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.
In twenty years owning old houses, I’ve never developed good work habits when we’re renovating or repairing. I walk barefoot through construction areas, lean way off the side of the ladder rather than move it to a new spot, and allow puppies into my work area. (Puppies, to me, are any dogs under the age of 25 years old.)
All of these things make my husband (who has very good work habits) crazy.
But he’s learning to accept it and not get too stressed. And he’s coming to realize that puppies are part of my work habit.
You see, removing carpet tacks from old, oak steps can be tedious. Or it can be meditative.
For me, having a fuzzy face resting on my leg while I’m pulling carpet staples or scraping varnish turns a dull job into a pleasant one. It’s satisfying to run the scraper over the step and find I’ve gotten every one of the dozens of nails out. And then I can celebrate with a little ear scratch.
So much of my work separates me from the family I love. We each spend more time with our co-workers on a given work day then with each other.
So when I have the chance to work beside my loved ones it’s a gift.
Maybe I’ll start wearing shoes when I work. And I’m trying to be better about moving the ladder when I need to. But I’ll never work without puppies.
[Disclaimer: No puppies were harmed in the writing of this post. All work with puppies was supervised by the Society for the Protection of Construction Animals. Puppies do not enter work areas involving heat guns, power tools, or cutting implements of any kind.]