Choosing a Good-Time Filter
Every week the dogs and I go hiking with my dear dad. His favorite trail (Mueller Park – shown here) has crazy bushes along the way that create nasty stickers for dogs. My ex won’t even walk it. He says it’s not worth the trouble of pulling out stickers from coats for several days.
Plus there’s an abundance of deer and rabbits the dogs love to chase. And (I imagine) it’d be easy for them to get lost on this mountain.
So when Sadie or Joe launch an off-trail adventure, I’m not super encouraging of it. (That’s my indirect way of saying I yell at them to get their butts back here.)
Last week Joe went off trail for quite a while. So long that I thought I lost him. There was a lot of hollering that day. I was unusually hot. He jeopardized our good time by risking getting lost?! What a Stinker with a capital S! (Indeed it was an s-word I used, but it might not have been “stinker.”)
Anyway, as we’re wrapping up this morning’s hike, dad says, “I noticed Joe didn’t get in any trouble today.”
I realized he was right. There was no yelling, no hollering, no waiting. Joe was a very good boy today.
As I start to acknowledge agreement, dad says, “And it didn’t seem like he did anything different.”
Wait, what does he mean by THAT?
Of course Joe was different, because there wasn’t any trouble or hollering or MIA dogs.
I think about it, and realize Joe did go on an off trail adventure today. He was gone for a while – twice even! But I didn’t worry about him this time. I trusted he’d find his way back to us and all would be well. No yelling today.
Dad is not a master of subtlety. However, I realize today he is making a gentle point that we went on the same hike we always go on, this time there was no trouble. The difference was me.
Same Joe, same off trail adventures. No trouble.
So the trick for a more enjoyable walk with the dogs doesn’t have to do with dogs listening better. It has to do with ME and my CHOICES of how to be on this walk.
I can worry, or I can trust and enjoy. It’s so much nicer for everyone when I trust and enjoy. I know this stuff – why aren’t I practicing it more?!
Tonight I wonder where else I might spoil my potential good time by worrying instead of trusting and enjoying.
Well, I see it a lot more of it than I would have guessed. I thought I was the Good Time Queen! And now I see how I spoil my Friday night with Russ by fretting that he’s not off the golf course till 8, which is too late for dinner, too late for a movie, too late for fun.
I see that instead of being able to laugh at watching my ex and his dad try to re-trap nine feral bunnies (seriously, two Elmer Fudds lurking behind bushes with fishing nets and traps with carrots set on the trigger – classic humor!), I worry what fate might befall the bunnies if they’re not relocated.
I see that I could have more purposefully enjoyed four kitties growing up in my house if I wasn’t carrying the tendency to notice the absence of the two who didn’t make it.
No change in situation. Just a change in my perception, my response, my vibration. Makes all the difference in the world.
Wow!! What ELSE can I change??
Okay, I’m liking this … instead of being regretful about all the work that didn’t get done this week, I could relax and know the important stuff got done and enjoy my accomplishments. Maybe even look forward to the next week, instead of feeling behind for it.
Instead of being annoyed with dad for pointing out that I’m the only good time spoiler on the hike, I could be grateful for seeing it myself now.
My perception. That’s the difference.
The good time is always there. The only question is which filter am I using? Am I filtering for a good time, or filtering for a bad time? I’ll find either one I look for. Universe is very accommodating that way.
Here’s to a good time filter for all of us who desire it this (stateside Labor Day) weekend! Namaste.