Sunday, September 19, 2021

AS TOLD BY MAGGIE MAE

AS TOLD BY MAGGIE MAE

Being the youngest in the family does have some perks, especially if you are the most vocal one. I am Maggie Mae, a two year old Goldendoodle. The story has been told over and over that my human pets, Lola and Smiley, took my brother, Davis out to the very same breeder(the best ever) where they found Davis. This was to allow Davis to help by finding a pup in the litter who had some response and interaction with him. 

Apparently, they did even debate if Davis would love having another dog in the family or want nothing to do with the other dog. Every puppy that was brought out to Davis there was nothing happening. No fireworks. No Ka-booms. Until I arrived on the scene. We hit it off right away. He let me climb on him, pull on his tail and speaking of tails...both of our tails were wagging as if to say, "Yes, pick me!"


And I am so glad that he did. I believe it was a perfect match. Davis is rather quiet. But over time, I have taught him how to join in my barking and howling when necessary. 

Also, I believe that my Lola and I have the same blonde hair and I know that I am lucky to have the natural smoky eye effect. Don't you think? The good news is that I am the 'natural blonde' and I don't have to apply the eye shadow. Just natural coloring. Lola lets me sit with her when she is using her make-up. So glad that I don't have to do that to my eyes.



The other thing is that she is a writer and sometimes I believe that she works too hard and needs to play more with us. I have found a good way to get her attention. It works!

Some things that I like to do is get all dressed up with my fancy bows or bandanas. I love to go riding in the car or watch out the windows so that I am seen for sure. Love it when we go through Starbucks drive-thru and the baristas talk about how cute we are and give us a puppuccino. One of the local stores actually put a dog bone in the top of the cup. 

Ahhh, the wind blowing in your face. Heavenly!


I know that Davis and I have a lot of fun at Walnut Grove Doggy Daycare. We have not been in a while because Davis has a touch of inflammation in his right front paw and then he stepped on something and ended up with a puncture wound. We will be back as soon as Dr. Taylor, Lola and Smiley get him all healed. I had a little female surgery and had to wear this unbelievable collar. Wow, was I ever happy when it came off. Davis tried to help me sometimes but he always got in trouble for helping to untie it. We both can be little devils at times.






Here is a picture of the Dynamic Duo and others showing what we like to do best. I can't understand why Davis loves the water so much. Not me. He did try to teach me how to jump high for water. I just stayed further away from the hose. I do prefer to play hide and seek on the jungle gym and do flying leaps off the top slide. Davis and I pretty much stay together at Daycare but there are times I find my way around some other friends.











Just being together is the way it should be. We are a team.





We do love cuddling together and Davis will even bring pillows to me to lay my head on for a nap or cover me the best he can when he thinks I am chilled.










Sometimes, I just have to take what is available, so I don't think that I am too spoiled.



Now I do need to let you know that my brother is a blanket thief. My blankies. His crate stays open all of the time. What is his is his and what is his is mine. However, my crate must be closed when he is roaming. Why? He goes in it and takes my blankies. I love my soft blankets and pillow. If my door is left open then I must stand guard.





When I was really young, he pretended that he was guarding me. I think that he was but I know he really wanted that blanket. I guess that he did not like it when I tried to get into his food and water.



Davis has taught me about Christmas and oh how I love that. It should be coming along soon. Still there is no tree up. That is the clue, I have learned. Also, all of the stockings are put out.



The TV has become one of my favorite things to watch ever, mainly when there is a dog in the movie. That Turner and Hooch show is the best ever. The Art of Racing in the Rain is also good. Smiley watches a veterinary show with all kinds of animals. That is another favorite along with the different dogs prancing in dog shows for Best in Show. 

Then there are my girls. BG and Sky. With the pandemic it seemed like forever before I got to be with them again. Finally, with vaccinations for the grownups, it was safe to be with them again. 



When you get lucky and have a big brother who gives you the bully stick first, it is a grand feeling. He gets it in the end, one way or another. It is the thought that counts.


Somehow, I just knew that I wanted to be the lil' sis. So I stayed smaller by 30 pounds. I know that we keep Lola and Smiley entertained. Sometimes maybe a little frustrated but they seem to always smile at us and talk softly. Even over my loud barking at delivery people, squirrels, people walking or riding bikes. I have encouraged Davis to start howling like a wolf to join in a duet. Usually, it involves a brief time out. Just long enough to stop the noise. 


We belong together always. We take good care of each other, as well as Lola and Smiley.




