As I sit in my chair, waking up, the fog working to lift through caffeinated imbibing, I look at my dog and am struck by how happy she is.
She hasn’t eaten nor gone outside to do her business. She hasn’t partaken in the caffeine ritual. She wanders from human to human, greeting each with a contagious whole body enthsiasium.
Each human, regardless of wakeful state, is powerless to resist. They each in turn, bend down give full body pets as if to say, “Hello stranger, haven’t seen you in eight whole hours!”
Some of the humans are grumpy. One is running around madly trying to simultaneously make and fix spontaneously spewing coffee from the pot leaking hot staining brown liquid all over the counter. I hear a few curses and offer my condolences.
The last human is contemplating life. No, this isn’t the opening to a dystopian novel, it’s just me. A mom, a wife, and a writer taking a moment to watch her family wake up.
Dog is happy. Dog is grateful for pets, “hello’s”, and to just rub against you. She’s happy knowing food is coming, she’s in a warm safe house, and her loved ones are here and safe. Dog is waging the hello out of her tail. It moves faster when she catches your eye, and faster still if you deign to speak to her or even better touch her.
“Oh yes, HELLO, my love,” she wiggles bending in half sideways. “I am so happy you’re here. I’m here. We’re safe and saying hi to each other. Pet Meeeee…”
What dog is not, is worrying about problems. She’s not rehashing the past nor worrying about the future. She is fully immersed in the now.
I think of the those lost to the virus torturing the world and then to those lost from gun violence. Their worlds turned upside down in an instant. Those families are in mourning this morning.
I feel powerless to help them. I have but one voice, one vote, and one body to help. I feel angry, sad, powerless, frustrated, and exhausted. The only change seems to be that things get worse. As if 2020 wasn’t enough of a spit
The stark contrast hurts only more.
We need to appreciate where we are, what we have, and most importantly who’s around us. No matter how much they annoy you in the now, the alternative is unthinkable. Once they’re gone, is not the time to appreciate or love them.
So: Be the dog. Love this moment. Be Happy. Love your loved ones. Appreciate what is in front of you. Be in the Now.