Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

The Value of Happiness August 16, 2014

It happens all the time. And it has definitely intensified since the arrival of my dear puppy brother otherwise known as Carter. From time to time, I am overcome with the most terrifying reality that I am, by all intent and purpose, completely and utterly broke. I have nothing of value to my name other than my collection of collars, and even that isn’t (technically) mine. And in rare moments it bothers me.

Not at all because I need anything. My needs have nothing to do with it. I have all I really need in the love of my forever people. It’s their needs that get to me every now and then. There has been a general tightening of the proverbial purse strings around here lately, especially since Carter was born and mom scaled back her wages in exchange for being a bit more present in his (and by proxy my) life. Things are not dire by any means, but they are certainly not lush either.Backyard Happiness

And it’s tough from time to time. I might be your resident doggie optimist, but I have a very soft spot for a crying forever mom who says she feels like she can’t catch a break.

But almost as frequently as I long to have money enough to buy whatever my people want (let alone need), something happens to remind me it’s not all about that. I’ve said before that money can’t buy happiness. Well, today those words came to life right before my little doggie eyes.

Sure, money is tight. Grocery shopping has been scaled back from pricey markets to the bargain stores. Money has been borrowed from family members. Carter’s clothes are gently used instead of new. But there are moments every day that remind me it’s all more than okay.

Like today, when my beloved people brought home a swing that I think was borrowed from a friend of the family. This little piece of plastic didn’t cost anything at all, but you won’t believe what happened next. Dad hung it from a branch in one of the trees in my backyard paradise and magic happened. He strapped my dear puppy brother in nice and tight and what happened next was music to everyone’s ears. Laughter. From the ground up, I don’t know if there is anything more contagious than a baby’s laughter. It made mom laugh. It made dad laugh. Heck, if I could laugh I would have been giggling right along with them.

It brought into focus this thing about money I’ve always known but needed a reminder of today. Because it happens all the time. I find myself feeling terribly guilty that I can’t contribute more to the bottom line around here. I am, indeed, as broke as they come. But, like most things in life, it’s not really about that. Money is money. It’s not happiness. I’m broke but I’m happy. And I wouldn’t even call what happened today a silver lining because in reality this happiness in its purest form is more priceless than gold.

Want to see Carter’s first swing experience?