We brought Duder home as a puppy. We went through all the normal puppy training and pains. Then we brought Daisy home and we started the puppy pain all over again. However, with Daisy it seemed to be worse. I was watching Daisy today doing her normal puppy obnoxious behavior, I looked over at Duder and thought about how mature he was compared to Daisy. Made me proud. Then he jumped on the counter, grabbed a stack of napkins and ran downstairs. I was no longer proud.
Got me thinking…
What does it mean to be mature? We use the term immature to describe someone acting childish. So, as we grow, we are supposed to become more mature. What does that mean though? Do we all mature at the same rate? Are we all supposed to be at certain maturity levels by a particular age?
I think we can use one word to define the state our lives, “response”. Who we are and how mature we are is shaped by our response to life. Everything in our lives requires a response from us, a physical or an emotional response. Let’s take an example. You are walking through a parking lot at a store. Someone almost runs you over then calls you an idiot. How do you respond? How do you want to respond? How do you think you should respond? Anger? Anger that last for days? Do you tell Duder to go pee on them?
Or, do you smile and tell them to have a nice day. Duder would run over and lick their face and make them feel good. We should all respond to life like Duder. Everything in our lives requires a response from us, make it a good response and one that will bring you happiness.
Duder is getting obsessed. At night, he will stand on the couch and watch the shadows on the wall. Occasionally, he will attack them and leave slobber all over the place and yes, there are some scratches on the wall (which makes the Blonde a little unhappy). Most of the time it is his own shadow, and he will sit there and stare for long periods of time.
Got me thinking…
Do we chase shadows? Stay with me here… There are events and people in my seemingly long life that sometimes haunt me. I will see something or hear something and one of those events that I do not like will climb into my mind. I think about it. It affects my mood. I get obsessed thinking about it to the point of complete frustration. If someone was watching this happen to me, they would not have a clue why, but they would see that something was bothering me. This is true of people who have been on my bad side in the past. They can still climb into my mind and cause me distress.
Why is this? Why do we let these things control us? But that is exactly what they are doing, they are controlling us.
So, how do we stop this? I do not think there is a simple answer. I do believe that the first step it to at least recognize and acknowledge that this might be happening. When we feel it come on, that is when we try to stop it from the start. Deep breaths and simple meditation techniques can calm you. Then tell yourself that “this is my mind, and I will not let this control me”.
Simple enough right? I tried to teach this to Duder, but alas, he is still chasing those shadows. So, in this case, let’s learn from Duder by not acting like him. Stop chasing the shadows and the things we cannot control or change.
Below is a pile of dirt that Duder found and he had some fun playing. He left many footprints all over the hill. (could not capture a pic of him on the hill as he was running around like a maniac)
Got me thinking….
What are the footprints we leave? Everyday we go to work, engage with our families, interact with people on many different occasions. What kind of impression do we leave? Every interaction we have some other people will have an impact on them. Likewise, every interaction they have with us will leave an impact on us. Many times this impact is minimal or nothing. But, many times we can have a big impact.
I believe that we should always be aware of how our footprints might impact people. We should always strive to have positive impact on everyone. Be upbeat and caring about them and their situations. Simply smiling is a good footprint to leave. Show people that you are happy to see them. Don’t let your bad mood transfer to them.
Duder’s footprints are happy footprints. Let’s follow his example and leave nothing but positive footprints everywhere we go.
There are times when Duder has to spend time in the backyard. He is by himself, which he does not like. The other day, I looked outside and saw him sleeping under the smoker. It was hot and he needed shade. He also likes to stay close to the door and monitor the house, looking for signs that someone will open the door.
He made the best of the situation.
Do we always make the best of the situations we are in? I have always found it to be an interesting topic. There seems to be a couple of lines of discussion; The first is to always make do with what you have, find peace with where you are in life, be happy, no matter what.
The second is the opposite, where you should always strive for something better, never be happy with where you are and go get something more, never be satisfied, always be better.
I like to operate somewhere in the middle. I am firm believer is setting goals for yourself, wanting things in your life, better job and so forth… At the same time, you can never find peace in your life if you do not appreciate the things that you do have in your life. We can always find something to be grateful for. We should never take those things for granted.
So, follow the example of Duder. Make the best of what you have. Take the time to look around and appreciate life. Remember, Life is what you make it.
Duder and I were walking the other day. We came to a spot where he could go left, right or straight. He appeared to stop and ponder which we to go. He even looked back at me for guidance. He eventually took off down the straight path.
Got me thinking about all the paths we can take throughout our lives. Is the easiest path the straight one? Do we always take it because it is the easiest? Maybe the straight path does not lead anywhere good, but our natural tendencies are to find the easy path.
So, maybe we all need to take a hard look at turning left, or right instead of always going straight. Might feel riskier, and even scary, but those paths might lead to better places. As Duder did, look for guidance and advice along the way.
Life is one choice after the other, that is all we do, all day long. Choose wisely.