Every day, as soon as I wake up, I walk from our bedroom to my adjacent office, and I let Minnie out of her crate. I pull the blanket off the top and say, “Good morning!” Lately, Minnie is stretched out on the floor of the crate when I come in the office. But when I open the door of the crate she comes out. I open the exterior door to my office and let her out.
She greets each new day with over-the-top enthusiasm, joyfully bounding around the yard. Every morning she’s ecstatic to see me, wagging her tail furiously and jumping up on me and licking my face.
All of this is a observation about dogs, and we’re supposed to learn a lesson from this about not taking blessings for granted. And I do. I’m happy to see Minnie every morning.
But to be human is to be able to hold contradictory ideas in your head at once. And sometimes it’s a bit much, you know? Minnie’s not the only creature of ritual in this house. I am too. And my morning ritual is to let her out, wash up, then make my tea and change her water dishes. On workdays I go right to my desk with my tea and get started on email and check the news. On days off I sit out on the deck and do social media on my iPad for a while
And sometimes I don’t want to bound around the yard joyfully. Sometimes I just want to quietly sip my tea and look at the Internet a while.
Not everything has to be a joyful experience. We can’t always be passionate about life and our work. We can’t always cry with joy at the beauty of a sunset. We can’t always be mindful. Sometimes it’s enough to just be, and breathe in and out, and put one foot in front of the other, and not feel anything about it. That’s enough.
P.S. Minnie really is pretty cute in the mornings though.