Today seemed to be a day of positive reflection for me. Yesterday was the 2 year anniversary of the passing of my Scottish Terrier Ali. As I was remembering all of the great and funny times we had, I could not help but to think about the day he died. I remember donating all of his stuff the animal hospital and going home pulling the cover over my head. I did not leave the house for several days after his death. Then one day there was a knock at the door. Contemplating whether or not I was going to answer, I sat there in silence. The knocking only got louder. I finally went to the door and it was my neighbor. I am sure she was frightened of the sight that came to the door because I was looking the way I was feeling, A COMPLETE MESS. She told me she hadn’t seen me outside for several days and she wanted to make sure I was doing okay. I muttered something to try to get rid of her, but it did not work. She continued to tell me how she enjoyed seeing me and Ali outside playing around and that he would not want me to isolate myself. I thanked her for coming over and told her I was going to get out of the house. She told me if I didn’t she would be back and she was going to assist me. We laughed and I shut the door, but I knew she was as serious as she could possibly be.
On yesterday while I was working, there was this loud, strong knock at the door. Gambino and I looked at each other. He started to bark and I started to ask him questions like “who is that knocking like the police? Why are they at my door? and Where is the bat?” I finally made it to the door and there stood this beautiful little elderly woman with her cane. It was my neighbor’s mom. When I opened the door, she said ” my daughter told me to come and knock on your door if I wanted to turn the TV on in the living room because the last time I tried to turn it on the repairman had to fix it!” I laughed, grabbed Gambino and went over to help her. While I was trying to figure out the television remote controllers, she went on to tell me how much she enjoys watching me walk Gambino. She especially likes when he puts the leash in his mouth and walks himself. She reminded me of the time he ran up the street and when I started chasing him, I lost a shoe. We laughed and I offered to give her Gambino because clearly he was a bad puppy!
I get messages from some of my friends on social media that say they look forward to reading my posts because they can count on them being hilarious or inspirational. I never knew people were enjoying them. I try to share things that touch me in some way and can hopefully do the same for someone else. You never know who is watching you. You never know what kind of impact you can have on a person’s life by just doing typical everyday things. Who did you notice today? Did you say something kind to anyone today? Sprinkle kindness on everything!
4 days into 2018 and lessons are literally appearing from the most simple things. When I got up on the first morning of the new year, I was very excited. I found myself thanking God for allowing me to make it yet another year. I was and continue to be excited about my journey I am yet to complete. Any day above ground means He is not done with me and I still have a purpose here on this earth. I know life gets hard sometimes and the feeling of defeat may find its way into our mind, but we have to keep going.
I would like to share some lessons I have already learned this year with the help of perspective (and Gambino):
- Trust- Gambino was crying in his crate at night even though he did not have to go outside. I finally figured out he didn’t want to sleep in the crate. I was so scared to let him stay out all night, but I would never know how he would be outside of the crate unless I trusted him at least once. I put one of his beds at the foot of my bed before I went to bed and when I got up the next morning, there he was curled up in a ball waiting on me to awake. I had to take the first step and trust him. Sometimes we have to step out on faith and trust everything will work out for the better.
- Hidden In Plain Sight- Since Gambino was out of the crate, I knew he had to use the restroom and I needed to rush him out to the grass. I was running around looking for this thin black leash and I could not find it. I looked in its usual spot and it was not there. I asked him where it was and he wouldn’t tell me so I finally had to use the back up leash. As soon as I came back in from walking him, I sat on my couch to warm up. As I pulled my black comforter over my feet, the thin black leash dropped to the floor. There it was hiding in plain sight. It was not lost, it was where I left it. Panic should not be our go to emotion when we think something is lost. It’s more likely than not, hiding in plain sight.
- It Has Always Been In Us- For those of you who know me personally, you know I don’t make new years resolutions. I stopped making those several years ago when I finally realized it was a trap. When the clock strikes 12 and the new year arrives, it is a new day. The day before was once a new day as was the day before that. A clock is just a clock, the real change has to be in your mind. When you make your mind up to begin something, it is only at that time change will take place.
Join me and look for life lessons in the most simple of things. Open your mind and change your prospective towards things. God does not always make a huge production when He teaches us, sometimes He uses the smallest things we tend to overlook.
I was never a dog person growing up. I thought there were only two kinds of dogs; vicious ones and stray ones running around outside eating everything in sight. Honestly, I was afraid of both. I tried not to walk past houses with dogs in fear of being chased. If I saw a stray dog in the yard, I would stay in the house. Once I moved to Atlanta, it was as if everyone had a dog. They were in cars, purses, department stores and even on bikes with their humans. For the life of me, I could not understand what the fascination was. Then I met my wonderful friend Machelle. She had a Pomeranian named Cody and I thought he was going to eat me alive. Whenever I went to her house, he would bark and I would run from this 5lb ball of fur. Machelle insisted he was trying to get to know me. I insisted he was trying to rip my skin open to eat my insides. Yes, I was a bit dramatic but fear does that to you. During one of my visits, Machelle and I were laughing about something silly and Cody jumped in my lap and rested. I didn’t know what to do next. Do I run? Do I throw him off my lap and head for the door? Do I ask her to get him off of me? I ended up sitting there. She told me to rub him if I liked. That was when it happened, I was converted. Cody let me rub him and I started talking to him. I felt like he understood each word I was saying to him. We became instant friends. I couldn’t believe I was ever afraid of him. He was so fluffy and friendly.
