Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Defeated Day October 8, 2014

It’s one of those things I sometimes wish didn’t happen. At least to me, or anyone close to me. But alas, life goes on and these things do happen. I’ve said before I do believe momma said there would be days like this. Days when, sometimes for no reason at all, everything goes wrong. The proverbial thunderstorm clouds in and makes its presence known in every facet of one’s daily existence. I’ve also said I believe these days happen for a reason.

Life's Big QuestionsI’m not so sure today was one of those days. I know it might come as a surprise for your resident doggie optimist to admit defeat, but I think today is a day to give in to the negativity. To go to bed because soon it will be tomorrow.

I can’t explain it. The last few days, something has been up with my forever people. Mom hasn’t been feeling well, which makes dad worried and tense. Meanwhile, dear baby Carter is his babbling joyful self, but even his smiles couldn’t break the sense of defeat around here today. I don’t think there is anything in particular going on, but rather the sum of the parts that brought us down.

But is my undying optimism in a way a cloak to hide behind? Is the silver lining really found in any situation? Today made me contemplate these questions, as I pondered my whole philosophy on life.

Because it truly is one of those things I sometimes wish didn’t happen. Certainly not to anyone close to me, if possible. But alas, these days do happen and sometimes I don’t think they can be salvaged. I think I made peace with that today. I think today I confronted the truth that sometimes things really are tough. Situations are challenging. Days are terrible, sometimes for no particular reason at all. And that’s okay.

I think there is strength in admitting that we will not win every battle, nor face every day with a smile on our face. It’s liberating almost. Except that I can’t let it go there. (Don’t you know me at all?) Even though the day itself doesn’t have a happy ending (and that is not the end of the world), tomorrow is a new beginning. A fresh start. A new day. I’m okay with that.

 

Never Give Up March 19, 2014

Filed under: Man's Best Friend — Wiley Schmidt @ 9:35 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s happened pretty frequently throughout the last few months. My people haven’t been sleeping. I haven’t been sleeping. Sometimes my tummy even gets upset. Like today when I threw up on the bed in the guest room and dad was really mad. But he didn’t yell at me.

I knew he was upset, but he didn’t yell at me. It was the opposite of what it was like when I lived with Jo and the man with the leather belt. He always yelled at me (and worse). Even when I did nothing wrong. Obviously my forever home is a much better place to be. But I wouldn’t know the value of the present without respect for the past. Bring Me That Horizon

I realize this as lately it’s been kind of dreary in my neck of the woods as we wait for winter to evolve into the beauty that is spring. Lately it’s been kind of a reminder that we are currently in transition in a variety of ways. And so I found my rainbow.

Because sometimes I’m tired. Sometimes I come close to throwing up my little doggie paws and walking away from the computer. But then I remember you. My people. My cyber family. And I love you. So I thought – if nothing else – it might be fun to relive the last year of blog entries as part of my ongoing journey through life.

I know not everyone hopped on the Wiley train since the beginning. And I also know a lot of what happened in my past influences my future. So why not relive some of that with you, my valuable and priceless reader? Especially at a time when I don’t want to lose contact but also recognize the impact lack of sleep can have on my productivity. Let’s face it (it’s no secret), I was pretty used to all kinds of alone time napping before this whole baby journey started. Now I’m lucky to sneak away at some point or another in the day for my life formerly known as nap time.

So today I begin reliving the past as a way to appreciate the present while looking forward to the future. And let me tell you, it all looks pretty bright right now. Because I’m starting at the beginning. I’m starting where I first knew I had found joy in its purest form. From the ground up, its origin may always be changing. But it’s impact forever remains the same.

Relive Wiley’s Wisdom from the beginning: http://wileyschmidt.com/2012/12/21/joy-from-the-ground-up/

 

Battle Bra Royale November 10, 2013

It started with a bra. Then one became three. Three became six. Soon the carnage was all over the bedroom floor. Bras. All over the place. And mom. In tears. Inconsolable tears.

So I did what any dog would do. I grabbed myself one of the bras and swung it around to entice mom into a game of tug of war. Surely that would cheer her up. I was thrilled when she took the bait and grabbed the other end. But that was where the fun stopped. The game didn’t last long at all, mostly because we ripped the bra straight in half. I was about to grab another one and start again, but that’s when the sobbing started.I like tug of war

I suppose it was only a matter of time until Battle Baby Bump Royale reared its head again. Except this time, it was worse. A lot worse. This time, it was my mom versus her bras. And the bras won. That’s right, folks. Battle Bra Royale has now commenced at the Schmidt household. It all started off innocent enough, with mom making a stop at Soma (which what would become the first of many different bra stores) on her way home from that place called work the other day.

