Life Lessons: A Dog’s Eye View

I could write a post about how Moose chewed my beloved heart rate monitor, because, well, he did. But instead of being insanely angry in that moment (I let Joey be the angry one, he’s the one who left it within Marley’s Moose’s grasp) I found myself just shrugging it off. Why get angry over something that is over and done with? No use crying over spilt milk, or chewed up exercise gear. And as I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly brought on my newly found Zen, I’ve been thinking a lot about these two crazy dogs of ours. I’ve decided there’s a lot we can learn from dogs when it comes to our outlook on life.

Here’s my top 5 life lessons from a dog’s eye view:

1. Go Hard or Go Home. Whatever these guys do, they do it full force. When it comes to fetching a ball it’s an all out sprint like their life depends on it, no 50% effort here. Time to play in the snow? They’ll play the heck out of some snow. Chew a heart rate monitor? There’s no stopping at a few teeth marks, they’re gonna eat the whole damn strap. Work hard, play hard, love hard, sleep hard. We should all approach our lives that way.

2. Be Here Now. This is something I wrote about when this blog was still a newborn (I think we’ve reached toddler status now, don’t you think?). Dogs have totally mastered the “be here now” mentality. It sort of goes along with #1. Whatever they’re doing in any given moment is the only thing that matters. They’re not worried about a tomorrow they can’t predict, or a past they can’t change. There’s only the here and the now. And the people that are in the here and now are the only ones that matter.

3. Life’s too Short to Hold a Grudge. I guess it’s easy when you have really bad short-term memory, but dogs will never hold a grudge. Trust me, I’ve tried to be mad at Moose but even after you yell at him for eating your shoe/ carpet/christmas ornament/etc, he turns around and looks at you with those big brown eyes that say, “I still love you.” You can’t stay mad at that! If we’re honest with ourselves, most of the things we get mad at other people for are usually very insignificant. Life is too short to say anything other than, “I might be upset, but I still love you.”

4. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. Don’t worry about looking like a weirdo. Get dirty, let it all hang out, seize the moment, make yourself comfortable. Do YOU. Because honestly, who are you trying to impress anyways? There’s the quote, “Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dogs never worry about being judged, or looking a certain way. They embrace all their dogginess and just get on with their bad selves.  Work it!

5. Life is Better Together. Dogs are pack animals, and crave companionship. They know that life is always better when we have people around us to share it with. Being alone has its perks (like stealing an entire plate of cinnamon buns off the counter and no one is there to stop you from eating every last crumb), but there’s nothing better than togetherness. That’s why you can be gone for 5 hours, or 5 minutes, but you better believe there will be tails wagging when you walk back through that door. Reunions are always so exciting!

Best. Road Trip. Ever

Daily Post Challenge: Describe the best road trip you’ve ever taken.

If you know me, then you know my heart skipped when I saw this question because I relish any opportunity to replay in my mind the three-week cross-country road trip Joey and I took when I graduated college. It was my graduation gift to myself, and 21 days we won’t ever forget. We went from Maryland to the Grand Canyon and back – stopping in major cities and exploring lots of national parks along the way.

We took HOURS worth of video and hundreds of photos, and while it took me a couple of months, ok, years, I whittled it all down into a fabulous 30 minute video that we have since shared with friends and family (basically anyone who will indulge me).

I won’t bore you with the 30 minute version, but here’s a fun, short version I put together. Enjoy!

Side note – our ‘music video’ portion of the video was done during an 8+ hour drive clear across the state of Kansas. Yeah, we went a little crazy and I have the video to prove it 😉

Food Porn Alert

Post Challenge: If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?

You may find this hard to believe after the Day of the 6lb Milkshake, but when I read this, the only thing I could think about was a hot-fudge brownie sundae. I’ve since upgraded to a peanut-butter hot-fudge brownie sundae.

What can I say? I freakin’ love me some ice cream. I’m going to make a hell of a pregnant lady one day.

Take Me Away

Post Challenge: Describe your dream vacation.

