Have you noticed how, every now and then, things that appear to have nothing to do with each other cross paths in your awareness and suddenly many things seem different?
It’s been a day like that in my world.
I started out pretty tired, which had more than a little to do with the early morning sounds of a pacing dog. In all likelihood, the same dog who, shall we delicately say, didn’t quite make it outside in time yesterday.
If you imagine Newfoundlands, you may suspect that this was not an experience I wanted to repeat. Hence, my rather frantic alertness far earlier than I had planned.
Blessedly, everyone got where they needed to be.
I, however, have spent a fair portion of my day contemplating where we are in terms of training and whether a couple of recent challenges might have to do with what I experience as a lack of enthusiasm on the part of the furry kids.
There are many variables in that equation.
It’s hot. Scorched toes on morning walks in the shade hot. Suck air conditioning out of the vent hot. Can’t go lie on the deck when you’re in the mood hot.
Then there are meds. Pain pills for one who still limps. Antihistamines for one who still sneezes and scratches.
And the family systems dynamic of going from one fur kid to three in about five months flat.
And the fact that I’m distracted, re-inventing the universe just now.
It’s a lot to sort out. I am the sorter.
Then, a message via the Facebook wizards. The one on the chalkboard above. Courtesy of my friend, Yasmin.
And a question. Or two.
What if by “person” we perhaps mean sentient beings? What if we mean sensitive, perceptive dogs, as well as partners and grandkids? Or goats?
What if I did less anxious stressing and more appreciating?
What if I went about 87 steps further and tried to appreciate my various sentient beings in ways they understood?
I suspect it will take some figuring. And some trial and error.
And, probably, a nap here and there.
It’s a pretty good bet though, that what Sarah perceives as appreciation is going to be different from what Bill perceives as appreciation. (Though there would probably be some common ground in a nice, medium rare ribeye!)
And what about Phoebe and Luther?
And how do I let my girls know how much I appreciate them even when they’re far away?
And what if, maybe just maybe, this is my job?
That, along with continuing to work on the whole “expecting” thing, which is a topic for another day. (Soon!)
I have a first step in mind.
I need to figure out one thing that each of my nearest and dearest sentient beings would experience as appreciation.
Phoebe’s easy. Belly rubs.
The rest of the gang may take a bit of experimenting.
After that, I need to start consciously, intentionally doing the things on that list.
With enthusiasm. (Read that divine inspiration!)
I suspect more things will appear on the list. That’s ok, too. For today, it feels like quite a start!