The New Year allows people a time to reflect on the events of the past year. Although many may find heartache in a difficult year, or not being where ‘you thought you’d be at this stage in your life’, the secret to living is responding.
Maggie was always alert to her surroundings. I would hear her snoring in her bed, but the UPS truck would arrive, and before the doorbell rang, she would be at the door barking & claiming her territory. Whenever I mowed the lawn, Maggie would bark at me while she was sequestered on the deck. However, after realizing I wasn’t going to stop mowing the lawn, she would go in the house to avoid the noise & heat.
Most people are more than willing to reflect on their actions. The difficulty arises when one is asked to respond to those actions to help improve them self, or help other’s in their life. It is difficult to admit when your actions are not supportive to your mental health. Even more so when loved ones or colleagues are impeding you to reach your fullest potential in life.
Maggie’s reflection on an event always triggered a response. As humans, we need to focus more on the response to our reflections- it is our response that defines our character & the worth others will see in us.
Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration & Reflection
As the world changes and new inventions come along to make our lives easier, one thing will always remain unchanged- the desire for people to say what they do. Honesty…is this too much to ask?
Maggie was a faithful buddy, and obedient most of the time. On occasion, she would get into a little mischief. The temptation to chase the lawn mower, or chew on my sneakers, was hard to resist. However, whenever Maggie was confronted, her head would bow down and she knew she had done something wrong. She didn’t run away, or try to give licks & kisses, she was honest with her actions.
It is human nature to make mistakes. The best way to learn from a mistake is to admit the mistake. This process requires honesty, and honesty seems to be in short supply these days. It appears many people would rather keep spreading lies or denying their actions, instead of just saying what they have done.
The quality most people state they look for in others is honesty. I wonder why it is so difficult for people to say what they do, when it is a quality they desire from others?
There are times in your life when all is well and you feel truly inspired. Other times, life is difficult, and you need to take time to reflect on past events & future choices. Is there ever a time when you can experience both emotions at the same time?
Maggie was a very smart dog. She knew when someone needed her head on their knee to make them smile. Other times, it was a squeaky toy in your ear to convince you to get off the couch and play. Her quickness to learn new things always inspired me to teach her more, and often had me reflect on how she could be so smart without ever saying a word.
Maggie is an author. Her book, ‘Paws & Reflect: A Journal of Inspiration & Reflection’, was released in mid-October. The book contains fifty thoughts from Maggie, with the opposing page offering a space for the reader to write their daily reflections for the week. The book inspired me to continue writing Maggie’s monthly blogs, because every month I receive emails from readers telling me how much they love Maggie. The book also provided me with a time of reflection. The publishing process involved the mixed emotions of feeling elated to see Maggie in print, but also sad because I lost my little buddy when she was only five years old.
Can a person feel inspired & reflective at the same time? I say yes….Maggie’s book will inspire you with her wisdom, and encourage you to reflect on your life choices- past & future.
Barnes & Noble
The month of October has arrived, and in New England that means leaf piles everywhere. If you are a dog owner, this also means extra long stops at those pile of leaves for sniffing & scratching.
Maggie loved the fall. She enjoyed chasing the leaves as they fell from the trees, or having me throw a handful of leaves on top of her. Our morning walks heard the crunch of leaves from her paws and my sneakers. Maggie never walked around the leaf piles, she always walked thru them. She seemed to have a smile on her face while doing it, and a look of satisfaction when making it thru the very tall piles.
As a child, I would jump in leaf piles and lay flat on my back looking at the sky. As an adult, I see leaf piles and think about the task of raking, preparing the yard for winter, and dreading the shorter days of sunshine. However, when I walked with Maggie thru the leaf piles, the walks seemed a bit more fun and had me kicking the leaves along with her. It made me reflect on those childhood memories of the fall season.
Maybe we can experience the same childhood pleasures as an adult, but with a different purpose. As a child, walking thru a pile of leaves is just fun; maybe as an adult, walking thru a pile of leaves reminds us of the importance of acting like a child sometimes.
Often times we can be in the middle of a ‘life storm’, and ask our self if it’s ever going to get better. The saying ‘Life Always Comes Full Circle’ may offer some peace of mind, and strength to keep paddling.
Maggie always liked her naps. She slept a lot as a puppy, before entering a very inquisitive stage- which also led to the terror of every chipmunk & squirrel in our yard. During the middle years of her life, morning walks were never missed no matter the weather or day of the week. I often wondered if there would be a day when I could sleep past five in the morning. As Maggie’s life circle was closing, she slept a lot more, and the morning walks became a little slower & not so long. Her life circle was shorter than others, but her circle was full of life.
I like to live my life on a five year plan. I enjoy setting goals, analyzing the results, and- if they’re not accomplished- setting a new plan for success. I guess one could say my full circle is complete every five years. I watch people dwell on past mistakes or are fearful of life changes. They ask them self when life is going to get better, and then go back to their same circle of life.
I agree that life comes full circle, but there is no rule saying you only get one circle in life.
The spring season brings blooming flowers, plans for summer vacations, and quiet evenings enjoying sunsets & katydids. Maggie has a few things she would like to share with you, too.
Maggie loves sharing her ‘Thought of the Month’ with you. She appreciates your likes and comments on Facebook, Twitter, and her owner’s website. Maggie will be spending some of her summer days writing her ‘Thought of the Month’ and working on the publicity for her book, ‘Paws & Reflect’. The return of her monthly blog will be on September 1st. The release date of ‘Paws & Reflect’ is yet to be determined.
Maggie’s owner will be working on her travel blog, ‘Travels with Sissy’. Although the blog will not return until September, watch for photograph teases on Facebook & Twitter to guess where Sissy is, as she travels across America. A new camera, and some amazing sites for sunrises & sunsets, has her owner very excited. The fall will find Linda Massucci at some arts & crafts fairs to sell her photos & books.
Maggie hopes you make time to read this summer. If you haven’t read ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’ or ‘Mama’s Bookends’, check out the books on Amazon. Don’t forget to leave a review. Although her owner has a few books on her summer reading list, she also loves watching movies too. Maybe someday you will watch the movie ‘Legacy of Grandpa’s Grapevine’. Linda Massucci is working with a screen writer in Colorado to help make this dream a reality.
Maggie wishes everyone a summer filled with inspiring sunrises, sunsets shared with friends & family, and memories that warm your heart & soul.
We like to believe if one works hard and lives an honest life- hardships will be minimal and every problem will have a quick solution. However, when life is like a roller coaster with heart-stopping dives and slow crawling climbs back up, how does one find the strength to keep believing this ride will end?
Maggie enjoyed her daily routine. The occasional hardships included trying to poop during a blizzard, or getting a very large stick into her dog house. At times, she had some dives when visiting veterinarians who gave her shots or forced pills down her throat. Maggie always remained calm during these ‘dips & crawls’ in life. She waited for the uncomfortable situation to end, as if knowing ‘this to shall pass, better days are ahead.’
We all experience highs and lows in our lifetime. Sometimes we have a strong support system, and other times we must overcome struggles on our own. In either situation, it is with determination and grit that we survive life’s hardships. It is our faith that allows us to understand the lesson- even when that lesson might not be answered within the time frame we would like.
When you are down to nothing, God is up to something.