Prepare yourself, because if I’m dreaming, I’m going to dream big – but also within reason so I can imagine that YES maybe ONE DAY this could actually come to fruition.

So in my dreams, I’m able to take a month off from work for this three-part dream vacation. The first leg of the trip would be the adventure portion – an African Safari. Having done little more than a Google search in preparation for this part of my dream vacation, I can’t tell you exactly which country I would go on Safari in, but it doesn’t matter as long as I could see Lions, Tigers and Bear Giraffes, Elephants and maybe a Rhino or two.

I would definitely want to stay in rustic-cabiney-tent type shelter, like this one. See me sitting on the outdoor chaise? I mean, who wouldn’t want to wake up to an elephant. Pass the bug net!

So after about a week in Africa, I’d hop on the plane for the Greek Isles! This portion of the vacation I call Re…lax…ation. I’d want to stay a few nights in Santorini with a view like this one – soak up the sun, eat delicious food and run up and down the windy cliff-side roads belting out Abba tunes pretending I’m in “Mama Mia!” (Christine, please tell me you did this while in Greece.)

After that I’d charter a yacht (because we’re still dreaming a bit) to cruise through some of the Greek islands. I’d snorkle in hidden coves and relax on deserted sandy beaches. Ahhh…are you falling in love yet? Because I am.

After about a week of heaven-on-earth, I’d be off to Italy for a food and wine tour – Ciao bella! This portion of the trip is all about the culture. And it’s a strategic move to do Italy last because I fully intend to gain at least 10 pounds and I can’t be running around Greece with that extra baggage. How amazing does all this food look? Pizza in Italy is other-worldly.

The cheeses, the meats, the sauce, the herbs, the LOVE. I’m drooling. Literally, pass me a napkin.

In addition to the food and wine, I’d explore the art, history and culture of Florence, Tuscany, Sicily, Naples, Rome and Milan.

You know what, I think I need to add some extra time to this dream vacation. Make it 5 weeks. I’ll need at least 12 days for my tour of Italy.

After 5 weeks I’d return home fat, happy, tanned, and enriched. Now I’m off to play the lottery! O, and who’s watching the dogs???

Your turn! What would your dream vacation be?

The Sunny Side of Life

Daily Post: Are you an optimist, a pessimist, or something else?

Well you already know the answer from the headline and photo. I’m definitely an optimist. I generally believe everything works out in the end, and I try to remind myself that there’s no real use in complaining about things you can’t change. Life’s a journey, with ups and downs, but you just have to enjoy the ups and ride out the downs.

My mom would tell you the phrase I use the most in life is, “We’ll figure it out.” Which usually means whatever the topic is,  I haven’t given too much thought to it yet, I’ll cross that bridge when it’s more directly in front of me and I’ll figure out the solution then. No use in worrying or overanalyzing!

Don’t get me wrong, I have my pessimistic moments. I’m not one of those freakishly cheery people either (well maybe sometimes I am), but I definitely think that going through life with a smile on your face makes everything a little better. And if you project happiness and think “happy thoughts” ala Peter Pan, good things will be in store for you. Life is too short to dwell on the negative – the glass is definitely half full!

(I think this qualifies as a D-Spot PSA too)

Bloggers Block

I can’t find inspiration for an interesting post so I decided to post about my lack of inspiration for a post. I’ve got lots of great questions from the WordPress Post a Day Challenge that should be helping the creative juices flow:

If you had a time machine that only let you spend one hour in a different time, what date would you go to?

Describe the wackiest but most useful advice you’ve ever received.

Do you believe everything happens for a reason? Why or why not?

What gives you hope? And what, if anything, makes you question hope? And what makes you question your questions of hope? And…

But I’m feeling all dried up! The underlying purpose of the Post a Day challenge is to write though, so in essence I’m successfully meeting that mark. I can’t say I’m really creating any interesting content though.

