Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Walking On Sunshine October 21, 2014

I didn’t really need another reason to love fall. From homemade apple pies (and the leftover apple pieces I score) and brisk twilight walks around the neighborhood to Packer football (and my dreams of catching a pass from QB Aaron Rodgers), it’s definitely my favorite season. And don’t get me started on the cuddles.

So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that today I lived another reason to embrace all things fall. There has been somewhat of a pattern forming this time around that involves several cold, dreary days in a row followed by relief otherwise known as the sunshine. Today the sun shined on me as I strolled along next to dear baby Carter in the stroller mom pushed through the neighborhood. As we walked, I felt the crisp fall leaves under my feet and soaked up every ounce of sunshine.

That’s when it happened. I discovered another thing I love about fall. From the ground up, there is no other time of year you can walk on sunshine. Our neighborhood has an abundance of mature trees that a few short weeks ago made for a beautiful landscape as you approached my forever home. That is no longer the case, as much of the trees have now shed their (mostly yellowish) leaves, which can be a bit disheartening. Not to me.

I love the idea that today I walked on sunshine in the sunshine. I was warmed with joy to my core as we perused the neighborhood I’ve grown to know and love. I know I didn’t need another reason to love fall, but you can never have enough reasons to feel blessed. And that is how I felt in that hour or so with my beloved forever mom and dear baby Carter. Completely and utterly blessed.

I know not everyone saw the sunshine today. Literally or figuratively. So today I share the words of American baseball executive Frank Lane, who said “if you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”

As certain as I know the sunshine will come again, I believe no one should have to weather the storm alone. For what it’s worth, that is why I choose today to share my sunshine with you in hopes the light of joy is as contagious as I know it can be.

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The Purest Joy May 22, 2014

It’s kind of a fluke when it happens. Yet every now and then again it does. I smile like a human. So I intend to burst no one’s proverbial bubble by sharing what I am about to say. However, I think someone famous once said something about the truth setting you free.

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Therefore, it is with a heavy heart and light spirit that I share with you my version of today’s truth. Dogs don’t smile like people do. There, I said it. I don’t think it is necessarily a secret, as there are a variety of ways us canines choose to show others the joy in our hearts. And (perhaps most infrequently) it is with what most people would equate with a smile.

Usually it’s a passionate wag of the tail. Or a heavy head working its way into someone’s hand. Or, sometimes, it happens and no person can detect it. That’s part of our doggie charm.

So lately I’ve been taken with something I’ve noticed in baby Carter. When he smiles, the world around him literally lights up. I don’t just say this through the eyes of love either. I say it because it is truth. His smiles are more contagious than any joy I could share. Seriously.

It obviously happens with my people all the time. They walk into a room, he smiles. They talk to him, he smiles. They laugh at him, he smiles. He smiles all the time these days.

But then there are other people. Strangers who don’t know him from any other baby. And here’s the thing. He smiles at them, they smile. They talk to him, he smiles. They laugh at him, he smiles.

That’s not even the best part. The best part is (by far) the fact that all of this smiling is happening in the first place. Again, as the resident ambassador of joy in the Schmidt house I at first found myself at a crossroads. I was happy the little tyke was sharing joy with people, yet I felt a teeny tiny bit jealous. That’s my job, after all.

But today, as I listened to mom and dad relive the happiness they encountered when they took dear baby Carter with them running errands, I was reminded. It’s not about me. Sure, I bring joy to the world in my own unique ways – which do not always involve smiling in a traditional sense – but that’s just how I roll.

Until not that long ago, it was kind of a fluke when it happened. As little as a couple of months ago, when baby Carter smiled, it was few and far between. But now when it happens, it’s magic. Not just for him, but for everyone around him. This brings me the purest joy I think I’ve ever known.

 

On Precious Moments April 12, 2014

I often wonder what it would be like if life had a remote control. If we could stop and pause and fast forward and rewind segments like I see my people do when something is particularly funny or if they need to leave the room for a few minutes. What happens when something is particularly funny in life? There’s not really a way to duplicate it again because you can’t rewind. And when times get rough? You can’t fast forward.

But I do think we have within us the capability to pause the present from time to time. To stop and appreciate a precious moment (or moments) in time that brings life into focus. I’ve heard mom say this is what the better part of the first three months of Carter’s life were like for her. In a way, she says she felt like she was in a time warp. Like somehow the world outside didn’t exist and it was only our little family enjoying each other in those (albeit) trying times. Rolling Over

I think you emerge from something like that – from a time warp, or pause in the rat race of life – a completely different person. Whether you pause for a second or for three months doesn’t matter. You see things differently. Feel things differently. Live differently.

Something I’ve found observing my little family since my beloved little person came home is that no one wants to miss anything. And (while at times) this is not always the best attribute, I do feel that it has within it a level of context that should not be misunderstood. Every moment is precious.

Baby Carter rolled over a bunch today. It didn’t seem like that big a deal to me, as I roll over all the time. But my people stopped cold – paused – and relished in what is apparently some sort of developmental milestone in a little person’s life. It was such a little thing that meant so much.

It made me think about the little moments that happen in a person’s life that make a difference. Not just for the person who decides to hit the pause button, but for whoever else happens to be around when it happens. It took me back to that fateful day when the snow fell from heaven and mom and I went outside and I didn’t know what came first – her laughter or my wagging tail.

That’s when I realized we actually have the only remote control button we really need. We have within ourselves the ability to pause to be thankful for the present that is the present. Who needs rewind and fast forward when you have the present?

 

Hello World March 11, 2014

Today I thought I’d let baby Carter do the talking. He’s getting pretty good at it.

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Thoughts on Happiness

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

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.” Omar Khayyam

“There is only one happiness in this life; to love and be loved.” George Sand

“Love is trembling happiness.” Khalil Gibran

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness you are able to give.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Please consider sharing joy with someone today.