Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Defeat Meets Victory December 9, 2013

I looked into the eyes of evil today. It wasn’t pretty. There I was, face to face, nose to nose, with my arch nemesis otherwise known as Demon Dog. I could feel his breath on my face as his terrifying bark tore through the air. Worst of all, I could see the look in his eyes. It chilled me to my core. (Or maybe that was the frigid -10 degree wind chill).

What do you think?I’m not sure how it happened actually. One minute I was on my lead (which generally separates us by at least 20 feet) and the next I was not. So I seized the opportunity and ran myself right back to that fence. I don’t know what took over me. It’s like I lost all sense of self control. I shamelessly ignored the voices in my heart that cautioned me to stay. Instead I got close. I looked danger in the eye and gave it a good talking to.

It lasted only about as long as it took dad to run barefoot through the snow to grab me and haul me back inside. Boy was I in trouble. Not just because dad and mom were upset with me for putting myself in danger like that, but because I have what I have determined to be a pretty serious problem. And I’m not sure what to do about it.

I realized it tonight as I saw the darkness in those eyes. I got up close and personal with evil and I didn’t like what I saw. Defeat. On both our parts. On his, from whatever made him into such a monster. Everyone has a story and I’ve wanted nothing more than to give him the benefit of the doubt. And on mine, because I realized I don’t think I can save him. Your resident doggie optimist is throwing in the proverbial optimistic towel on this one.

And I don’t like it. Not one bit. I don’t give up – it’s not in my nature. I see the good in all people, places and things. I find the silver lining. But sometimes there is maturity in recognizing there are some things we simply cannot control. Some problems can’t be fixed. I find peace in knowing this itself is the silver lining.

“Defeat is not the worst of failures,” suggested American literary critic and poet George Edward Woodbury. “Not to have tried is the true failure.” I tried. That’s what matters. In this case my defeat can be my victory.

 

Battle Bra Royale November 10, 2013

It started with a bra. Then one became three. Three became six. Soon the carnage was all over the bedroom floor. Bras. All over the place. And mom. In tears. Inconsolable tears.

So I did what any dog would do. I grabbed myself one of the bras and swung it around to entice mom into a game of tug of war. Surely that would cheer her up. I was thrilled when she took the bait and grabbed the other end. But that was where the fun stopped. The game didn’t last long at all, mostly because we ripped the bra straight in half. I was about to grab another one and start again, but that’s when the sobbing started.I like tug of war

I suppose it was only a matter of time until Battle Baby Bump Royale reared its head again. Except this time, it was worse. A lot worse. This time, it was my mom versus her bras. And the bras won. That’s right, folks. Battle Bra Royale has now commenced at the Schmidt household. It all started off innocent enough, with mom making a stop at Soma (which what would become the first of many different bra stores) on her way home from that place called work the other day.

Joy became her when she came home with her purchase. But the next morning that game of emotional tug of war began again. The dream bra was no more. It had become a nightmare, digging and rubbing into her in all the wrong places. That’s when the crying started. She soldiered herself off to the place called work anyway, only to return home briefly before heading back again. This is when I tried to console her with my games…and failed miserably.

I think it happened overnight. The impossible became possible. There’s no politically correct way to say this, so I’ll just come out with it. Mom has big boobs. Larger than average, by far. And that was pre-pregnancy. Now? Well, apparently three different stores couldn’t help her. They are that large. But just as any good game of tug of war too must come to an end, I am relieved to report this story has a happy ending.

Two painfully emotional days – and four different stores – later, she finally returned home last night with success. The battle has ended. Mom has emerged victorious in her battle of the bras. And I think there is something to be learned from the battle scars. Sometimes the silliest things play tug of war with our emotions. In the moment, the culprit can be hard to recognize. But we can rise above. We can persevere.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that?” questioned Nobel-prize winning physicist Marie Curie. “We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe we are gifted for something and this thing must be attained.”

It started with a bra. But it doesn’t end there. Mom has been gifted with something pretty special. She’s gifted with the miracle of life that is pregnancy. And when she meets that little person in a mere matter of weeks, I know that’s when the battles won’t matter any more. Because that’s when the war really will be won.

