This morning I awoke to peals of laughter. It was the best alarm clock I have ever had.
I get out of bed this morning with joy and curiosity. What are they laughing about?
Suzie and Mom are laughing uproariously at a TV show. It’s going to be a great day.
I stretch and start to move when the door bursts open. Suzie has Nessie by the collar and she’s heading for the crate.
“That’s it! I’ve had it. She needs a time out,” Suzie said.
“What did she do?”
She exhaled in exasperation. “I’m done.” It wasn’t an answer which meant she didn’t want to talk about it. I’m thinking its my fault somehow. So much for joy.
I get up with the realization that this is hospital day. Mom is getting a CAT
scan. Two recent falls have her doctor concerned. He wants a look to make sure there are no small brain bleeds.
A day at the hospital, oh joy
But the thing is, if I only have joy when things are perfect then I’m in for a long, sad life. Some of the most joyful people I know have been through the most horrible things and live in less-than-dreamy circumstances.
They choose joy.
It’s a conscious decision on their part. Or maybe it’s such a habit and joy is so disconnected from their circumstances that, by now, they believe it’s normal. Either way, they chose at some point.
So, with a naughty puppy in her crate and a frustrated wife and a hospital day ahead, I decided to choose joy.
Note, I make a distinction between joy and happiness. It’s a long story but joy is a deeper, more meaningful emotion with spiritual overtones and happiness is more temporary and out of my control. Like when autocorrect just turned happiness into gappiness.
So, joy means taking on this day with a positive attitude. Obviously, Nessie needs a little physical activity before I take Mom to imaging.
Breakfast and a long walk are in order. I decide to take her to the art district after breakfast and work on heeling. The bridge is a perfect place because there are always fascinating distractions.
Long leash, heel, treat, long leash, heel treat, repeat. Nessie does well across the glass bridge. The Walnut Street pedestrian bridge is covered with water puddles which Nessie loves.
In spite of dogs, runners and unruly toddlers, I am pleased with her performance. The sun bursts through lingering rain clouds and the breeze is brisk, bordering on icy. Herons and pigeons fly and the river sparkles between the bridge planks below.
Nessie has moments of true, blissful perfection, which is all anyone can ask of a puppy. We dawdle and sniff in the art district, savoring the moment. All is right with the world.
This satisfying combination makes choosing joy a breeze. With the sights and soynds and success blowing through my mind, I’d have to work at ignoring it.
Nessie is tired. I’m happy. Phase one is complete. I wonder how I will do when it’s not so easy. I guess we’ll see.