I keep thinking of my favorite movie quote...."Seize the day.....make your life extraordinary"; whispered by the lead actor, Robin Williams, as he points to a trophy cabinet filled with pictures of teams from the past.....reminding the young boys that all those men in the pictures were dead. It's the fate of all of us; the ending punctuation of our life book is death. Indeed the other truth is: we have the opportunity to make this day, the one we are living right this very moment, amazing. The quote reminds me...I choose....at the very least, and most, I chose my focus.
The Scio Trial 2016.......I really enjoyed my dogs. Sis showed the things we have worked on in understanding, all the while knowing, she needs time to become. I asked things of her she was not quite ready to give and yet she also showed understanding and partnership as she sorted all the "new" I threw at her. My job now is to be fair and cut the muscle memory in myself; that muscle that goes to a bit of yelling when any dog does not seem to listen to what I am trying to say. Bella ran and it was good to see that she is feeling pretty fit. I spayed her in January and took a tumor off her back leg. Our journey back to fitness has been a little sore. She is also a little chubby.....sigh....taking weight off a spayed dog requires some creativity and the help of a village.
I read a blog post the other day that presented the idea: much of disappointment, and perhaps even some depression, stems from "expectations." At the end, the article encouraged me to let go of my daily expectations. I've thought about this for the past few days.......
I've made my own equation from the idea.....expectation + perfectionism = _______________. I've lived this, having had a few people in my past life that were expectation + perfectionism + personal low self esteem = very critical negativity. You know the type...where nothing you do is ever good enough and there is always, always something wrong. Perhaps I brought that to my early dog interactions.....poor Snook, my sacrificial first dog. Digging a little deeper, perhaps I brought this to my college years, friendships, parenting and most certainly to my relationship with myself.
I've already, with intention and focus, begun to put to death my perfectionism. The new question is: how does one let go of "expectation," especially when a toe is dipped in the pool of a competitive based activity? First off, letting go of other people's expectations is paramount. It's not just the sheep dog world of critical comparison...it's everywhere. I'm dabbling in the world of bees and I have joined a few 'bee forums.' I've found the critical expectation there as well.....from what type of hive is maintained, to needing to wear a total and complete bee suit to be comfortable working with those tiny stinging pollinating creatures from Heaven. "I'm so badass, I tend my bees in my birthday suit...you SHOULD too." Um...not ever going to happen!!!
I've been working with myself on "being present" for the past few years. I've struggled with this.....but it's a worthy quest for me as I let go of expectations. Also letting go of, what Dr. Daniel Amen calls, ANTS: Automatic Negative Thoughts. I've already confessed I work my mind around to seeing the beauty of the land as I nurture it back around to fertile and healthy instead of focusing on how sick and uncared for it was when I began. As I run, I try to see and be a part of the run rather than allow my mind to make lists of things needing done or worse...get caught up in not really wanting to run! At the trail this past weekend, I found myself falling into the list of expectations of what I thought my dogs could do, should do, do better. It was only a momentary lapse into the expectation insanity.....I breathed out and sought to seize the day. I volunteered to exhaust and move sheep with Sis.....
I spent some quality time with people I have not seen for a long while.....and while we chatted, I really focused on being in the here and now; I learned more about them and their lives. I sat and watched dogs run....styles of handling, glimpses of understanding, creativity in partnerships. As I drove home, I knew the day had unfolded into extraordinary.
Letting go of expectations, working on being present, exterminating ANTs, directing focus, and along the way.....finding the magic....it's a noble quest and I'll keep to it.
Seize the day.....make life extraordinary!