Sunday, September 12, 2021

SELF-ACCEPTANCE

 WHAT IS SELF-ACCEPTANCE

Let me start with what self-acceptance is not. Accepting something does not mean that you have to like it. The reality is that self-acceptance actually helps to facilitate change. That may sound counter intuitive. Just think about it for a moment. Accepting yourself covers a lot of ground. One must be willing to look in the mirror and not see the problems that you may want to change. First look at the good. It may take actually sitting down and writing all of the good things about yourself. No one else needs to read it. As the author, you just need to believe in the words that you write from your heart. 



It does not mean that there are no imperfections. It means to truly have unconditional self-acceptance and to accept imperfections and all. Is anyone I know perfect? How about you? Is anyone that you know perfect? I don't know about you but there are actually people out there who believe they are perfect and have no problem with self-acceptance. Where their problem is that they can't accept that others know they are not perfect (or eventually will find out). Just be kind. Perhaps at some point it will kick in and they will understand that there are at least ten signs of self-acceptance. I am sure there are more, however, I found a list of ten to share.
  • self-accepting people are happy people
  • self-accepting people go out of their way
  • self-accepting people are always open to being loved and complimented
  • self-accepting people are empowered to be their 'real selves.'
  • self-accepting people accept themselves as they are right now
  • self-accepting people are able to laugh at themselves, often and easily
  • self-accepting people have the ability to recognize and attend to their own needs
  • self-accepting people are self-determining people
  • self-accepting people are in good contact with reality
  • self-accepting people are assertive
Some descriptive words that come to my mind when I think of self-acceptance are: trust, observe, appreciate, accept, care, attend, engage, embrace, allow, express, liberate, share, encourage...and yes, there are so many more!

There truly is no amount of self improvement that can make up for any lack of self acceptance. I know that I have many self improvement books and do they help? Yes, they do but only after I understand that I must first be self-accepting of the ME right now. My diet is not only what I eat. It is what I watch, what I listen to, what I read, the people I associate with...I have learned that I must be mindful of the things that I put  into my body emotionally, spiritually and physically. They all connect! They all are important and need to work together.


This is the power of self-acceptance.  Our relationship with ourselves is the most powerful of all. Other relationships will not be able to thrive if we don't work on self-acceptance. It is what helps me in becoming successful in my dreams. 
 


These quotes on self-acceptance are strong and proven to be true. It took quite a hard look for me to see just how true this kind of outlook on life is to move forward. Do I always feel this way? Not just no, but hell no. I can have my moments where I have to let myself have a pity party and then work on how I will begin looking in the mirror and accepting me for who and what I am. 

As taken from Vironika Tugaleva, an author of self-help books interestingly enough, she believes that we work hard to fix ourselves but just maybe what we need is not another plan or book to be fixed. Maybe what is holding us back is the idea that we need to be fixed. Once we let go of that concept and just accept ourselves and know that we don't need to be accepted by others then that wanted desire of ours can go to another level and begin to happen over time. 

"Self-acceptance is not the end. It's the beginning."
Nataly Kogan

Sunday, September 5, 2021

TIME TO LET IT GO

 TIME TO LET IT GO



It has been years since the Disney movie came out and stole the hearts of children and adults alike. The saying of, "Let it go," was and still is being used as words of advice. There is a good reason for that. It is the healthy choice. If one can't let it go then this negative energy is fogging up our vision and holding us back to move forward. Truly, it is a way of freeing yourself in more ways than imagined.

Holding grudges against someone or something that has in our minds done us wrong or even replaying the event. Imagine what that is doing to our thought processes. Using this negative energy by rewinding a resentment keeps us stuck in that place. Once I have acknowledged my problem which could be a grudge or an event in my life that was not fair to me in my eyes...then it is time to ask myself is feeling this resentment going to change things? Will it turn things around? The answer is always a very loud, "NO!" Then that is the time for me to press STOP and reject that human urge to keep replaying. It is like getting caught up in a loop. That is when I know it is time to get off of that roller coaster. It will not magically turn things around. People are all different. We don't know what is going on in other's lives. So while I may still be holding on to this grudge, the other person has long since moved on.

It is like letting go of a bad habit that is not good for us. Is it easy? No! The question is do I want to be right or do I want peace. It does not serve me well. I can't have both. 

I know that I have the ability to get out of the loop and to let it go while being calm. Another method that I have used to help me is to ask friends or family members if they have a time in their life that they could share with me. Who knows? It may give me the inspiration that will help give me that little push. Surrounding myself with positive people is another good way to let it go.


For myself, trying to talk it out with the person that I am having a conflict with is not a good choice for me. Everyone is different. It tends to drag the situation on even longer and make the conflict even deeper. Really, it is better to agree to disagree and to move on. 

