We’re All Doing the Best We Can – Thoughts for 2011

Thank you to Kristine over at Rescued Insanity who mentioned Expect the Best From People from my Puppiness Project series as one of her favorite posts last year. She inspired this post.

Years ago I heard a radio interview with a divorce attorney. The interviewer asked, “What is your best advice for people getting married?” He replied, “Low expectations.”

I think I gasped out loud when I heard that. And then I thought some more and realized he was right.

We expect a lot from others in our lives. And no one can live up to that burden. So the best thing to do is to not “expect” anything but to “accept” who the creatures in our lives truly are.

It’s true for marriage, it’s true for dogs.

Golden Retriever at Water Fall

Not allowing yourself to make mistakes is as silly as trying to outrun a waterfall. Even puppies know that!

It was this idea that led me to write the mantra I learned from Honey, “We’re all doing the best we can.” And since I wrote that, I have been trying to live it–to not be so judgmental and to assume everyone is just muddling along with whatever powers they have at the moment.

Some of the blog posts that have touched me the most this year have been when people shared mistakes they’ve made. I find it helpful to know that even people with great expertise sometimes have to change a decision they’ve made, a mistake is not the end of the world, and there is grace in figuring out how to fix a mistake.

So here are some of the posts that I’ve been touched by recently that demonstrate we’re all doing the best we can:

This last post brought a very similar adventure back to me. However, I made it worse because while my husband and I were fighting about whether it was a good idea to let Shadow off leash, she shimmied under a fence and took off down the field. Fortunately, we don’t always pay the price for our stupid decisions.

So here’s to a new year with lots more mistakes to learn from! Happy New Year!

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  1. I am glad I could inspire such an insightful post! It’s a hard thing to remember sometimes, when someone cuts in line at the grocery store, or another person yells at me for letting my dog step on a corner of their yard, but I am trying. I think we all have to forgive ourselves for our little moments of failure just as well have to forgive others. Life can really suck and we’re all doing the best we can with the resouces we have, right?

    Thanks for writing this and for including such great links. I love finding more things to add to my reading list.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year! Thanks for being so kind.

    • No, thank you. In the tradition of finishing something and moving on, it was nice to be reminded of this lesson that I really am trying to live in my life. So thank you giving me things to think about.

      Hope you have a new year full of joy!

  2. This is a great collection of material – even without me. I have to agree with your sentiments about rehoming. It kills me when people say I WOULD NEVER. They simply haven’t come up against the right life circumstance yet. 😉

    • I think you really did something amazing and courageous adding the heartbreak post. Five seconds into reading it I knew it would going to be controversial. I hope it spurs lots more discussions about what it really means to find a “forever home” for our animal friends.

  3. Of the posts you’ve mentioned that I’ve read, I have to agree one hundred percent! I think that learning from our mistakes is part of what truly makes us better people. I just learned from my own mistake this week. I’ve known for weeks that something was going to give with Morgan and her window fixation. But she’s supposed to be my hubby’s girl and so I deferred on the issue and didn’t take a strong stand. Fortunately, when she did break the window, nobody got hurt, but it could have been a very expensive mistake for us and for her. Lesson learned and a new protocol in place now.

    • I just read your post a few seconds ago. A few hours earlier and it would have made my list in this post.

      It’s ridiculous to think we can control everything in this life. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that we can make a mistake sometimes and the results aren’t too awful.

      Glad no one got hurt.

  4. Hi Y’all!

    I’m afraid there are too many great posts to limit it to only 10. I’m thinkin’ on it though.

    Happy New Year!
    Hawk aka BrownDog