Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Truth About Neediness January 6, 2015

I think it’s supposed to be an insult. Or maybe something akin to a bad thing. But I refuse to see it that way. Not today. Not ever.

To me me there is never a bad time for snuggles, cuddles and pets. All things hug-related are more than welcome in my world any time. But there are certain times when it’s not just welcome. It’s almost like a need. Hence the nickname I (proudly) earned today.

Needy. From the ground up, it’s no insult to me. I heard it a bunch today, because I wouldn’t leave mom alone. I pushed and shoved and strategically placed myself in all kinds of compromising positions to be near her today. I climbed up onto her lap. I snuggled into her legs. I needed her, because I think she needed me. Feeling Blue

Call it doggie instinct, but something is definitely up with her recently. She seems distracted and nervous about something I can’t quite put my paw on. So to me I am simply fulfilling my doggie duty to her by being this so-called “needy.” For me it’s one of the only ways I can show how much I care.

And in truth, I think we all need to be a little needy from time to time. Whatever the reason, life happens and it’s not always pretty. Like yesterday when everyone I know seemed to be having a bad day. Or today, when lives are turned upside down by car accidents and car troubles due to the extremely frigid weather. Bad days happen.

And when they do, it’s okay to be needy. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to find a shoulder to cry on. It’s okay not to be perfect. And if you are blessed enough to have people to rely on, now is the time. Not tomorrow or the next day.

So they call me needy. That’s okay. Because I am a firm believer in the words of Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, who suggested “life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” If my experience is a needy one, so be it. It simply means I’m doing my part in life.

 

 

 

 

Searching for the Light June 12, 2014

It might sound silly. I am obviously happier than I have ever been with my forever family and our new addition otherwise known as dear baby Carter. And it doesn’t happen often. But every now and then from time to time I find myself longing for one special thing from a past life of mine. A lighthouse. Light.

During my time in Port Washington, Wisconsin, I lived with a family who had several other cats and dogs and that just didn’t work for me. I am now (dog) man enough to admit I acted out for attention in a variety of ways, including (but not limited to) running away frequently. It wasn’t unheard of for me to jump the four-foot fence that encompassed the backyard, just to spite my owners at the time for not paying proper attention to me. It would be one thing if I felt loved, however there were days they forgot to fill my food and water bowls. Nonetheless, that past is past now.

But as my friends and family know, it is a personal goal of mine to make my past a vivid part of inspiration for my future. So today I thought about the good things. Today I thought about the memories and experiences I gained while I lived with that family. (That is, before they returned me to the humane society for being a nuisance). Good, bad, and ugly, there was one image that kept repeating in my mind. In Port Washington there is this lighthouse. It’s way out into the lake, but there is a stony path leading to it for people who want to visit. I have never been such a visitor, but I know my people have. And I know many (many) before (and after) them have as well.

It’s one of those landmarks I wish I could have brought with me to my new forever home. Not just because it seems to bring its visitors joy. It’s bigger than that. It brings them light. From the ground up, this is one of the very most important things an object can do for a person if you ask me. Because as one of my favorite transcendentalist thinkers Ralph Waldo Emerson but it, “what lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

So it might sound silly. But from now on when I find myself longing for the lighthouse I know what I need to do. I need to dig deep and remember both what is behind and in front of me. Light. From the ground up, I know one thing for sure. This is what is within me.

 

Faith In the Future July 14, 2013

“Make the most of your regrets,” Henry David Thoreau once said. “Never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”

Yesterday, I wrote about five things I would attempt to save if my house was burning down. Reflecting on the contradictory definitions a “spark,” I focused more on the fire than its aftermath. Its so easy to do in the heat of the moment. Why is it that in so many cases we don’t appreciate what we have until its gone?

Today, I realized all of the precious things I left behind. Practical things came to mind like my warm doggie bed and my Packer jersey. But I know those are replaceable. They’re just things.

Far more devastating are the memories lost in the ashes. I’ll never forget the first day my parents brought me home and let me explore my new house. All those hours spent playing fetch with Mrs. Prickles in the hallway. The first day mom let me come up on the bed. Money can’t buy back these memories.

I take a two-fold lesson from this experiment in thought. (See, there is always a silver lining).

1) Savor the small things. There are so many ways to lose sight of the importance of special moments in our lives. But there is a reason money can’t buy memories. Moments are priceless. There are groundbreaking days when major milestones make things easy to remember, but as Sarah Ban Breathnach points out in Simple Abundance “there is a lot of drudgery in most days.” These are the days we need to seek out joy in the small things.

2) Respect the past as preparation for the future. It’s all too easy to take things for granted. If we surrender to life’s simplicities and appreciate what we have on a daily basis, the future will be that much brighter. “I never regret anything,” says actress Drew Barrymore, “because every little detail of your life is what made you into who you are in the end.”

It is with my past in a special place in my heart that I find faith in the future. With faith as my fuel, I know my dreams will always be more exciting than my memories.

Today’s post is dedicated to Mandy Atkielski.

Eighteen-year-old Mandy entered doggie heaven yesterday. She will be missed.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Mandy

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