Finding ways to surprise others as well as myself can move me forward in a much faster way. Telling jokes, pointing out the absurd and silliness in life...it is like fighting despair with joy and fun. When I hear a comment that makes me want to lash out at someone, I work hard at holding back. Deep breathing or going for a short walk gives me the time to evaluate whether I even need to respond. Usually, the answer is no.



In fact, there are times that closing that door leads to a surprise at the opening of another door. Try it! Taking the higher road can surprise you.


Practicing kind acts almost always bring surprises my way. Little things such as texting a friend or calling to see how they are doing. Maybe an elderly neighbor could use help picking up some groceries or getting the trash bin out to the curb. There are other ways such as supporting a local book store and sending a book to someone just to make them smile. Being kind does not have to cost a fortune. Baking some cookies and sharing with a neighbor or picking flowers to make a bouquet will work. I find that making room in my heart for something that is uplifting can turn my world around. 

It is a matter of lightening my load and letting it go by being kind to every kind, including myself!


Sunday, August 29, 2021

LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE ME HAPPY

 LITTLE THINGS CAN MAKE ME HAPPY


It really is true. It is the little things that can make big changes in my life. Smiling, for instance. Most all of the time you can smile at a stranger and you will receive one back. In the times that we live in now (wearing masks due to Covid) we have learned more of how to read a smile through the eyes. I know that I feel better with a smile on my face rather than a frown. So I kicked that Debby Downer out of my life.

Some of the ways that I manage to do it I would like to share in my blog.




Finding my morning ritual. It can be alone or with someone. It starts my day off on the right foot. Becoming present and a wonderful way to begin my day. Quiet thoughts...usually quiet with my helpers not far away. They enjoy watching and listening to the birds with me. It does not matter whether we are at the front of the house looking out on the humming birds and song birds or if we go out to the screened in porch to start the day. It is our ritual. Sometimes I like to throw in some meditation or play my mindful app on my fitbit/phone. Slowing it down for the day is such a positive for me and I am lucky now that I am able to do this. Sometimes it could be a challenge if one has small children or a specific time to be at work. Still, I believe that with a little creativity, it is a doable project.


When starting a mundane task, such as the laundry, it always is better to have some music playing in the background. Music can be a wonderful way to perk up your spirits. Sing along, whether you are in the laundry room, or shower or in your car. Belt out a few songs from your playlist. And oh yes, make a playlist just for this purpose. Add in some of your favorites. I know for me I must have Bohemian Rhapsody, Andrea Bocelli, or the whole soundtrack of Mama Mia. Off key or not...it will take your mood elevator up to the top floor.




As my day carries on, I must remind myself that it is not the end of the world if everything does not get checked off of my to do list and stop shifting negative thoughts toward myself. It is never ok to be a bully - even toward yourself.



Trying new things is a fun and creative way to keep my brain moving. Brain fog is not something that I want to hang around. Picking up my guitar to strum some songs that I remember playing, as well as going back and learning new ones. Playing The Rosetta Stone to practice a second language. It has been ages since I ever painted with water colors and acrylics. Now I even have my own special place with an easel and all of the tools I need for when it is time to reach for the artsy part of me.


Having a green thumb is not something that I lead the top of the class with, so I worked around it. I do love cooking with fresh herbs. My thoughtful and loving husband found a very special gift for me. An Aerogarden. They have all sizes to choose from and then you get to pick the type of herbs or veggies that you wish to grow. Trust me. There is no way to go wrong. Lights go on to tell me when to water, when to prune, when to add fertilizer and show me how to store the herbs while they continue to grow. 


There are so many other ways to work on positivity and happiness but I really want to end this blog on a  feel good note. I like to give a special someone in my life my undivided attention. Listen to them, while looking at them and not my phone or thinking about my to do list. For example, I have a very thoughtful daughter who calls me every day. Just to say hi or tell me something important that is going on in her life. Sometimes it may not be the most convenient time, however, there is nothing in my life that I could be doing that could not be put on hold while I give her my undivided attention. It gives me such a happy feeling and hopefully it lets her know how important she is to me. My husband and I know when it is our time together we sometimes take calls from our children. That is because now that we both are retired we actually have that ability to share our time more.


I like to find ways to connect with optimists on social media. I have learned how to scroll on down when the Nellie Negatives want to spout off. There are some people that seem to love to share that they were up at 5 and then go on to list all of the errands they did and accomplished and now it is 12 noon. Even if they were Wonder Woman, it is not happening, it didn't happen, so why would I read that junk? Much more impressive to connect to optimists on social media. 


One very special little thing that I love to do every so often is to place a cheery little love note to my husband somewhere he will least expect it. This seems to make him happy too. He can save them in a jar or use them as a bookmark. His choice, yet it is the little things that can make us all happy!