Yesterday I celebrated my 50th birthday…”Whoot whoot!!!”. Yep, that “shout out” is directly from me to me. I was in deep celebration of myself throughout the entire day and I must confess…it was a “first”. There was no denying that, when my eyes opened yesterday, I was elated. I was proud of who I was, how I felt and looked, and what I have accomplished. I recognized that my life was filled with supportive family, friends, and Dog is Good fans. There was a part of me that wondered why my 50th birthday became so significant. Why did I wait so long to allow myself to honor who I had become as a woman, mom, wife, friend, and entrepreneur. Up until this point, I have held back. However, moving forward, it has become my choice and my mission to live more fully by taking cues from my dog and to inspire others to do the same. No one should wait a single day, let alone 50 years to “own” life and experience each day for the extraordinary gift it truly is!
BOLO had been in my care for only a few weeks when I began to notice a wonderful pattern developing each morning. As soon as I would wake up (typically at the crack of dawn) and go towards her crate, she would beam with excitement. Her little tail would start wagging back and forth, almost knocking herself over. I don’t think I have ever seen a tail wag so fervently on any dog before. Hardly able to contain herself, she would eagerly offer up the SIT required for me to open up her crate and let her out. Since we were in “house- training” mode, she would immediately follow me downstairs and head outside to her “pottyspot”.
After relieving herself, she would return to me, tripping over her puppy feet and wagging her entire body, falling all over me as I sat on the stairs to greet her good morning.
Day after day would start off this way and as she grew she became increasingly more excited to start a new day. In fact, she was so excited to start her day that it forced me to stop and take notice. As I sat on the edge of my bed thinking about my other dogs, it occurred to me that none of them ever woke up like BOLO. The moment BOLO’s eyes opened, her tail would start to thump loudly and wag like crazy. Her body would follow suite indicating that she was about to explode with excitement. Once her crate door opened, she would grab her KONG and move about with so much enthusiasm and joy as if to say” hooray! It’s a new day! OMG- can you believe it? I am so excited to start another day! I can’t wait to do all the things I get to do, explore places, go for my walk, hang out with my family, etc…”
Now as a 2-year old, 63 pound, fully house trained dog, she no longer needs to race outside first thing in the morning. Having graduated from her crate to our bed, she waits patiently for me to open my eyes. Although I can’t see her with my eyes closed, I feel her staring at me as I am coming out of my slumber. I imagine she is thinking to herself, “hurry-up, wake up, we are missing valuable time in our day already”. My eyes part slowly in a very tight squinting position so I can get view what she is doing before the mayhem begins. Sure enough, her eyes locked solidly on me, she comes to life instantly. Her eyes widen and her mouth takes on a doggie smile. If she had hands, this would be the moment she would clap them together and yell out, “Yeah! Game on! Let’s get this party started!” This is the moment when she leaps off the bed to find the nearest toy and then pummels me with her crazy morning greeting. I am pinned in my bed as she steps over me going back and forth while her body sways wildly out of control. In her excitement, she trips over me, steps on me, and repeatedly tries to push her toy into my mouth over and over again before she finally buries her head in my neck while leaving her wagging tail in the air. She will finally collapse on me, panting and simply thrilled to be experiencing everything about her morning rise and shine ritual. When I am able to finally break free from the love fest, she follows me with toy in mouth and never once stops wagging her entire body. You can see the happiness emanating from her eyes.
She is always so darn elated every single morning that I wondered, what would my days be like if I woke up like this everyday. I think they would be phenomenal!
Here are some thoughts to help you make YOUR day extraordinary:
Decide within the first 10 minutes of waking up exactly what type of energy you will bring to the day. Write it down on paper or a file card and refer to it throughout the day to keep yourself on track
Predetermine your response to unexpected things that get thrown your way. Learn how to take a breath before reacting. Avoid explosive angry responses which will negatively affect the people around you and make it more difficult to experience the remainder of the day positively. Set the stage for how you will react to things that come your way. Decide what you will do to positively impact others.
Do something special for others. Look for ways to engage in random acts of kindness. Bring co-workers bagels or donuts in the morning, buy coffee for the person in line behind you, look for ways to help others during the course of the day. This “pay it forward” approach makes the day more memorable and elevates your mood as well.
Find ways to break up your routine and try something new in order to experience the day differently. Skip the gym in lieu of a morning hike, try a new place to pick up your coffee, take a friend out to lunch and try something new on the menu, take a different route home from work, etc….
“Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” Buddha