The other day I made a mistake. I went online to pay a bill using one of my two banking accounts. I was rushing because this summer is on warp speed and as a result I used the wrong account to pay a bill.
 
The good news is my bank covered the payment so I only got one outrageous non-sufficient funds charge instead of two. Taking a $32.00 hit for being careless was not easy to swallow.
 
We are all stressed in many ways this Year. We all cheered when 2020 ended and looked forward to a new and better year. 2021 has been a mixed bag at best for most and a disaster for many. And it’s not over yet!
 
I moved to Oshkosh with the knowledge that I would be centrally located and close to several airports and could travel. Staying in Wisconsin every day of the year was not in the plans. I have six living brothers and sisters scattered throughout the country and their very large families as well. My husband’s family are all in New England. With the exception of his daughter who came to help us celebrate her brother’s life in April, he died of Covid five days before his forty-fifth birthday, we have seen no family this year. I saw my sister in 2019, but have seen no one else since 2017. I feel like I have been held hostage and it makes me sad I can’t see my family. And the international trips I missed make me weep.
 
And then there’s all that’s involved in bringing life to a house built in 1875 and trying to create beauty from weeds. Work, volunteer work, health issue for us both all have made for stressful year.
 
Some evenings when I’m tired and discouraged about money and not being able to hug my siblings or travel for fun I draw my dog closer to me. He likes to sit next to us on the sofa as we watch yet another movie or show and eat something unhealthy neither of us needs. I stroke his fur, laugh at him as he tries to stay awake as his eyes narrow to slits and his head falls low only to see him jerk as if to say, “I’m not sleeping, I’m just resting my eyes,” the way my kids used to do.
 
I realize that all the worry gets me nowhere, this is just a moment in time and there will be other trips, wood prices will come down, the weeds will always be there and I need to look beyond them to the beautiful gardens we’ve created. I pull my dog closer and decide that if there is reincarnation I want to come back as a dog who is owned by someone like me. Someone who is loved by their human and can pour all of his love into that person who chose him out of all the dogs in the shelter.
 
Dogs who have been chosen by responsible humans who would jump into the fire to save their dog if they had to are happier because their entire focus is on their person. No bills, no weeding, no worry.
 
When you rescue a dog you take away their worry about nutritious food, clean water, shelter, exercise, and being loved. And at the end of our lives, those are all the things that matter.
 
I think I need to be more like my dog and remember what really matters in life. Because he is for sure the happiest guy around.