I had the “puppy bug”. I played with every puppy and dog I saw. I had full blown conversations with them not realizing I was ignoring their owners. I would leave the interaction knowing all about the dog and not even knowing the owner’s name. (I still do that!) I decided I wanted a puppy. I started doing research on the best breeds and all of the do’s and don’ts about getting a new puppy. The opportunity presented itself and I was able to get a Scottish Terrier. I named him Ali. He was the absolute best. We developed a great bond. Ali taught me so much about patience and unconditional love. We had routine and my favorite things became his favorite things. Ali even taught my family a bit of patience and understanding. My dad, mom and second-mom were not dog lovers. When I took Ali home to visit, I thought we would not have a place to stay. When I introduced them to Ali, all they wanted to know was if he was going to bite them. All he wanted was love. They welcomed us both with open arms . They loved Ali because I loved him. He was now a part of our family. He got gifts at Christmas like everyone else. It was wonderful. I was blessed with Ali for 13 years. I lost him to cancer in September of 2016. I was devastated and I vowed never to get another dog. It hurt too much when he died. The first night I walked back into my house and he was not there to greet me was unbearable. I donated all of his belongings to an animal hospital the same night.
More than six months had passed since his death and I was still without a faithful companion. My friends kept asking me when I was going to get another puppy. I was so reluctant to the idea. There were days I wanted another dog and there were days I didn’t. I could never replace Ali and I didn’t want to love another animal the way I loved him. To tell you the truth, my life was really boring without a dog. All I did was work and when I wasn’t working I was constantly trying to find something to do. On my son’s 24th birthday April 1, 2017, I received a text message asking if I was still looking for a dog. I asked ” who is this and who sent you?” Then it happened, he sent me a picture of this 1lb Maltipoo and I fell in love all over again. My friend and I went to Greensboro and picked him up. Please allow me to introduce you to my Gambino. He is so smart and spoiled. I wouldn’t want him any other way. He is about 7 months in this picture. He refused to go to bed that night.
It was a glorious rainy afternoon in October and there was slight breeze in the air. Anyone that knows me, knows this is my absolute favorite time of the year. I was going to make the most out of this day. My plans included playing with my puppy Gambino, taking a hot shower, making a bite to eat, binge watching Brit Box while doing a bit of writing. This was a great day to be home or so I thought. It was around 3 PM as I was stepping out of the shower all of a sudden my music stop playing. Everything got quiet and the air conditioner faded. Initially, I didn’t give it a second thought. It was only raining hard outside. There was no thunder or lightening so surely it was just a glitch in the system. After I got dressed, I decided to take a nap because there was nothing else to do. I could cook, watch television and read once I woke up. I knew the power would be restored by then.
I woke up feeling like I had been asleep for days. Gambino was waking up and we sat there staring at each other, trying to figure out what to do next. It was so quiet and there was still no power. By that time, I was getting upset and hot. It was getting dark. I was hungry and bored out of my mind. I called Georgia Power and was told they were aware of the outage and to keep calling back for updates. I was not ready to hear that. I immediately started pouting and complaining. ” Are you serious right now?” “It ain’t even doing anything outside!” “Man, I should’ve stayed in Alabama!” After the rant monologue, I lit candles and just sat down. I was lucky enough to have a portable charger, so I was able to listen to some music and play on social media. I sang every song in my catalogue to Gambino until he finally ran under the couch. It was too hot to sleep. I was tired of singing and I just wanted to watch British television. I finally just sat there, mad at the world. While I was sitting in my recliner, acting as if my world had come crashing down, a little voice told me to stop complaining and be thankful. But I didn’t want to be thankful, I wanted to a brat because my plans were ruined. Reluctantly , I re-evaluated my situation. It was raining outside, but I had shelter. There was no electricity, but I had candles and a flashlight. I could’ve read by candlelight. I was not able to cook, but I had food I could’ve eaten that was already prepared. I could’ve ordered in if I chose to. The air conditioner or fan was not working, but I could’ve opened up all of my windows as well as my patio doors. I felt bad about complaining. At least I knew I would have power at some point. The people in Puerto Rico not only don’t have power, but they don’t have anything. Everything they once knew is no longer there and they have no idea when things will get back to normal. There I was carrying on about a little power outage, when all I had to do was to look around and count my blessings. Sometimes we focus more on what we don’t have rather than being grateful for what we do have. Things don’t always go as planned, but that’s okay. The power was eventually restored around 3:00 AM in the morning. What did I do once I had power? Turned off everything and went to bed.