Joy became her when she came home with her purchase. But the next morning that game of emotional tug of war began again. The dream bra was no more. It had become a nightmare, digging and rubbing into her in all the wrong places. That’s when the crying started. She soldiered herself off to the place called work anyway, only to return home briefly before heading back again. This is when I tried to console her with my games…and failed miserably.

I think it happened overnight. The impossible became possible. There’s no politically correct way to say this, so I’ll just come out with it. Mom has big boobs. Larger than average, by far. And that was pre-pregnancy. Now? Well, apparently three different stores couldn’t help her. They are that large. But just as any good game of tug of war too must come to an end, I am relieved to report this story has a happy ending.

Two painfully emotional days – and four different stores – later, she finally returned home last night with success. The battle has ended. Mom has emerged victorious in her battle of the bras. And I think there is something to be learned from the battle scars. Sometimes the silliest things play tug of war with our emotions. In the moment, the culprit can be hard to recognize. But we can rise above. We can persevere.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?” questioned Nobel-prize winning physicist Marie Curie. “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and this thing must be attained.”

It started with a bra. But it doesn’t end there. Mom has been gifted with something pretty special. She’s gifted with the miracle of life that is pregnancy. And when she meets that little person in a mere matter of weeks, I know that’s when the battles won’t matter any more. Because that’s when the war really will be won.

 

Life Worth Living August 3, 2013

I learned some unexpected lessons yesterday. I asked for help, and it wasn’t so bad. But the responses to my request, as well as my reaction to them, brought me to some interesting conclusions.

It wasn’t news to me that I have an incredible support system made up of larger than life hearts and creative minds. I’ve known that for a while. But my defensive emotional response when it was suggested that I take a break? I wasn’t expecting that. Let my mind rest until new stories come to me? Stories happen around me every day – I just need to pay attention. Alone With My Thoughts

Indeed it has crossed my mind to take a day or two off from my 365-day journey, but I realize (or perhaps just reaffirm) now that I am stubborn about finishing what I’ve started. Being stubborn is not a very attractive quality to be sure, but I’ve never been a quitter and I have no intention of becoming one now. How can I be when I have words like commitment, perseverance and passion on my mind?

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor,” suggested American football coaching legend Vince Lombardi. My chosen field of endeavor is bringing joy to the world, and I can’t exactly do that if I don’t challenge that little blinking cursor of doom I know as the occasional case of writer’s block. You will not defeat me writer’s block.

It’s no Armani neck tie. It doesn’t hold a cake to a Gucci handbag. It’s definitely not an Hermes scarf. Stubborn is one of those people accessories that just doesn’t look good on anyone. And yet I can’t give up. Instead I’ve decided to be stubborn about that in spite of how it looks on me.

So when I struggle I shall instead embrace excellence in simplicity by taking a page from American naturalist and essayist John Burroughs. “I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see,” said Burroughs. I know I have a lot more thoughts to think, places to go, things to learn and friends to make in this life. These are the things that make life worth living.

This post is dedicated to my pal Trev, who shared with me the John Burroughs quote in addition to his friendship. Thanks for being you, dear Trev.

 

The Little Engine August 2, 2013

I need your help.

I didn’t realize it until recently when I spent almost three hours staring at a blank screen while the little flashing cursor laughed in my face. Writer’s block happens to dogs too. And (as is usually the case in matters of stubbornness), the answer to my troubles seemed obvious. Yet it also somehow seemed impossible. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I couldn’t bring myself to ask for help.Will You Help Me?

Instead I kept having that same internal conversation – they will think less of me the weak little doggie with writer’s block. They will think I’m giving up. And (worst of all) they will be disappointed in me.

Ironically, I’ve always thought asking for help seemed like such an easy thing to do. It’s always seemed like such an easy thing to do. And (unless you’re Superman or Wonder Woman) it is generally necessary. It’s one thing to be the little engine that could, but even that special little engine needs to stop for gas every now and then. It made perfect sense to me.

Then the last seven months of blogging happened and changed everything. I set out to share my perspective on joy from the ground up. But (as the little flashing cursor mocked me) I realized never did I say the stories I share need only be mine. Like most dogs, I live a simple life in which I enjoy simple pleasures. So do a lot of people. We have this foundation in common, but the design from there differs by life experience.

So today I paws to ask for your help. For your ideas. For your stories. Please, share them with me so I can share my perspective on them with the world.

Because sometimes no matter how hard it tries the little engine that could just can’t. That’s why there are stations along the journey to rest and refuel. In life we all need to stop and refuel every now and then to keep delivering our best to the world. It’s never easy to admit, especially for those who thrive on being miracle workers. But it doesn’t make you weak. It doesn’t make you any less of a person. It doesn’t mean you’re giving up. Quite the opposite in fact. You’re breathing new life into a tried and true perspective. I would argue that makes you stronger than ever.