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.
Honey is a hopeful dog
What bedtime looks like at my house:
Pam and Mike shut down the electronics for the night and start the bedtime rituals—pajamas, toothbrush, putting out clothes for the next day.
Meanwhile, Honey establishes herself on the bed. Right in the middle. She looks up at us expectantly before laying her head down and drifting off to sleep.
Here’s the thing, though. Honey doesn’t sleep on our bed at night.
Her crate is right beside Mike’s side of the bed. And she’s happy enough to go in there when Mike gives his cue (the distinctive sound of kibble being picked up from a glass bowl) for her to jump off the bed and enter the crate .
Once in the crate, Honey settles right down to sleep. But every night, she demonstrates her hope that she’ll get to sleep on the bed by staking out her spot.
Honey is a smart girl. She knows that in the nearly two years she’s lived with us, she’s never slept on the bed with both of us all night long.
But Honey holds out hope. Maybe this time it will be different.
The opposite of hope
The antonym of hope is despair. But if you dial back the intensity, I think discouragement also works.
Unlike Honey, I’m not good at trying the same thing over and over again without hitting my target. I get discouraged.
I am good at inertia, however. If I were a superhero, I would be Inertia Girl—once I start something I can’t stop. Of course my downfall is that if I stop doing something I can’t restart. That’s how inertia works.
So even if I don’t have a lot of hope that what I’m doing will bear fruit, inertia will keep me doing it for a good long time.
I need to figure out how hope can help move me forward instead of just plodding on the same course thanks to inertia.
Looking for hope in new places
I’d like to think that some day I could become an entrepreneur. That I could use my creativity in practical ways to craft a good life for myself and my family.
See, I do have some hope, don’t I?
I’ve acted on my entrepreneurial urges before. Several years ago I led personal writing workshops (journaling) operating as Spiral House. I only stopped because I needed to bring in more income quickly to help support a family member. And I’ve never had the time to get back to it or something else like it.
I started blogging for pleasure and found I really enjoyed the creativity of exploring new ways of thinking about the same old things, both at Something Wagging and my other blog, Hands on Home Buyer.
Is it possible that I could find creative ways to earn a few extra dollars and make other dreams and interests possible?
Learning from hopeful Honey
Whatever my dreams or goals I set for myself, I need to keep my eye on hopeful Honey.
Whether signing up to foster dogs or expressing my entrepreneurial urges, I need to have enough hope to keep me moving forward, even when it feels like I don’t have time or am just butting my head up against a brick wall.
After all, if Honey can jump all the way up on our big bed every night in hopes of getting to stay while getting kicked off night after night, I can battle the internet and writer’s block. Right?
Have any of your animals taught you about hope?
Update:I planned this topic for the Puppiness Project so it would fit in with Alfie the Entelbucher’s Monday Mischief Pet Blog Hop. And then I lost track of what I was doing. Oops!
So here I am late to the party.
Check out all the other blog posts today and join Alfie and his friends.