I love my dogs. It’s not unusual, nor is it something not to be proud of.
I’m unable to have children, but dammit, I’m one hell of a doggie mom. I’m not all weird about it or anything – I don’t have little puppy clothing or diamond collars. I don’t buy my dogs exotic food more expensive than my own.
I do let the little dog, Bettie, sleep on the bed with me, and I totally use a weird voice when talking to her. I even call her “Pretty Girl.”
Ugh. I’m sickening.
I let the big dog, Fritz, sleep on the bed when the husband isn’t in it. He’s too large to sleep on the bed if that pesky man is there, otherwise you bet your sweet ass he’d be cuddled up next to me and Bettie.
I play fetch with Fritz – who also goes by “Mr. Foo” and “Handsome Puppy Face” – with his squeaky hedgehog toy. He’s nine and has arthritis in his hip, but he’ll run around like a puppy when you throw something for him to fetch. I swear he thinks he’s a year-old pup.
He can “sing” on command, and I’ve learned recently that he digs Motown and ’80’s music. He sits, shakes, and stands up either by hand signal or vocal commands. He even smiles! I promise. I have pictures to prove it! He’s the sweetest boy you’ll ever meet.
Bettie isn’t quite as talented in the ol’ trick department, but she makes up for it in cuteness. She’s small and shaggy and sweet. She follows me around the house wherever I go – like we’re on some sort of adventure when I’m walking to the refrigerator to grab a soda. She has some bizarre quirks like growling when a cell phone, soda can, or the like come near her tiny, little face. We’re teaching her to do some of the tricks that her “brother” does, but so far all she’s learned is how to sit and sing… sort of. Nothing cracks me up more than her high pitched squeal that is indescribable and oh-so endearing.
She’s a Mama’s Girl, even if the husband does call her “Daddy’s Little Princess” when no one is around.
For my Dose of Happy, I thought about writing about the husband (I still may), but I decided that people like me, who are/were unable to have any children, would appreciate a little levity about being a pet parent.
I love my dogs, and even though I was not able to conceive, I still have my sense of humor. I also have two furry creatures who need me.
They’ve been there with their unconditional love every time I’ve needed it. They’ve helped me when I was so sad I couldn’t breathe. They’ve listened to me sobbing and screaming. The only thing they have ever needed in return was my love. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Shit. It would take too long to tell you everything that I love.
I could go on and on about my Mr. Sunshine, my puppy, the shoes, the clothes, my smartphone; but I don’t think that’s the point of this “exercise.” Not for me, anyway.
For me, the point of these “exercises” is to look beyond all that. The point is to find the beauty within me. The point is to find the beauty in life. The point is to find the beauty in this moment.
We just came home from the neighbor’s house where we sat around the fire and ate hot dogs and marshmallows. Sunshine is on the phone with one of the men he sponsors. My puppy is asleep in the floor. I am writing my Dose of Happy post for The Band.
This moment is perfect. In spite of the ugly sofa and carpet in the magic bus, in spite of the fact that it is HOT, in spite of the fact that the house needs cleaning.
This moment is perfect because I’ve learned a few things over the last few years.
Thanks to Narcotics Anonymous, I learned that I am worth saving. Thanks to The Band, I have learned that stigmas are bullshit. Through my family, I learned that if I do not want to become discontent with my own life, I need not look at what others have. Thanks to friends from all of these parts of my world, I have learned that life is beautiful, I am beautiful, you are beautiful.
So in the end, for me, the point of this Dose of Happy stuffz is to remember. To remember that I am beautiful, life is beautiful, you are beautiful. Which leads me back to the original question. What do I love?
I love that I don’t look at what others have. I look at what I have. I look at how rich my life is. And it is rich.
I have my recovery. I have my friends. I have The Band. I have my family.
I love my life.
I love myself.
And I love you.
It’s Monday. Instead of reminding ourselves that we still have FIVE WHOLE DAYS until the weekend, let’s focus on ONE GOOD THING that’s helping us make it through the week.
Ready? I’ll go first!
A little bit of background… I teach High School English through an online private school. Students attend all classes as live sessions through video conferencing software, so while I see and hear my students every day, I don’t actually SEE them. Last week was different.
At the end of every year, students can sign up for a one week camp called Elevation, where they come together for fun, leadership instruction, social interaction, and camping. Last week was one of those weeks. I decided to take the opportunity to make the four-hour trek to the canyon where the camp is held to actually lay eyes on some of the amazing kids I teach.
Still with me? Here’s where the really awesome part begins….
One of my students approached me and gave me a huge hug. He was so genuinely excited to meet me and the feeling was completely mutual. We talked for about 10 minutes and during that conversation, he said something that I am trying to carry with me in all future interactions with people. He told me that I “radiate happiness.”
This week has been tough for a number of reasons, but I have reminded myself over and over that, to at least one kid in the world, I radiate happiness. Do I know how? Nope. I try to always bring positivity and encouragement to my classroom and students and now I’m even more determined to do so because I RADIATE HAPPINESS. That thought is making all the difference in the world to me.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your one good thing this week?