 

Those Three Words May 11, 2013

I never really know what to expect when I spend time with the little people in my life. One minute I’m the pickle in the middle in a game involving one of my favorite stuffed hedgehogs. The next minute I’m being propped up across from an iPad being faux-interviewed about my life. Everything is an adventure in their minds. Everything seems new and exciting. I find inspiration in the surprises at every corner, and today was no exception.Pickle in the Middle

“I love you Wiley,” Abigail said, as she gave me a random and surprisingly lung-crushing hug amidst our game of pickle in the middle this afternoon. Like many of the best of love’s most precious moments, it caught me off guard. Like the North Face jackets and Coach purses of the world, the “l-word” has lost some of its impact due to overuse. 

But that doesn’t keep my little doggie mind from going crazy when I think about some of the things I love. Peanut butter. My forever people. The driver’s seat in any car. Popsicles. Long walks on sunny afternoons. My friends in the blogosphere. Aaron Rodgers. The little people in my life. My forever home. This is only a mere sample of my laundry list of people, places and things that come to mind when my heart starts to race as a side effects of thinking about the l-word.

While I am sure that no two people share the exact same list, I can also venture to say that diversity is the common thread any two lists would share. So how is it we feel these different kinds of feelings and file them all under the l-word in our personal dictionary of life?

I think it’s to do with some other l-words we all know all too well. Longing. Loss. Lies. These are some of the realities of the world in which we live. These words (and the emotional havoc they bring) are some things everyone has in common. No one’s life is perfect. If it wasn’t this it would be something else.Abby and I

But in love there is victory. Relief. Truth. Life experience brings love full circle by allowing us to appreciate the good things, no matter how silly. Perhaps it is because the loss and lies that made up much of my puppyhood made me long to feel life-changing love. One of my biggest fears was that I would never find it. The l-word. Or worse, I wouldn’t feel it again after the hurt I’d experienced.

But as American industrialist Henry Ford once said, “one of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

I am so blessed, not only to have found so many things to love in life, but to find it coming from so many different people, places, and things. I never really know what to expect when I spend time with the little people in my life. But I find inspiration in their creativity and sense of adventure. And I live for surprises like my moment with Abigail today. They might be said too much, but those three words have yet to lose their meaning to me.

 

Daily Prompt: Apply Yourself Turning Fiasco into Fortune January 19, 2013

“No true fiasco ever began as a quest for mere adequacy. A motto of the British Special Air Force is: ‘Those who risk, win.’ A single green vine shoot is able to grow through cement. The Pacific Northwestern salmon beats itself bloody on it’s quest to travel hundreds of miles upstream against the current, with a single purpose, sex of course, but also… life.” This philosophical (yet comedic) end to the movie “Elizabethtown” is the foundation for my reflection today.

I don’t know if its the gritty storyline following the passing of the lead character’s father, or the fabulous score that weaves the story together, but the offbeat comedy is one of my favorite people movies. The story begins with epic failure, loss and sense of personal defeat, yet somehow (in spite of it all), the emotional journey of Drew Baylor ends in joy. Life, amidst constant challenge. He re-wrote the ending to his life story.

That’s a pretty powerful concept if you ask me. “What if you learn to stop the dramas and started to trust the flow of life and the goodness of Spirit,” Breathnach challenges in Simple Abundance. “Isn’t it possible that you could write new chapters in your life with happy endings?

I wasn’t always a believer in happy endings. The first two years of my life were filled with challenges to my spirit. It would have been easy to give up. It was much harder to try. To believe. To live. So I did as today’s daily prompt suggests: I applied myself.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/daily-prompt-apply-yourself/

Describe your last attempt to learn something that did not come easily to you.

I made one of the toughest decisions that ended up changing my life forever. I decided to see the best in all things. It wasn’t easy at first. It was especially challenging when I was adopted by a family I immediately loved wholeheartedly, just to be ignored amidst the household of three other dogs, and ultimately returned to the humane society. As an instinctive lover of people, I will admit their rejection sent me into some pretty dark days. But I refused to write myself into a tragedy.

I hardly think it is a coincidence that a mere two weeks later I met my mom and dad and a week after that they took me to my forever home.

I’ve lived fiasco, but that was not the end to my story. Joy is my victory and my fortune.