The Puppiness Project – Celebrate the Day; Don’t Mourn the Future

Gretchen Rubin wrote in The Happiness Project about the year she spent “test-driving the wisdom of the ages, the current scientific studies, and the lessons from popular culture about how to be happy.” The Puppiness Project is my attempt to learn the same from Honey, my Golden Retriever.
Golden Retriever contemplating lighthouse

If I keep growing, I'll be as big as the lighthouse someday. But for now, I'll just enjoy being small.

Tomorrow is summer solstice in my hemisphere. And although I should be overjoyed to see the sun for more hours than I have in a year, I’m feeling a little melancholy. All I can think about is that after solstice, the days will start shortening again. And, before I know it, we’ll be back in the dark days of winter.

I need to take a lesson from Honey.

I don’t think she’s ever said to herself, “I better enjoy everyone being home right now. They’re just going to go to work tomorrow and I’ll be alone in the house again.” Or as she walks out the door, “Gee, our walk is nearly over. We’ve already walked down the steps.”

Honey, and all canines, are fully present in every moment. Dogs don’t worry about tomorrow. They’re purely present in every minute.

Why in the world do I start thinking about winter on the first day of summer? ‘Cuz I’m a sicko. And cuz I’m not a dog.

So I’m taking a lesson from Honey. I’m going to enjoy every second of the sunlight I can tomorrow.

And to my friends in the south–we’re sending the sun back to you soon. Hang on.

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  1. That’s right! I forgot it is the longest day of the year. It’s hard to celebrate sunshine when it’s been a day full of clouds. I am feeling very gypped right now.

    But you are right, dogs don’t let worry for sun-less tomorrows drag them down. They make the most of what today offers. If it be rain, perhaps I should get out there to splash in some puddles!

  2. I always feel glad-sad on the summer solstice too knowing that the sun is leaving us. However it’s nice on the winter solstice to know that the sun is coming back. My dogs don’t care about either solstice either.

  3. What a wonderful post, we are so glad we found your blog on ‘istillwantmorepuppies’. We can’t wait to follow along!

  4. Yay, it’s our shortest day here in New Zealand tomorrow … and after that the weather tends to really turn to custard for a few months. The days seem to get shorter, wetter and colder. But we have had an exceptionally mild Autumn and so far Winter. The bad weather has to come. I’m going to be like Honey though, and live in the moment. I got home from work early, it’s not dark for over an hour so the kids and I are going for a walk:) Another yay!

  5. I know! I always have a moment of thinking the same thing before going back to telling myself to enjoy endless summer. I’ll be happy as a clam tomorrow, though, enjoying the fact that summer is really, truly, officially here!

    I love that caption with the picture of Honey! That totally made me smile!

  6. Great thoughts! Although you wouldn’t know we are having any kind of summer around here, it is like a long spring day. Talk about screwing up my biorhythms!! It almost feels like winter is around the corner. After a cold, cold, long winter and a cold spring, this cool summer is not helping matters much!! So if your summer is going anything like mine, then I would understand completely if you were thinking about winter on the first day of summer. Yea, I’m crazy like that too!!

  7. The dogs are always bringing me a toy when I am working from home. They cannot fathom the concept of not enjoying the moment.

  8. Living in the present is a lesson a lot of us need to learn from our canine friends. I think we’ve got a bit better at it since we’ve got George, but there’s still room for improvement. I’m trying not to think of the winter yet 😉

  9. Um yeah, that is sick…because my favorite day of the year is the Winter Solstice! :) (I’m not kidding. Do you think you’re sick now?)

    A wise person somewhere (maybe Eugene Peterson, or someone he quoted) said that we’d all learn to live in the moment if we had the foreknowledge of the exact date on which we’d die. Sounds morbid, but I think I agree. It’s HARD to live in the present!!

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