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.
I’ve heard the secret to living your destiny is to stop asking other people for directions. Everyone has an answer when helping another find the ‘right’ path in life.
Maggie was a wanderer. She loved to go hiking, and venture off the marked paths. Her tail would wag with delight, while her legs moved swiftly to keep up with a scent she was following. During these detours from the path, I often found the best landscapes to photograph. Maggie never hesitated to walk the unknown, and she always enjoyed the journey.
Our world seems to be filled with people that follow a traditional path, or those that want to pave their own way. From my experiences, people following the untraditional path get asked a lot more questions. Maybe our world can also be divided by people who fear the unknown, and people who crave the excitement of the unknown. The times in my life when I didn’t know my destination, resulted in the most memorable experiences & life changing opportunities.
Everyone is unique. Follow your own path. It just may lead to your destiny.
The dictionary defines a thinker as an intellectually creative person. Therefore, a true thinker, thinks their own thoughts- right?
Maggie was constantly praised for her great thinking skills. She seemed to know the daily schedule, had the ability to solve her own problems (like getting a very large bone thru her doggie door), and coerce visitors to give her treats. Maggie solved those expensive doggie games- guaranteed to keep your pet entertained for hours- within minutes. She was a first rate thinker!
In today’s world, we often ridicule people for not thinking the same way. Don’t we need an eclectic group of thinkers to create a world of diversity? If our world was not filled with diversity, how would we prosper by sharing the same thoughts? Maybe we should worry less about what people are thinking, and worry more about how we treat each other when our thoughts disagree.
“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”― A.A. Milne
There are many quotes about finding your destiny. I can quickly recall the quote about when a door is closed, God opens a window. I’d like to think sometimes finding your destiny involves a little door kicking.
Maggie was always sniffing. She especially liked to sniff around things that she couldn’t get into. For example, the basement door in our home was always closed. I would constantly find her sniffing the crack between the door and the floor- with tail wagging of course. Other times, she would be outside sniffing along the fence that enclosed our yard. If she found something of interest, she would continue to pester me until I investigated the area with her. She would not give up until her curiosity was answered.
Some people believe your destiny is written before you are born. I think life would be very mundane if that was true. No matter what you did in life, the end result would never be your decision. I believe we have many paths to choose from in life. Your results depend on how willing you are to take chances, follow your heart, trust your instincts, and, sometimes, be willing to kick in a few doors.
‘Destiny is no matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.’ William Jennings Bryan
Body language tells a lot about a person. Is it safe to assume your body language can predict your outcome in a situation?
Maggie always walked looking straight ahead. Her legs appeared strong, and her stride was as consistent as a pendulum on a grandfather clock. When she sat on her hind, her front legs were parallel to each other, and her chest was pumped forward. When she looked at you, her brown eyes gave the feeling that she could read your mind, and no one else in the room mattered. If a stranger approached, her back became arched and teeth were visibly clenched. A visit from family or friends gave the okay to show her tummy, and let the tail wag!
Our body language tends to adapt to the situation. At job interviews, we sit up straight with our hands folded. A night with friends may mean feet up on the coffee table, and uncontrollable belly laughs. Walking alone in a parking garage may have us alert and focused; while a stroll along the beach may find one deep in their thoughts- unaware of the people around them.
Whether we are aware at the time or not, someone else is usually observant of our body language. It provides others a ‘gut instinct’ if you are confident, approachable, or having a difficult day. One can often change their mood, and the opinions of others watching you, by changing their body language. Ever notice how politicians give speeches while standing straight, chest pumped, making eye contact with the audience, and using hand gestures to emphasize their focus points?
Maggie never spoke a word, but I always understood how she was feeling. Maybe people should talk less about how they feel, and listen more to the language of their body.
During our lifetime, we will have an abundance of opportunities to make choices which will effect our lives. Some choices will have minor effects on our life, while others may have an everlasting impact. Every choice we make must be thought and decided with reflection, intelligence, and purpose.
Maggie was a thinker. Maybe this quality can be attributed to her part sheltie part border collie genes. Whatever the reason, Maggie never did anything without watching first. If she was in the yard and saw a squirrel, her tail would raise-butt would wiggle-and her nose would sniff the air. Then, she ran the quickest route to catch this furry critter that always seemed to be invading her territory. Even though Maggie rarely caught a squirrel, her purpose was accomplished- stay out of my territory or I will chase you!
We are constantly making decisions and choices for ourselves; as well as those we are responsible for at work and home. Although making decisions is nothing new in the world of adulthood-the rules in our society have become less black and white, as well as the consequences. Maybe this is the reason we have more violence, quick tempered individuals, and an increase in narcissistic personalities. Instead of what seems to be the need to react instantly, perhaps we need to learn how to reflect more and then respond.
‘Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.’
Victor Frankl, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’
I find it interesting as people age, many dread their birthday. This special day only comes once a year, and yet it makes so many people worry, reflect with regret, or convince one to make unrealistic goals.
Maggie’s birthday is April 1st. People who have never owned a pet may not understand why pet owners remember their dog’s birthday, but that is another blog. For now, let’s focus on the reason to celebrate the day a new life is born. Maggie was born the third from a litter of eight. She followed her father everywhere the first twelve weeks of her life. She followed me the remaining four years and nine months of her life. Maggie’s life wasn’t very long. However, she had fun, was loved, and made some great memories.
As adults, we tend to place more emphasis on celebrating children’s birthdays. The balloons, special cakes, and presents should be part of everyone’s childhood memories. If you visit a party store, you may also find party favors to celebrate those ‘milestone’ years. Shouldn’t every birthday be viewed as something special? Doesn’t every year count?
I believe if you live every day the best you can, you can live without regret. Every year brings a heightened maturity, and a realization that just having another year is a blessing. Some people, and pets, leave us sooner than expected. Some are blessed with many birthdays. Maybe we should cherish the quality of the years between our birth and death; instead of constantly analyzing or critiquing ourselves?
When it is the last day…. to say- ‘I had fun, was loved, and made some great memories’….that will be a blessing.