recover. And while she does, I find myself contemplating life’s most basic questions.

Because we never know. We never know when our last day might be. It certainly puts things into perspective when you think that way. If you knew it was your last day, what would you do differently? How would you spend the time? Who would you be with? To some it might seem morbid to contemplate these things. To me it seems sensible. Motivational even.

“Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today,” suggested American actor James Dean. I don’t think its a coincidence this insight came from an actor fans agree died too young.

Unlike him, Rose has lived a long and full life. She has children and grandchildren and joy from all kinds of sources. Today she shared her joy with me.

Sure, at first I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. It was devastating news that dear Rose had suffered from something serious enough to keep her away from Penny for so long. But she lived. And she will go on living. Sometimes we need a good punch in the stomach to remember just how precious a gift life really is.