Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

No More Sick Days March 24, 2015

There’s coughing. And sneezing. And lots (and lots) of tissues. All of these things made for a very tumultuous night of sleep last night at absolutely no fault of dear baby Carter (who ironically slept more soundly than he has in weeks).

My dear forever mom is, as they say, sick as a dog. Though I’ve never fully understood that phrase, this seems an appropriate time to use it. Normally, she would run to the drug store for the usual arsenal of cold-fighting medicines and kick this thing in the butt. But she’s pregnant. So nothing is normal. Love in Truth, Truth in Love

Instead, I watched as she (albeit sluggishly) made it through the day. Though I would say that is exactly what she did (made it, barely), I noticed something throughout the day that made my heart smile. She woke up and got out of bed (very) slowly, rubbed her tired eyes, and slipped on her slippers. What surprised me came next.

“Good morning, sunshine,” she said to Carter, in her cheeriest voice. She smiled at him and he hugged her and (at least in that moment) everything was okay. I saw it in glimpses throughout the day, too. Because she was clearly tired. And that makes working and keeping up with a toddler even more challenging.

I listened as she kept painfully clearing her throat to cheerfully talk him through the day. I watched as he hugged her more than usual, almost like he knew she wasn’t quite herself (in spite of how hard she tried to hide it). And I felt the love in my dear forever home.

 

Today I realized there are indeed no sick days as a parent.

There was coughing and sneezing and so very many tissues. And yes, mom is, as they say, sick as a dog. But today she became living and (albeit barely) breathing proof that whatever this sickness is will not get the best of her. Because she’s a mom. She’s being a mom to the baby in her decision to use only natural means to tend to whatever illness ails her. She’s being a mom to dear Carter by doing her very best to stay cheery for him even though I know she feels anything but that.

She’s a mom. There is power in that. There is strength in that. If that’s not enough to kick this thing, I don’t know what is.

 

 

The Great Greek Yogurt Caper October 14, 2013

I’ve heard this song about how girls just want to have fun? Well let me tell you, I think this is true of dogs regardless of our sex. My tale of fun today began with mom’s container of Blueberry Acai Greek Yogurt.

I was really only after the yogurt. Needless to say, I got a lot more than I bargained for with that one. I did not get any yogurt (apparently it’s not for doggies); instead I got a bout of hysterical laughter right in my face. And I didn’t mind it one little bit.

You see, us canines have a way of getting what we want. I know I have mentioned it before. The look. And today my employment of the look involved the use of unexpected props. I put my adorably cute little face right in the crook of the book mom was reading while she snacked on her yogurt. The Happiness Project I think it’s called. Well I got right up in that happiness and donned my most sincerely loving face. It looked something like this:Please can I have some yogurt?

The laughter that followed (almost) made up for not getting any yogurt. And if that didn’t, what happened next most definitely did. “Do you want to go to the dog park Wiley?” she asked. Silly mom. Of course I do. The answer to that question is always yes.

A few minutes later we were in the car ride and I could barely contain my excitement. We haven’t been to the park in a while, ever since I overheard some of the people telling mom about a three-legged dog starting all kinds of fights there recently. I’d already had my run-in with death at that park (the time the scary dog swung me around by my neck atop a picnic table), and I’m not fixing for a rerun episode of that any time soon.

But after a quick survey of the people and dogs in attendance today, it was deemed safe to enter. In I went and instantly I came across a new friend named Belle. Also a rescue, she is about the same age as myself and we got along immediately. We wagged and wrestled and chased and wagged some more. Simply put, we had fun.

Girls just want to have fun? Certainly this was true of my new friend Belle. But it’s not just a girl thing. I may not have scored any yogurt today, but the look certainly got its money’s worth of fun. And perhaps more importantly, I got a reminder of how important it is to get silly and let loose from time to time.

“We are driven by five genetic needs,” suggested American psychiatrist William Glaser, “survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun.” Sometimes I think it’s too easy for us to get caught up in the more obvious of the needs (like survival) that we forget to have a little fun every now and then. That certainly was not the case today. Fun. From the ground up, it was had today.

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Singing in the Rainbows February 27, 2013

Singing in the RainbowsTwenty. That is the magic number of beliefs Darren Hayes of Savage Garden rattles off in “Affirmation.” I can’t say I agree with all twenty thoughts, but I know what is true to me. “I don’t believe. I know,” as analytical psychologist Carl Jung said.

Why is it then that some days it isn’t easy to know or believe? You know the ones. Those “one of those days” kind of days, when literally everything that can go wrong actually does. I remember one particularly awful day in the house I lived in before my forever family found me. It was spring, and there was a really big storm that clambered on all night. Sharing that home with three other dogs and two cats made me realize how well I do in thunderstorms compared to other dogs. Burt, the seven-year-old black lab mix, howled all night long.

The alarm didn’t go off the next morning because I’m convinced Burt broke the power with all his howling. Barbara and Jim woke up late, irritable and exhausted. Barbara got a run in her nylons, burned her forehead with her curling iron, and spilled coffee on her coat as she ran out the door. James forgot to feed us before he left for work. None of the animals got along that day. That was the day I realized negativity is unfortunately just as contagious as optimism.

But much like the storm that came before it, the day came to a close and we were all reminded that even “those days” will pass. And that’s when rainbows happen.

Regardless of what you choose to believe, I am finding the spiritual awakening in Simple Abundance to be as real as the rainbows that follow storms. “With each day of the journey, you have become more open to the mystery, the magic and the majesty of the Master Plan because you are committed to your spiritual awakening,” Sarah Ban Breathnach suggests. “You don’t have to just believe anymore because you know.”

Sure, it is sometimes easier to throw up my paws and believe the world has turned its back on me. Sometimes it is easier not to believe or know anything for certain. But I’ve never been one to do things the easy way.