So when in doubt, post a picture! And what better place to go in our minds on such a freakin’ cold winter night than MEXICO! Here’s a fun pic of Joey from our trip to Riviera Maya a few years back, proving once and for all that White men can indeed jump. Well, off sandbars anyhow…

Coming Right Up

Daily Post: What are you looking forward to this year? LOTS OF THINGS! Such as (in no particular order):

This girl getting married:

And this girl getting married:

And this girl getting married:

And going to the Dominican Republican with this girl for nuptials of girl directly above:

And going to NYC with this stud:

And getting to see this girl again while we are there (d0n’t touch the cheese!):

And undoubtedly going to the next Twilight marathon with this girl:

And hopefully these girls too:

And seeing this girl more often now that she’s back in DC:

And maybe getting this guy a new playmate:

The list goes on! If the first couple of weeks of this year have been any indication, 2011 is going to be a GREAT year. Booyaaah! (Yeah, I just said booyaah – I’m looking forward to bringing that back in 2011 too)

((PS: Mom, if you’re about to comment “What about your mothaaaa”…I’m looking forward to our girls day this weekend too!!))

60 Minutes


Daily Post Topic: You only have one hour to live, what would you do with those 60 minutes?

Today’s answer is brought to you by Joey, as transcribed by me via my droid (I’m being banned from spending all night in front of the computer upstairs):

The first 5 minutes I would eat as much food as possible until I throw up. ( Me: Why would you want to spend your last minutes on earth throwing up? Joey: Not my last minutes, my first 5 minutes.)

Then I’d get suited up for my last joy ride. (Me: Joyride? In what?? :::Joey just laughs::: ) I’d put the petal to the metal and lead the cops on a nice chase through town for about 25 minutes. For the next thirty minutes I’ll just think about dying. (Joey: This is stupid, I don’t like my answer let’s start again. Me: I just typed all this on my phone, we’re not starting all over)

Take 2

If I had one hour to live I would kiss my dog….shave my head and go swimming. ( Joey: I don’t know! You write this. Me: But you’re more entertaining). I would call my dad and tell him I’m dying in 59 minutes. Then I would call my mom and tell her I’m dying in 58 minutes. Then I would call my brother and tell him I’m dying in 57 minutes. I would then play Diana in Wii Baseball so I could go out as a winner.

The End

You probably just lost some brain cells reading this.

What Will They Say About You?

Today’s Daily Post question: What do you want to be remembered for? Holy heaviness – how do you answer that question? All I can picture is my own funeral and thinking about what I would want people to say. And even then, once I get past the morbidity of it all, I can’t come up with a great answer.

Lets start by listing the things I’m fairly certain I won’t be remembered for:

  • Finding a cure for cancer
  • Swimming the Atlantic Ocean
  • Going over Niagra Falls in a barrel
  • Having 8 kids and a reality show
  • Scoring the winning touchdown in a Super Bowl
  • Living with chimpanzees and writing about it
  • Coming up with the idea for Harry Potter
  • Winning 5 Emmys
  • Being the first woman to walk on the moon
  • Being the mother of David Beckham’s children (darn!)

I don’t envision leaving behind any lasting legacy – I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or if I’m not aiming high enough.

As I think back to the people I remember in my life, I don’t remember them for any one particular reason, but rather a million small reasons. It’s their laugh, or their smile. Their cooking or the things we used to do together. So at the end of the day, and at the end of my days (which god willing won’t be for a very very long time), just being remembered is good enough for me.

My Idea Of Organization!


Daily Post: How do you stay focused on a task or activity? Ironically I started writing this 20 minutes ago, but then stopped to look at Pam101 which turned into looking at a couple other web sites. Staying focused…yeah, about that. Well, when it comes to work I have a lot of deadlines, and I’m a stickler about making deadlines, so right there that helps me stay focused. If I’m not under deadline pressure but know I have to get something done, I usually try and set up some milestones in my day. Like, I won’t break for lunch until I finish x, y and z. Or, I can’t check out Freshly Pressed until I finish a & b. If I set up “rewards” throughout the day, it helps me stay focused. O, and of course there are my check lists! You know I LOVE me a good check list!