Perspective – Two dogs – Happiness
Two dogs. There’s a difference between coping and going beyond coping and the difference, is happiness.
I’m at the park, down the street from my son’s elementary school. I’m sitting in my car, stapling fifth grade book orders together. The school has recently become a “closed campus” and only “approved” volunteers are allowed in the classrooms with the students.
After five years of donating a half hour of my day to my kid’s teacher, you’d think – if I had TB – they certainly would know by now, no? Bottom line is, I refuse to be tested. I’ll save that rant for another post.
It’s a decent park, shady, as it’s still early. Slightly annoying that they’re shredding brush at the moment but I sink into the music and get lost in my task, trying with each grouping to find ways to be more efficient while coddling my flaring arm that feels the stapler’s heavy as a cinder block. And I realize there are two dogs, barking like mad on the hill behind me. I see their shiny coats flash across the rear view mirror and I turn to look out the back window.
It’s not an off-leash park, yet they are. Labs. One black, one brown. Barking like mad as they back away from their owner, “THROW THE BALL!!” they seem to shout. The ball is launched and they run together. I smile, feeling their doggy joy.
The black dog gets the ball, his brown brother conceding immediately, still joyful to be outside and living. They run back in tandem. Black dog drops the ball, brown dog seems to nod as he watches it bounce towards their owner. They both bark and the above scenario continues on repeat.
As I watch, I realize that a lot of us are that brown dog. Happy to be outside and living. We can’t run as fast as the black dog but, instead of being “jealous,” and trying to “steal” the ball as it bounces toward the owner, brown dog is just happy to be included.
He never got the ball and it didn’t diminish his joy. He didn’t slink off into a corner feeling sad that his brother always got all the glory. Or, attacking his brother because his capabilities are superior.
Everywhere in life we will watch people surpass us, for many reasons or, for no obvious reason at all. Someone else wins the lottery, someone else graduates college, someone else finds love. Someone else can stay awake all day, isn’t wracked with pain, is successful or popular or…the list is endless really.
Even though it was obvious to everyone he’d never get it, the brown dog never gave up running for that ball. He never failed to capitalize on the opportunity to “try” to get the ball. He didn’t jump on the wambulance, complaining of the unfairness of it all, he just ran. Happy.
Every day we have a choice.
People with chronic conditions already have less hours in a day than others without those issues, don’t give up your valuable minutes feeling less than.
Be the brown dog.