Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

Go With The Flow April 14, 2014

There was a warmth in the air that found its way to my heart the other day. After what has been one of the historically worst winters ever in Wisconsin, it was 70 degrees. The grass was dried out from months of being blanketed with snow. But the air was warm and all was well with the world.

That was three days ago. Today it is 25 degrees and snowing. It was like night and day. In addition to wreaking havoc on the sinuses of my beloved people, the severe change in temperature is playing games with our hearts around here. Cold and wet

As I fought the urge to stay outside a little longer regardless of the cold, it occurred to me. It’s not really a surprise. It’s part of the reality of living where I live. It’s nothing new. Sure, this winter was exceptionally challenging. But we don’t live in a part of the world where there are hurricanes or tornadoes or earthquakes or tsunamis.

We live in a part of the world with four distinct seasons that bring with them their own sources of joy. From the ground up, that is what I forced myself to remember as I made my way back into the warmth of my forever home. If it wasn’t this it would be something else.

And what is the use complaining about it then? Ultimately it is one of those things we can’t control. And that’s okay.

“Complaining is a dangerous business,” suggests theologian Joyce Meyer. “It can damage or even destroy your relationship with God, your relationship with other people, and even with your relationship with yourself.”

I don’t know about you, but I think I would go crazy if I tried to control everything anyway. Instead I go with the flow and find peace in the renewal of spring. It’s coming. Until then I have the warmth of positivity to keep me warm.

 

Whatever It Takes February 8, 2014

It only costs a dollar. But it is capable of miracles.

The winter blues have claws deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of many in my neck of the woods these days. If it’s not frigidly cold, it’s snowing. If it’s not snowing, it’s frigidly cold. And I am in good company of many Wisconsinites who still find joy in the snow diamonds falling from the sky. But even I can admit it’s been an especially tough winter. I love my backyard paradise, but it is taking a great deal to get me out there recently.Nap time

So I find my joy in other things. Snuggle time with Carter. Quiet time in another room when Carter is screaming. And (this is new) time alone with dad. Mom has been spending the majority of her time taking care of Carter (as it should be), which has freed dad up for some quality time with me.

Tonight our quality time involved cooking a special dinner for mom. Since I’ve won more of his affection lately he’s been especially generous with treats of all kinds, so I was incredibly attentive as he bustled around the kitchen. (They don’t call me the doggie vacuum for nothing). He was making a comfort food staple – macaroni and cheese. And not the gourmet kind with the roux and six different varieties of cheese (which he does also know how to make). The kind you can get for a dollar. Complete with the orange powder.

Generally I’m not that big a fan of the less is more idea. Us canines tend to indulge in whatever comes our way. But tonight less worked wonders on the winter blues. Joy. From the ground up, it happened in the Schmidt house today in spite of those nasty winter blues. And it didn’t take much.

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

That’s the thing about joy – sometimes it takes a little effort to find it amidst the blues. But once you do it almost always is worth the search. Especially when it only costs a dollar.