Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Mind Over Matter January 14, 2014

We thought we were so smart. Reading all those books, blogs and message boards. Doing all that research. Getting the nursery ready. Well, mom did at least. I knew better. I knew that baby Carter would write his own book. And he has not disappointed.

Me and My BuddyHis nights and days are flip flopped. Sometimes he cries when there is nothing to cry about. And then he smiles in his sleep about who knows what. I’ll be honest. I know nothing about babies. Absolutely nothing, other than what I’ve heard my forever mom and dad discuss between themselves, and the odds and ends advice they’ve gotten from the visitors in the last couple of weeks.

But I do know this. From what I can tell, my dear little person is every bit of the blessing I knew he would be. He is strong. He is healthy. He sleeps enough. Mom and dad love him. He’s pretty darned great. And I’m proud of him. I’m proud to call him my puppy brother.

I was thinking about this today as we had more visitors who had all kinds of advice for mom. I watched as she soaked it in. I saw the determination in her eyes as she even put a couple of the tips into action at bedtime tonight. She wants so badly to do everything right.

And I want so badly to tell her she can’t. She will mess up. I know because she made her fair share of mistakes with me (don’t tell her I told you). But look at me. I turned out all right. And Carter will too.

As British politician Sir Winston Churchill suggested “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” It doesn’t matter what all those books, blogs and message boards say. Mom won’t do everything right. But she has courage. That’s what matters to me.

 

Empires of the Mind April 24, 2013

Mom, dad and I played around in the backyard together today. We all got dirty with mud, but we smiled and we laughed under the springy afternoon sun. It lasted about a half hour, but it was one of those half hours that remind you to be grateful to be alive.

I was grateful for the moments, but the recent loss of Rusty makes me stop and think. What would happen to these moments if I weren’t in them? I’m sure mom and dad would enjoy each other’s company, but I wouldn’t be there to interrupt. I wouldn’t be there to try to intercept the softball they were throwing back and forth. I wouldn’t be there to make them smile.

Don’t be silly, I told myself, they would be smiling without you here. While I know that’s true, I can’t bear the thought. It’s a funny feeling, to be sure. I certainly don’t wish them ill, but today when we were all happy together, I wondered a bit about what would happen when I wasn’t part of the playful picture.Happiness Captured

To especially the non-dog-lover/owner, it might sound silly, but I can tell how attached to me my mom is. She tells me she loves me more than enough to make up for the neglect and abuse of my past and I appreciate every single loving scratch, thoughtful comment, or unexpected (albeit occasionally lung-crushing) hug. Dad is a little more guarded (at least when mom’s around), but as I’ve said before, we have our moments when it’s just the two of us when I am certain his feelings for me are purely loving (whether he admits it aloud or not).

So today, when we were all playing together and they were both laughing like ninnies, it surprised me when I closed my eyes and saw something shocking. I wasn’t in the picture, but a dog that looked just like me was there in my place. Mom and dad were laughing, just like they did today, with this stranger dog. There were strange little people there too. A little boy and his younger sister, I would guess them to be eight- and four-years-old were there, laughing harder than I’d ever seen mom and dad laugh.

They were playing together, as a family, laughing and happy. My gut reaction was to moan and cry because I wasn’t part of this vision of the future. But that’s not true to the unconditional love I feel for my forever family. I do hope I get to meet these little people someday. I hope as well that I get to see them laugh like I did in my thoughts today.

I also know today was not the last time mom, dad and I will play around together in our backyard. I know it’s not the last time we’ll smile and laugh at each other as we get dirty with mud. I know it’s certainly not the last time I will take a moment’s pause to be grateful for moments like this in my life. But today was also a reminder of what it’s like to love unconditionally (as us dogs are so gifted at that).

“The empires of the future are the empires of the mind,” said the great political leader, artist, and writer Winston Churchill. Well, today I realized how much I hope the empire in my mind is reflected in the future whether or not I’m in it.

I realized it’s way too easy for me to feel betrayed, left behind and forgotten by images like what I saw in my head today. Well, I’ve never been one to take the easy road and I certainly don’t intend to start doing so now. Instead I choose to challenge myself to see the silver lining. Instead I see these images as a blessing of what’s to come. Instead I see the empire in my mind and realize how much I hope there is a dog just like me there to show the family I love more than life itself all the love I won’t be able to when I’m gone. Happiness like we had today will not stop when I’m gone if I have anything to say about it.

Related articles:

Dear Future Me – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/03/01/dear-future-me/

Pawprints in the Sand – http://wileyschmidt.com/2013/04/22/pawprints-in-the-sand/

 

30 Seconds to Live April 16, 2013

British politician Sir Winston Churchill knew a thing or two about trying to stay positive in a world at war. Known best for his leadership of the United Kingdom during World War II, Churchill had a lot to say about being a leader in tough times. One of his most powerful quotes came to mind today, as I contemplated how much I sometimes can’t help but hate the messengers who deliver bad news.

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give,” Churchill once said. I know it’s not their fault, but I don’t like what bearers of bad news have been giving us in recent days.

I was devastated to hear the person with my puppy Weimaraner pal share sad news with other people at the dog park today. Eight-month-old Abby has a rare form of cancer that will likely take her life before she grows into her paws.

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard about the lockdown that happened at a college campus in the nearby community of Waukesha this afternoon. Apparently a man was seen walking around campus with a gun, which resulted in the lockdown of the surrounding area.Smile On!

And don’t get me started on the travesty that happened in Boston yesterday. My eyes and heart were glued to the television while one local man shared his perspective on the situation with local newscasters. He crossed the finish line 30 seconds before the blast. He was safe and unharmed, but those 30 seconds might just have saved his life.

On the bright side, Abby has lived and will continue to live even her short life to the fullest. It was discovered that the gun the man was carrying around the campus was actually an airsoft gun and he didn’t intend to harm anyone. I couldn’t find anything positive to think or say about the Boston bombing until I heard that local man share his story. He survived because of 30 seconds. The blink of an eye. What a blessed reminder of how valuable every second of life really is.

Knowing the impact 30 seconds can have inspires me to share the light in my soul with whomever will take it. I love, therefore I blog. With so much bad news out there in the world, I make it a personal goal to bring joy to the lives of others. If someone told me I only had 30 seconds to live, I know exactly what I would do. (We make a life by what we give, after all). I would push aside my general dislike for bearers of bad news and find a way to use that time to make that person smile. That is always time well spent in my book.