1. Have fun. Fun is where you find it. Truvy has joy because she seeks it out...whether it's watching bunnies and birds on her perch, hunting toads in our yard or making friends at the vet office. She doesn't wait for adventure to come to her.
Much of our adult lives are focused on work -- things we have to do; commuting to a job we may not enjoy, paying bills, doing home improvements or training-up kids. Life can get bogged down by all the stuff we have to do that we forget how to fit in joy...unless it's something scheduled -- like a birthday party or concert. Instead incorporate fun into your day...every day. Perhaps instead of looking at your phone or checking Facebook, you read a book on your lunch hour or take a short walk. Listen to music while house cleaning. Encourage your children to dance while they straighten up their rooms.
2. Rest. Truvy is an active pup. She loves our walks around the neighborhood and catching frisbees in the yard each day. She's never turned down a rowdy game of tug, but she also knows the importance of recharging herself with a short snooze or just sitting on her perch and watching the squirrels and birds in our yard.
In our fast-paced world of instant messaging, 24/7 shopping and work days that stretch into the night -- it's easy to forget to stop and take a rest. Don't feel guilty. A nap doesn't have to be a 2 hour thing. Set a timer for just 15 minutes, close your eyes and be still. Step outside and take in the sounds and smells around you. It's likely you'll have more energy and creativity to complete your work after a short break.
3. Be Generous. Truvy is a fluffy bundle of generosity. She gives with her entire wiggly self -- no holds barred on kisses. She's never met a lap she didn't like to plop herself down on. She is happy to share her time and space with everyone.
Be giving of yourself -- with your time, your talents and your words! Facebook and texting are okay but they are no substitute for real, face to face time with a friend or family member. Communicate with real words -- I like you, I love you, I care for you, I'm thankful for you...Also, don't be stingy with affection. Give hugs freely.
4. Be Present. Truvy is a busy pup! But something she doesn't do -- she doesn't multi-task. She loves to eat, play, run, jump and receive belly rubs, but she doesn't try to do any two things at once.
While multi-tasking seems necessary, it also can be a real kill joy. Eating or drinking while looking at a computer screen or your phone prevents you from truly experiencing the flavors, smells and textures of what you are consuming. Driving and texting will not only kill your joy -- it may kill you. Put your phone away. Watch your child blow out the candles with your own two eyes, rather than viewing the experience through your camera lens. I admit I have been guilty of focusing on documenting an experience rather than just enjoying the moment. Multitasking doesn't always help you accomplish more and sometimes it makes you resentful because you are hurrying your way through life.
5. Forgive. Truvy loves everyone and everything except trips to the groomer. When she returns from having her hair trimmed and fluffed, nails clipped and glands expressed -- she usually puts herself on her climb and mopes. She hangs her head over the edge and sighs loudly. I think in an effort to make me feel bad. Seve (ever the instigator) plays along. I'll hear him say things to her like, "Oh, did that mean mama of yours make you get your hair cut?" "Poor Truvy". While I'm usually the one she follows around like there is an invisible string attached to me -- on grooming days, she gives me the cold shoulder. However, when all is said and done and it's time for bed. She always finds her way back to her spot on the floor, next to my side of the bed. By morning all is forgiven. She doesn't hold grudges.
Forgiveness isn't always easy and time doesn't heal all wounds. But, holding grudges...withholding love and friendship...holding onto pain and anger just leaves you empty and often sad. Forgiveness doesn't mean you are letting someone off the hook for hurting you, it just means you have allowed yourself to let go of the pain. Sometimes forgiveness leads to renewed and improved relationships. Other times it offers you an opportunity to just move forward.