I’m not a historian, and have no deep interest in the true story about Thanksgiving, but this I know for sure: It is always good to be grateful and to have a frequent gratitude practice. The act of giving thanks (or being full of gratitude) should not be limited to one holiday or one month.
Today I am thankful for my obnoxious, voracious, chewing machine of a puppy. He has eaten the edges of three rugs. In the blink of an eye, he has destroyed two dog beds and one sofa cover. Both had been treated with anti-chew spray. He goes through “chewer” toys in 45 minutes. He has eaten my other dog’s red plastic dog food bowl. When I had to get a stool sample for the vet, it was easy to identify which sample I needed to grab. A Kong keeps him busy for 30 minutes. He can chew up a stray pencil in seconds, in about half the time it takes for me to clean up the wooden shards that are left. The little bugger has his own Bullymake “tough chewer” subscription. He prefers finding my son’s socks or underwear. Of course!
So why am I thankful for a pup whose nicknames are “Shenanigans” and “Shiva the Destroyer”? Because he is a wonderful creature who brings joy into my life.
Hanging out with my dogs helps calm me down and energizes me. They help me focus and be mindful. And they also have a great capacity for play and joy. Who doesn’t need a reminder to focus on the simple joys in life? The first experience with snow? That squirrel over there? A rabbit under the deck? A full water bowl and some tasty treats?
Agile Best Self Principle #10: Simplicity – focusing on what energizes your best self — is paramount.
The dogs’ morning nap is one of my favorite times of the day…and then there is the early morning nap, the mid morning nap, the early lunch time nap, the lunch time nap, the after lunch nap, the early afternoon nap, the zoomies before the next nap and then the series of naps that occur prior to dinner. They are either playing or sleeping. What a wonderful life.
Both my dogs help me maintain a regular sleep schedule (which is critical for me because I have a chronic sleep disorder) and get me out on long walks during the day. Taking care of them helps remind me of habits that take care of me. They also ensure that I eat on a relatively regular basis. There is no way to ignore the doggie dinner alert that goes off at 5:30 every day.
Agile Best Self Principle #3 Build daily self-care habits.
Finally, I think it is important to be grateful and thankful for people and creatures in our lives that are not described as “easy”. It is easy to be grateful for chocolate and perfect sunsets. It is easy to be grateful for friends that consistently do kind and wonderful things. But I feel that it is even better to be grateful and thankful for creatures that chew up your current book; wake you up in the middle of night; and go on barking fits when you are in the middle of that one important Zoom meeting when you need to focus.
We all have creatures in our life that are a pain. Which ones do you want to be grateful for?
Copyright © 2021 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson