Lessons from a Dog: You Don’t Live Forever and what to do about it

Nobody lives forever, it’s true; and nothing lasts forever, either.   (I haven’t seen otherwise from any undead in real life…) And as depressing as it may seem to say, and redundant of common knowledge, it is motivating if you look at the positive message waiting on the other side:

Live life to your fullest now and appreciate what you have in this moment.

This thought was spurred by the recent discovery of my dog’s cancer.  We never expected to find a mass in Scout’s nose, because she is filled with life and exuberance and not the candidate I’d peg for cancer.  And yet she started getting nose bleeds, and before you know it, we are walking her out of the animal hospital.  My mind was flooded with equal parts sadness of the impending loss as well as ideas to pack in the most fun-filled activities with her before while she is still in good spirits. Long story short, this revelation has made me decide that life is too short not to fill the lives we’ve been given with the people and things that give us the most joy.

So how can we put this lesson into action?

  1. Decide what brings you joy. And what doesn’t.   As common knowledge as this may seem, we often forget to stop our busy lives to ask ourselves what truly is bringing us joy.  It’s hard to do the things that make us happy if we aren’t sure what those really are.  Along the same lines, this means figuring out what isn’t serving you anymore.  Sometimes it takes some soul searching to really find what floats your boat.  Sometimes this means staying honest with yourself about what really serves you, even it if isn’t mainstream.  Sometimes it is something as small as wearing colorful clothing instead of your black leggings and black
  2. Let go of the things no longer serving you.  Again, simple but sometimes difficult.  These may appear as the things that you end up doing instead of the things you want to do. Or they could be those fears or anxieties that come with actually doing what you want.  Either way, once you identify them, you can let them go.
  3. Make it specific.  How with this joyous activity, person, or thing fit into your life? I dentify specific ways that you can fit these into your average day, otherwise your wishes of “seeing this person more often” or “reading more” or “doing yoga” will stay just wishes.  If you want to spend more time with your grandparents, for instance, ask yourself when you are going to see them.  Is it going to be for sunday brunch or a casual weekday dinner?  Where are you going to be doing that yoga practice? Maybe you feel comfortable doing it at home or maybe your first step is going out to your gym to determine if you like the teacher.

So tell me, how will you pack more life into your life? 

Go out and live how it makes you happy!

Love, as always,