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LESSON: DOG IS GOD SPELLED BACKWARDS

I love my dogs. Truth be told, I love animals. Dogs of all sizes and breeds, crazy and sane cats, skittish deer, quirky quail, freaky fish, lions and tigers and bears! OH MY! Remember my blog last week talking about relationships and how life is all about them? Besides love for our fellow human, name another relationship that teaches humans more lessons about themselves and each other?

Lemme explain.

398 MINUTES

So, it’ll come as little surprise that I was actually off kilter today upon my return home. After dropping off my two fuzzy kids at the vet’s for a dental procedure, I felt weird and lost entering my silent house. No tails wagged. No whiskers twitched. No furry lips turned up in smiles. I hadn’t anticipated feeling this way. After all, they were only going to be gone for a few hours.

Hours? HA! I counted the minutes. I counted all 398 of them, until they were back in my car heading home with me. I had such trouble focusing on writing, editing, whatever tasks required more than 76 seconds of concentration. Seriously! You’d think they were gone forever. Understand, I’ve been through that, too. The loss of a pet furry family member is brutal when there’s been an attachment. Anyone who’s cared for, fed, tended to, and, of course, loved a critter gets this. Am I wrong?

pets pic

GUARDIANS

My pooches through the years have always been my guardian angels. They’re my constant writing companions, doorbell alert signalers, and faithful protectors of my family and me. They are loyal … most of the time (except when my mom and sister visit. “I’m here to spoil my four-legged niece/nephew/grandchild,” they quip — we don’t see those two fleabags until they’re pouting that those favorite humans left); lick my cried tears; and put each of our kids to bed nightly. The lessons of kindness, faithfulness, and love are unconditional, generous, and consistent. Easily their unsurpassed adoration alone is cause to weep at their absence. Who loves you like that in your life?

LESSON

An invaluable, though painful, lesson for all of us to learn is one of loss. Sadly, because our time on earth is limited, we all experience it. Dogs teach us how to grieve and cope with loss. In the famous words of Alfred Lord Tennyson, “’tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”   http://knowledgenuts.com/2014/02/05/tennyson-wrote-tis-better-to-have-loved-and-lost-about-a-man/

I grew up with three hunting dogs, two stray cats, and a salt-water tank of tropical fish. Birth and death happened often. Mom always held our hands and allowed us to grieve and eulogize; Dad helped with the burials. Still, the joy of healing broken hearts by rescuing another fluff-ball in need never eliminated the beloved memory of a lost friend. It merely softened the hurt.

Finally, as my own children grow up, move out, and care for their own fuzzy confidantes, I bask in their bonds and know they witness God in their own fashion daily. How else would we know how to raise us mere mortals? Ain’t it grand that lessons come in so many forms! Remember: dog spelled backwards is God after all.

P.S. Thanks to unisci24.com for pic.

LIFE IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS

Life is all about relationships. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about babes or boys; beasts or broccoli; Broadway or baseball. How we relate or connect with our world as a whole is up to us. The real trick, sometimes, is to follow our kids’ leads.

“Malarkey! Sometimes things, kids, LIFE happens, and we simply have to react.”  Sure, it’s still up to each of us every day to choose how we react. Then determine if that reaction yields a positive or negative relationship. Let me show you what I mean.

KATIE, MICHAEL & USAIN

Recently Katie Ledecky, teenager and highly decorated U.S. swimmer, spoke of her Rio Olympic experience after a race. “I’ve just had a lot of fun this week not only in the pool but … with my teammates. The memories mean more than the medals to me here. I’m just so proud of my teammates and what we all have accomplished…” She embraced the entire exhilarating relationship (with her teammates as well as the competition) the same way she’s dominated her events since she was six years old: with youthful enthusiasm. It’s infectious, wouldn’t you agree?

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete ever, said in interviews that Coach Bob Bowman is “a father figure to me … He’s helped me through some of the worst times in my life, and he’s been there every step of the way and I’m forever thankful.” Their relationship, while often called complicated, has worked. What “parent/child” relationship hasn’t been complicated?

Then there’s the relationship between Usain Bolt and his mom. For all his showmanship, he’s still human, still gets nervous. His mom’s shared the best way to calm her son is for her to be calm initially and to use humor. How’s THAT for relating to the fastest human ever recorded on earth?

