Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Wiley By Any Other Name March 23, 2013

I was called Zorro once. The family that adopted me for a short time tried calling me that and it was honestly the strangest couple weeks of my life. The name simply didn’t fit. It was dark and mysterious whereas I am sunny and somewhat of an open book. Wiley fits my personality perfectly. Spontaneous, outgoing and a little bit crazy? Yep, that’s me.

But now that I am set in my ways as  Wiley, I sometimes wonder what I would look like in someone else’s paws. What if I were more pensive, agile or mysterious? Would life be different? Would life by any other name be as sweet? But my past has taught me I can’t live without embracing my personality. And one of the best ways I’ve found to embrace my personality is to explore my space. Most dogs would agree that defining one’s territory is obviously very important, so I find it necessary to do so today as I explore who I am in this life.

I have always and continue to live near the beauty that is Lake Michigan. While I would prefer not explore too much due to the busy nature of the surrounding downtown area, the area near the lake is beautiful. My mom has taken me there a couple of times over the summer months and we’ve gotten into disagreements about how to spend our time there. While she would prefer to find the perfect spot and stay there with a good book, I would prefer to explore every inch of beach.

I know my mom would occasionally prefer me to be more static. Especially when she’s trying to relax on the beach and she already has the company of the sunshine. She doesn’t need me being me in those moments, regardless of the many perks of my unique personality. It reminds me a bit of a song I heard the other night while mom was cooking dinner. “But I’ll see better when the smoke clears (when the smoke clears) inside my head,” Toby Lightman sings. “And I find myself in need of a pause, I’m not sure why, but I think that it’s because  of this desire to be what others want me to be which is nothing close to me.”

I occasionally wonder what I would look like if I was nothing close to me. Would my life by another name be as sweet? Then I am overtaken by the obvious. I know it would be. “You see, whether we are consciously aware of it or not, we’re constantly programmed by the world to be other (people) not ourselves,” Sarah Ban Breathnach writes in Simple Abundance. “(But) we should only strive to be first-rate versions of ourselves. And our best is always good enough.”

So I argue that a life by any other name would be as sweet because standing still is simply not part of my personality. While I do enjoy routine, I also embrace adventure. I always have and always will. No suburban life will take that away from me. While I wonder about it, I can honestly say that I don’t really care to be anyone else. I like being me. I would make a terrible Toto, but I sure do make a good Wiley Schmidt. A Wiley by any other name would still be Wiley. And my best is always good enough.


Real Simple Awards February 19, 2013

I find joy in odd things. Among the oddities that entice my innermost insights are simple complexities. Contradictions that meet the eye but test the mind.

Less is more, for example. Less can’t literally be more, and yet is in so many cases. Or, as one of my most favorite artists Leonardo Da Vinci said “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

So I shall take a canvas from Da Vinci and keep this short and sweet (like me). Lately, I have found joy in accepting several blogging awards from some of my friends in the blogosphere I have come to respect. This utmost honor might seem small to some, but not to me.

My sincerest of gratitude to:

Leisa at http://tarotalchemist.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/reality-award/

Ms. Seeker at http://theseeker57.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/the-nominees-are-drum-roll-please/

Loneshewolf at http://theloneshewolf.wordpress.com/

Acceptance of each of these awards involves its own set of rules, which I have outlined below.

In response to Leisa for the Reality Award:
Rules: Thank nominator, answer five questions, nominate five blogs and notify them of their nominations

  • If you could change something, what would you change? I would want for us all to live by a simple commitment inspired by Gandhi himself: be the change you want to see in the world.
  • If you could repeat an age, what age would it be? There is value in respecting where one is at in life. I wouldn’t change a thing about my age right now.
  • What one thing really scares you? Leather belts and all the physical, emotional and psychological pain they are capable of inflicting. I’d rather not discuss it.
  • What one dream have you not completed yet which you think you will be able to complete? Publish a book titled 365 Days of Joy: From the Ground Up by Wiley Schmidt.
  • If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be? This is a tough one…I think I’d want to be my adoptive mom so I could get in her head and tell her she’s beautiful.

In response to Ms. Seeker for the Shine On Award:
Rules: Thank nominator, tell us one thing about yourself, nominate 15 blogs and notify them of their nominations

  • My one thing about myself is that I am grateful to Ms. Seeker and all the other bloggers I’ve come to get to know on my quest to spread my perspective on joy with the world. Thanks to you, I have reasons to give thanks daily for the new blessings in my life. Your words are a constant source of inspiration, and for that I am more thankful than for this award. 2013-01-02 11.23.59

In response to theloneshewolf for the Very Inspiring Award:
Rules: Thank nominator, list seven random things about myself, nominate 15 blogs and notify them of their nominations

  • Mrs. Prickles is no longer my favorite toy. I have moved on to Mr. Prickles. He was a Christmas gift from my grandma Schmidt and I love him for the same reasons I loved Mrs. Prickles.
  • I discovered this week that I have an almost paralyzing irrational fear of balloons filled with helium. Even if they say “I love you” on them.
  • I wake up each day with a mindset to see good in all people and things.
  • I am currently reading Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. It inspires me daily.
  • I find myself missing those I have loved and lost a lot lately. What is that about?
  • I occasionally lick my mom’s legs when she gets out of the shower. And she let’s me. (Shh, don’t tell anyone).

I mean no disrespect to my nominators in this, but with each award came the request to nominate a number of other recipients. I’m feeling the joy today, so rather than pick just one, five or fifteen bloggers from whom I draw inspiration, I nominate you. Yes, you. Reader of this blog, please consider yourself nominated for any or all of the awards I have described and paw it forward as you see fit. Without your support, I would just be a little terrier mutt with a big heart and a lot to tell the world.

I find joy in odd things. Thank you for seeing the more that is less in my life.