Being the Person my Dogs Think I am
Here we are in 2013. I love the meme that says by this time, people in the 1950s and 60s thought we would all have flying cars, but all we have is blankets with sleeves!
The one thing that never changes is our obsession with resolutions. Many of us mark each New Year with the resolution to be healthier, to safe guard our finances better, pay off credit card debt…things we should be thinking about throughout the year anyway.
Still, the New Year gives us an opportunity to wipe the slate clean and start over.
I typically don’t make resolutions; I have goals for myself that I revisit several times a year. This year, I had to write a couple of resolution articles for my work.
One of them had to do with making resolutions for our pets. One of the things I started doing a few weeks ago was to quit trying to work through my dog’s morning play time, which can get quite loud and distracting.
A few weeks back, instead of putting mental earplugs in, I stopped my typing when the howling, growling and barking started. I got up, went over to the play area, picked up a toy and joined in the fun.
Afterward, instead of frustrated by the ruckus, I felt like I had a fun break. I was more relaxed and was ready to get back at my own work when the dogs were ready to settle in for a nap.
Sometimes, we just have to be reminded to have a little fun.
Last week, I came across an excellent blog post by a writing colleague, Jen Singer, Life Lessons from the Newtown Obituaries. The post points out that adults are typically remembered in their obituaries by their accomplishments, “She volunteered for the Springfield Animal Shelter.”
Children’s obituaries tell us about who they were. “Emilie could always be found with her markers, colored pens and paper, because as she put it, ‘I have so many ideas of things to draw and it is hard to remember them all.”
On the same day a “Pay it Forward” meme was going around Facebook encouraging people to do random acts of kindness by sending unexpected gifts to 5 friends sometime this year, my husband came home and told me about a friend who had attended a wake the night before.
At the “wake,” which was set up as a party, friends were encouraged to gather, drink and eat a buffet dinner, as the invitation put it, “All on the Dead Guy.” My husband said, “That’s how he wanted to be remembered, the one who threw the last party.”
I’m glad my dogs reminded me once again several weeks ago to be the person whose obituary might read, “was always up for a good game of fetch with her dogs, even if it meant putting off a deadline for a couple of hours.”
I participated in the Pay it Forward game on Facebook. I’ve resolved to send at least 5 of my friends a random gift or card sometime this year. I want to pay for someone’s coffee who is behind me in line, thank a veteran for his/her service and maybe drop work a little more often to do something I’ve never tried.
My only real resolution this year is to, in Jen’s words, “live so that your obituary reads less like a résumé and more like a tribute to someone who will be dearly missed,” in other words, to be the person my dogs think I am.
What is your main resolution?