to be more like my dog

It's nearly the middle of January and I haven't made my resolutions yet. This is not the norm for me. I am often the person that ends the year with goals in mind and a direction set. It was a landmark year last year, I started a new job in January that took me away from all of my prior experience as a teacher and put me into the world of self-employment and facilitation (there is a difference, perhaps I'll explain it in another post) so it was easy to set goals. I had a steep learning curve, and I'm still on it but it's hard to top a year of such dramatic change.

Inspiration and Aha moments often happen when I am outside walking. We were out for our daily walk earlier this week when we met a woman on the path. She looked at my dog and a big smile came across her face. She said "Oh, aren't you ferocious?". My dog is the least ferocious thing on the planet. She is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (long name, little dog) with big brown eyes, and she was wearing a little red vest that had a cute little bow on the back. I had a good chuckle at the woman's quick wit as my dog jumped up at her to say "Hi, hi, hi, hi hi!". And for the rest of the walk, the wheels were turning.

By the time I reached my front door I knew what my resolution would be and what it meant.

--2016 Be a Cavalier--

If you ever want to cry your eyes out, please watch this video. The creator, Ben Moon, opens with the poignancy of a dog's reality: "When someone you love walks through the door, even if it happens five times a day, you should go totally insane with joy." Every. Single. Time. When I take out the trash, my dog makes me feel bad for leaving her inside for 30 seconds, and it is the best thing ever when I come back in the house. I have started doing this with my husband. When he gets home, I run up to him and pretend to wag a tail, give him a kiss and try to outdo my dog - I lose. She's much better at it. #Aspirations.

Upon meeting a stranger, my dog is so overly excited that she brings a smile to the person's face. I don't get as excited (someone needs to keep their wits) but I smile very largely and either say hi or ask how they are doing. In fact, this has permeated all of our walks, I often find myself, even in -30° weather, smiling a big smile. Everyone is a potential friend.

Play is good for everyone, it's a form of physical activity, a source of joy, a stress reliever, it's good for the mind, body, and soul. And if you see that someone is on their phone too much, take a toy over to them and paw at their browsing hand until they almost drop their phone and play with you.

Walks (or any physical activity) make sleeping so much better.

If I'm tired, I'm going to nap. If I'm not tired and I want to, I'm going to have a nap. Dogs know that sleep is awesome - smart creatures. While I'm at it, if I want to sleep on top of a pile of clean laundry, I'm going to. Clean sheets fresh from the laundry are the best. Work hard on making your sleeping space the most comfortable and perfect space you possibly can. If this means struggling for twelve minutes, the ROI is worth it. Cuddle closely with the people you love, but when it is time for sleep, that is a solo experience. (I am already aware of this fact, but it is a good reminder.)

Food is good. All food is good. But use portion control and some routine around it or you'll regret it. And if you want a treat, ask for it. You may not get it but you definitely won't if you don't scratch at the cupboard. This actually applies to all areas of life, if you want something ask for it. It may not be the time, but sometimes it doesn't matter and you'll get it if you ask.

Speak up when someone hurts you. Do so immediately. Forgive very quickly.

If someone is sad, get close, get curious, and then sit on beside them until they feel better. Don't say anything, just listen and be near.

When meeting people that are bigger than you have confidence but be humble. And hang out with people that are bigger than you. They will uplift you and help you to achieve greater things.

If you have a pretty tail, wag it. If you have an underbite, rock it. If you have freckles, get close so people can appreciate them. Be your unique and adorable self. A good personality makes flaws fabulous. A cute dog that is vicious is no one's friend.

For 2016 I resolve to be more like my dog.

That's all.


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