 

ASPARAGUS, BROCCOLI & BRUSSEL SPROUTS

Allergies, bad childhood experiences and peer pressure all influence relationships. Using food as an example, though people can be substituted, too, we make choices to eat our veggies based on so many factors. Certain choices connect us, while others segregate us. Just like children, we may initially not care for one flavor, try it again weeks, even years down the road, and find we’ve changed our minds. Funny how relationships may evolve, isn’t it?

broccoli brussel sprouts asparagus

 

 

 

BASEBALL, OPERA & TECHNOLOGY

Whether you watch sports, prefer the arts or play video games, your relationship with any activities exemplifies how you connect or escape, relax or process, love or reject in your life. Kids’ (and adults’) games show us, again, all about relationships.

Relationships-Matter-blog-logo

 

Follow the leads of our children of all ages; choose to embrace (instead of blame) relationships on all levels; and something shocking happens. We focus more on using our energies for the betterment of all, because, even if selfish, we know we benefit.

So logically, since we’re all in relationship with each other, why not consider what we expect from our children at school? More peace than war and more love than hate for our shared planet. Imagine how we can affect our global relationships! Aren’t relationships fascinating when you’re open to learning from them. https://www.creativereview.co.uk/the-story-behind-make-love-not-war/

WANTED ALIVE: WOMAN, WIFE & MOM

As a woman, wife and mom I know I’m a wee bit … well, “off.” All moms are, if we’re honest with ourselves. Go ahead. Laugh! You know what I’m saying is true. Ever see a mom with her young children at the grocery store? Even when well behaved, kids bombard with questions and touch everything within reach … especially when least opportune. Like dogs and cats who get sick on hard-to-clean carpeting, lousy timing seems to be part of the “kid code,” an unwritten rule.

With that said, marriage and children have taught me tons about myself. I 100% believe I wouldn’t (and couldn’t) have learned otherwise. Here are just three:

1. Kids are underrated.
2. Be courageous in decisions.
3. Love multiplies.

KIDS ARE UNDERRATED

Nothing truly worthwhile in life is (always) easy. This goes for kids, spouses, marriage, AND one’s self-discovery journey (personally, professionally, etc.). Whoever told you to just put your head down, work hard and the rest will come lied to you! You’ve GOT to come up for air, get your bearings, make necessary adjustments, and THEN get back to it! Doesn’t this sound less frustrating?

To clarify, the under-21 set learns, tests, pushes, repeats. If we moms are honest, don’t we do the same?

* raising our children (try one method; doesn’t work; try again; or, if paying attention, adjust, retry)?
* evolving our careers (learn something new, repeat it; screw up; adjust; repeat)?
* nurturing ourselves (fight/accept weight or figure out what doesn’t work; adjust accordingly; retry)?
* growing our marriages (found “button” to push; is it good or bad; adjust; retry)?

Kids make mom learn ALL of that (and more) when we choose to highly rate them.

DECISIONS

Speaking of choices, we face plenty of those constantly. The myriad leads to decision-making, albeit some frightening (and unavoidably instantaneous); others ordinary (even dull).

I’m referring, however, to the decisions that take thought and long-term commitment, a.k.a. the really scary ones. They take courage. That:

heartbeat graph

* change in career you’ve been thinking about;
* getting married/divorced;
* having (or not having) children;
* going after something on your bucket list;
* even writing a book!

Do you know what happens when you make a genuine decision? You’ve actually been courageous. Why? Because you’ve cut off, eliminated even, all other options.

Here’s an example: by deciding to have children, you accept that another life will depend on you for years; you can’t go out every night partying like you used to; and that your money/time is no longer solely your own, etc.

Real life, love, and family decisions take courage … period. Guess what you’ll discover about yourself: you’re stronger, tougher, smarter, and more capable than you’d ever known. Pretty cool, eh?

LOVE

Then there’s this super cool component about becoming a wife/mom: learning that love multiplies!!! If you thought you only had x amount of one kind of love within you, you thought wrong! There are tons of different types of love, and they’re all capable of growing exponentially.  Click here.

 

There’s parental love, sibling love, spousal love, friend love … you get the idea. Are you considering having another baby? Have you asked yourself if you’re capable of loving another one? I promise you are! See? You’re multiplying your love and didn’t even know it! In fact, there’s always more than enough.

REWARD: I ain’t seen nothin’ yet!