I guess my backstory isn’t much different from others’:
Being the nerd outside the group of cool kids in school – but I did have some friends, outsiders like me, and a few regular people.
Married, had children, and divorced (he attacked me once, and I drew the line. I suppose it wasn’t messier than other people’s divorces after all).
Worked too hard at times, and went off sick to recover, came back and at it again.
But lately, it’s mostly good:
I am allowing myself as many naps as I want.
I enjoy my job.
I am involved in a local organization for Jewish culture, etc. (not primarily religious, but it happens).
My son will play his double bass in a concert on Friday, and I’ll go to that.
My daughter will get her bachelor’s in biology, and I will be at the ceremony.
I have a great man in my life, who cooks lovely food, and feeds me and tucks my in when I’m tired.
I have the time and money to travel more than before, and even have a trip lined up.
Sure, there are some clouds now and then, but it really got better.
Life is worth living, and enjoying, and it can get better for everyone I think.
Recently, Sunshine and I went to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex to visit a friend of ours. Normally, when we go visit our friend, we stay at our friend’s house. This time, when we texted our friend that we were getting near, he texted back an address and told us to meet him there. We got there, and it was a hotel. See, our friend’s house was on the market, staged and ready for an open house early the next morning and he didn’t want us to have to feel rushed to leave, so he put us up in a hotel.
Now, our friend is one of those “go big or go home” kind of people. Well, maybe “live life out loud” or “live life at high speed” or something would be more like it, but whatever–the point is, our friend believes in living life to the fullest. And because he knows that we live in a tiny house on wheels, he couldn’t just get us a hotel room. He had to go and get us a suite, with a living room, a bedroom, and a bathroom that on its own was bigger than our whole living room, kitchen and dining area combined. The living room and bedroom each had one entire wall made up of windows overlooking the city to the south, and to a city girl like me, the view was stunning.
Sunshine, our dog Mollie, and our friend took off to do whatever it is they do when they hang out–probably fossil hunting or some other grand adventure. I went shopping, as my ass has grown too big for my pants or my pants have shrunken too small for my backside, and there are just so many good stores in the DFW metroplex.
I got done shopping (in a surprisingly short amount of time) and returned to the hotel. After taking my purchases out of their bags and packing them in my luggage, I surveyed the living room area of our suite. There was this cute little armchair right in front of the window, but it was facing the wrong way, so I turned it around and plopped my ass down facing that wall of windows, and I watched the world go by from my perch on the eighth floor of this hotel.
There has always been something so soothing to me about watching the world from high up in a building in the middle of a large city. Maybe it’s because I can watch the city go by without being affected by the hustle and bustle and mad rush and overwhelming NOISE of it all. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a large city and somehow wound up in a swamp and miss the hell out of city life. Maybe it’s a little of both with some unknown factors thrown in for good measure.
Whatever the reason, I sat there in that room and watched the world go by out that window and listened to the sound of the air whooshing through the vents of the air-conditioning system and the faint sound of the water in the fountain eight stories below me splashing on the concrete.
I sat there in that silence and watched the world go by, and felt such a deep peace.
That may not sound like much out of the ordinary to some of you, but to an addict like me, to sit alone and just watch the world out a window and enjoy the silence–well, that’s a miracle.
There were many years when I couldn’t be alone. There were many years when I couldn’t stand silence. There were many years when I always had somewhere to go and something to do and somebody to be.
I was able to sit there in that chair and watch the world go by and be content with just sitting still. I was happy to know that, unlike all of those people in all of those cars rushing by below me–I had nowhere to be, no pressures, no deadlines, no expectations to meet. I had only to sit and reflect in the silence.
I was able to sit there in the silence, with nothing to distract me from myself, and not want to crawl out of my skin.
After my addiction, failed marriages, prison time, and all of the other horrors that go along with addiction, it’s a miracle it is for me to be able to sit in silence and watch the world go by. It’s a miracle for me to sit high up in a hotel and watch humanity pass by without worrying that life is passing me by.
So my dose of happy this Monday is being able to enjoy the silence, to be comfortable in my own skin. I hope each and every one of you can find a few moments this week to enjoy some silence, and just be.
Good morning! It’s Monday again. Doesn’t it feel like Monday are always here? Seems like every seven days or so we have another one. Jeez…
But today we’re finding something to be happy about!
It’s been a rough week around here. I’m feeling stressed and anxious and downright grumpy.
But this week, the husband and I get to have some time by ourselves.
I’ve been anxious about a very impromptu trip to Memphis, but the closer it gets, the more excited I get.
Thursday we head to the birthplace of Rock & Roll. And even though I hate Elvis and don’t eat meat on bones, I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it there.
We’ll head home late Friday and then on Saturday, one of my best friends gets married in North Georgia. We get to dress up and have fun with old friends!
Now that’s something to be happy about this week, right?
What’s your Happy?
Don’t think you have one? Look harder. Something will make you smile today.
We want to know!