Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Everything and Nothing January 15, 2015

Sometimes it’s hardly recognizable. Other times its clear as day. Ever since life as I knew it changed, a day in the life of me looks different than it used to. The intricacies of the daily routine are altered in most ways.

I’d come to be quite accustomed to spending weekdays alone in my forever home when my people were at that place called work all day. It fit quite well into my rigorous napping schedule, in fact. I would anxiously look forward to my forever mom coming home from work over her lunch hour so we could explore the neighborhood over her lunch hour. I would enjoy my late-afternoon nap in the bay window so I could more aptly hear the gentle hum of the cars coming home, first dad and then mom. The night together would come and go and it would all start over again.

All of that is a thing of the past, and has been since dear baby Carter came home. I see a lot more of mom than I used to, and when she’s not here, someone else I care about is (usually it’s my grandma or Aunt Morgan). My nap schedule hasn’t really changed, but my exercise has taken on a little different approach. It is a lot less frequent than it used to be (such things happen in sub-zero temperatures especially), but now it involves everyone in the family, usually at night, so that’s okay by me. Dont Worry, Be Happy

Tonight, as Carter made an art out of diving in and out of his ball pit and mom and dad and I played pickle in the middle, I was reminded how much has changed. Not just for me, but for all of us. Almost everything I knew is different now. And yet the important stuff is the same. Somehow everything and nothing has changed in the best kind of way.

“Things to not change; we change,” suggested transcendental thinker Henry David Thoreau.

The love around here is stronger than ever, the joy multiplies on a daily basis, and life is full with all things new. No two days are the same anymore, and while I will admit to liking structure, I’m okay with everything about the nothing that’s changed.

 

 

Whatever It Takes February 8, 2014

It only costs a dollar. But it is capable of miracles.

The winter blues have claws deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of many in my neck of the woods these days. If it’s not frigidly cold, it’s snowing. If it’s not snowing, it’s frigidly cold. And I am in good company of many Wisconsinites who still find joy in the snow diamonds falling from the sky. But even I can admit it’s been an especially tough winter. I love my backyard paradise, but it is taking a great deal to get me out there recently.Nap time

So I find my joy in other things. Snuggle time with Carter. Quiet time in another room when Carter is screaming. And (this is new) time alone with dad. Mom has been spending the majority of her time taking care of Carter (as it should be), which has freed dad up for some quality time with me.

Tonight our quality time involved cooking a special dinner for mom. Since I’ve won more of his affection lately he’s been especially generous with treats of all kinds, so I was incredibly attentive as he bustled around the kitchen. (They don’t call me the doggie vacuum for nothing). He was making a comfort food staple – macaroni and cheese. And not the gourmet kind with the roux and six different varieties of cheese (which he does also know how to make). The kind you can get for a dollar. Complete with the orange powder.

Generally I’m not that big a fan of the less is more idea. Us canines tend to indulge in whatever comes our way. But tonight less worked wonders on the winter blues. Joy. From the ground up, it happened in the Schmidt house today in spite of those nasty winter blues. And it didn’t take much.

“Your success and happiness lies in you,” Helen Keller suggested. “Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”

That’s the thing about joy – sometimes it takes a little effort to find it amidst the blues. But once you do it almost always is worth the search. Especially when it only costs a dollar.

 

The Time Wings October 27, 2013

I don’t think I’d call myself a morning doggie. Like many of my canine comrades, I like my sleep. Though I prefer to call my daytime naps daydreams, let’s be honest. I’m sleeping. I sleep a lot.

Not only that, but I have this whole sleepy morning routine. I snuggle my way into what I guess people call a spooning situation with either mom or dad until it’s time for them to wake up. Then I keep them company while they get ready to go to that place called work. I have a special spot in the bathroom (on the rug I’m certain they place on the tile especially for me) where I watch the chaos unfold.

JoyThen I usually sneak back on the bed and snuggle into the pillows until it’s time for them to leave. At that point, I move to my doggie bed in the kitchen where I get a treat. I think the treat is meant to neutralize my disappointment at their leaving, but obviously it’s just a treat. It’s not my people. So I daydream my mornings away where (in my mind at least) I’m running around the dog park or exploring new places with my people.

All of this takes a holiday on weekends. And while I am inexplicably motivated by routine, this is one routine I don’t mind veering away from. Because I wouldn’t say I’m a morning doggie, but there is one kind of morning I can’t get enough of. Weekend mornings are my favorite. Every weekend is different, and not all mornings are the same, but there is something that seems to happen regardless. Time stands still. For just a few moments, the outside world ceases to exist. We three (soon to be four) musketeers embrace the time together.

It doesn’t have to be in the morning. Or on the weekends. But I think it’s so important to take these moments every now and then to pause to embrace those you love. “Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs to slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings,” wrote French romanticist Victor Hugo.

I wouldn’t say I’m a morning doggie. But there is something about mornings I look forward to each day. Those precious moments, no matter how fleeting, are the wings with which we fly.

 

I’m No Fool April 1, 2013

I don’t encounter many people in my average day. Generally, I see my adoptive parents and whoever mom and I run into in the neighborhood on our walks. I realized today one of many reasons that is simply not enough people time for me: I can’t share my joy with the world if I don’t encounter people with whom to share it. What a heartbreaking thought on this April Fool’s Day, a day traditionally reserved for happiness and merriment.

So I began this most recent holiday weekend with a challenge to myself to count every person I encountered. I wanted to bring joy to each of them, and count their smiles and laughs and successes on my mental scorecard. I may have lost the battle, but I most definitely won the war. While I was able to spend time 23 people who are blessings in my life, it was impossible to count their smiles and laughs. But I don’t see this as failure. I’m no fool, after all.

Twenty three was a pretty magical number for me this weekend. I eavesdropped on exciting conversations about career changes and upcoming confirmations, as well as sadder news of the recent funeral of a member of the extended family and word of an uncle being in the hospital. I performed tricks, played games and enjoyed more than my fair share of pets and love from every single person. I am exhausted today and I know exactly why that is the case.

As I half-daydreamed and half-napped my way through today, I realized something. I suppose it takes a certain amount of creativity and imagination for a dog like myself to blog. There’s definitely some who believe it’s silly of me to have Twitter and Facebook pages. And little ole me, publish a book? Forget about it. Here’s what all of those with little faith need to know: your doubt does nothing but fuel my passion to share joy that much more. I celebrate every single new follower on Twitter and Wiley’s Wisdom and do a little dance for joy when I make a new Facebook friend. Better yet, I embrace those who use social media in similar ways and listen with eager ears and a open heart to what they have to say. Hard at Work

The truth be told, I simply don’t see as many people as I wish I did in an average day. Please don’t misunderstand this as a complaint about my life in my forever home. I know it must be that way for other doggies and people alike. My dreams in life pour from the windows and doors of this place into a childlike vision of creativity and imagination into the wonderful world of social media where I too can be the difference I want to see in the world.

All Fool’s Day is a day to engrave the wisdom (of self-discovery) on our hearts, Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests in Simple Abundance. “It’s a perfect day for us to remember the importance of lightening up. A lighthearted sense of spontaneity is aligned with Spirit.” This is something I choose to not only remember today, but every day as I share my gift of light with the world.

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