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.
Starting out as a really geeky kid, I developed a bad habit the cooler I got. I became so good at the “bored-out-of-my-mind-I-am-way-too-cool-for-this” attitude that I forgot to just have a good time. (The really sad thing is that for all that attitude, I never got to be very cool at all.)
So the beautiful, hand-designed sign my husband made for my door this Valentine’s Day that makes me smile every time I look at it? “Gee, Honey, that’s nice. Thank you.” Instead of “Wow, that is the best present ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Honey is never cool about anything she likes. If she sees a stranger walking toward us on the sidewalk, the front paws start to dance a little, the tails begins to wag. Soon, all four paws are bouncing off the ground and the tail is wagging enough to generate electricity for the entire eastern seaboard. She cannot contain her joy. And that’s for someone she’s never met before!
Recent studies have found that if you pretend to smile, you can actually make yourself happier. I wonder if I’ve done the opposite and made myself less enthusiastic by pretending to be so.
So it’s time for me to take a lesson from the Book of Golden Retriever. I’m going to really show my enthusiasm and stop pretending I’m cool. And who know, maybe I’ll get just a little taste of Honey joy.