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.
Confidence given by squirrels.
Honey isn’t a bold dog. After tripping once while dragging a big toy up the stairs, she’ll whimper at the bottom of the stairs while she tries to figure out if she’s brave enough to try it again. And she’s very uncertain if surfaces move under her feet.
Honey’s not the kind of dog that I need to worry will get onto the counters while I’m at work. Too scary.
And yet, when something important comes along, Honey gets a confidence boost. She does what she must keeping the big picture in mind.
Yesterday Honey heard something outside the front window. I assume it was a squirrel in the tree. Cautious pup, the one who is afraid of unsteady footings and tripping, climbed my body to get a good view out the window. She balanced with two paws on the back of the sofa and two on me. She was absolutely fearless.
Keeping the big picture in mind.
I feel like I’m at a low point in my confidence right now. I’m coming off my first major illness after years of being healthy. I’m still feeling pain related to my month-past bicycle accident. I had a really hard time writing recently although I usually find blogging pretty easy.
Oh, and I’m slowly converting to a full head of silver hair after more than a decade of dying those grey hairs that started appearing when I was 18 years old (just about the time I met my now husband; a coincidence? I doubt it).
I certainly don’t feel smart enough or strong enough or ambitious enough to pursue all the plans I’ve made for 2012. I could really use a shot of confidence.
I need to lift my eyes from the silly fears I have right now and look toward my goals for the future.
Learning from Honey
The reason it’s hard to teach Honey to ride in the Doggy Ride bike trailer is because I can’t share the big picture, as I see it, with her. I can’t say, “Honey, as soon as you feel comfortable riding in the trailer, I’ll take you to the Dog Park to run around with your friends.”
But when Honey knew something interesting was outside the window, she was willing to challenge her fears to see it. She kept the squirrel (or dog or child or blowing paper) in her mind and climbed a very unsteady surface to get access to the window.
I need to remind myself that every brave step I take will get me closer to the life I want to live.
Maybe it’s time to paste a picture of my squirrel to my computer monitor.