Sunday, January 2, 2011
As the new year unfolds, I'm hoping to have the strength and good judgment to make good choices. There's a great deal to decide each and every day and each decision is like a "choose your own adventure" book in the game of life. Some choices aren't as earth-shattering of course, as others.
"Should I do laundry today?"
"Gingerbread latte or White Mocha?" (On a very sad side note, the Gingerbread Latte came and went and I never had a chance to try it. The poor guy at Starbuck's had to talk me through that one...)
"Sleep in or blog?"
Again, not monumental decisions. But really, even these can impact your daily routine. If you don't do the laundry, you'll either be smelly, or you'll wear shorts and that last pair of black socks to the grocery store. Ok, the coffee decision is bad either way - both for the extravagance and the waistline. And finally, while sleeping in is nice, maybe I'll feel overtired sleeping in and keep my ramblings trapped and jumbled in my head. On the other hand, maybe if you've read this far, you're wishing I had left them right where they were.
But then there are the really big, "gotta get 'em right" choices:
"Switch jobs or stay where I am?"
"Start an online business, or not?"
"Finally pursue that writing thing, or stay complacent out of fear?"
Monumental decisions. Clearly, making choices in any of these will shape the future far more than whether laundry gets done.
The seed for this blog took root a few nights ago, just before the New Year, as Arwen and I were out for the last walk of the evening. Last chance for poopies. Out of nowhere, we were visited by a Grey Ghost. No, not a Dickensian A Christmas Carol type ghost, but a beautiful male Weimeraner wearing clinking dog tags. Arwen would have none of him, true to her nature, but I tried to speak softly to him and let him know he could approach. He trotted off, not nearly as interested in me as he was in Arwen (she is a beauty, after all), while I ran with her towards home. I crated Arwen, and grabbed my phone and some treats. I thought for sure that if I could track this boy down, I could read his tags and call his owners. Surely he had escaped from somewhere. Maybe his family was out looking for him right now, or maybe they were oblivious to his escape!
I searched the neighborhood, but to no avail. Matty had even come out to look, and said this pup had come past him twice, sniffed from afar and kept going. Not nearly close enough to read tags. It was after midnight and I gave the area one last walk around with no luck. All I could hear were the leaves blowing in the unusually warm breeze. Not even a coyote song from across the canal. I worried for quite awhile over this boy. I hoped that if my dogs were ever lost or had escaped that someone would take the trouble to help them find their way home to us.
I pictured the moment that this dog made the decision to leave. Maybe a gate was left open, or the wind had blown open a front door, barely latched. I saw through this boy's eyes the possibility if freedom. And he took it! He probably burst through that door or gate and trotted into "the wild" where he was rewarded with the freedom to sniff anything he wanted, to follow irresistible scent trails and pee on any old thing he chose to mark. This would feel magnificent for a short while. Then he might feel a bit tired of running, and look around to see that he was in unfamiliar territory and was feeling a bit thirsty. Maybe even the twisting tug of hunger pains. Would that moment that he'd decided to run out be regretted? Or was the experience too precious to waste?
I haven't seen this Grey Ghost again, but he haunts me nonetheless. On my walks with the girls since that night, I've seen his muddy paw prints. They're in places where a dog on a leash probably wouldn't have roamed and they are Weimeraner paw prints, I'm certain. I wish I had been able to get him home that night, or I could've taken him to the clinic where I work. I can only hope he made it home safely and is with his family away from danger. But I do feel that seeing him was a good omen. I imagine he wasn't afraid to make that leap of faith, as uncertain as it must've been. An omen to welcome change, not fear it. I hope I'll have his courage this new year to choose what might be uncertain and possibly scary. I hope more than anything, that I make choices that place me on good paths, and that my "choose your own adventure" story has a happy story line.
Happy New Year and I wish you all good choices!!