Updated: Jul 7, 2020
The new year brings lots of new beginnings and dreams, but if you were a dog or a cat, what would your New Year's resolution be?
Allow me to be Dr. Dolittle and share the wisdom I've learned from my pets ( 3 dogs, 3 cats, 1 ferret).
1- To make sure and take time to smell the roses; and the garbage, and the bunny trails and the myriad of sweet aromas everywhere. We are always too busy to take a minute to enjoy what we are doing, to realize the beauty that surrounds us and to just breathe. If you see my dog, Uli, on his morning walks, the first thing he does is to stop, put his nose high up and smell the sweet air. He also checks out imaginary wildlife trails and generally seems to enjoy the walk rather than it being a perfunctory exercise of voiding, he converts it in an exercise on exploring and using the imagination. In this new decade, let us stop our rat race, take time to enjoy the beauty surrounding us. Take a walk, go barefoot in the grass and ground yourself. It is essential for our well being, to ward off depression and to bond fully with our pets, so take the time to turn walking your dog into a mental therapy session.
2- To forget the past wrongdoings and vow to be better. When my cat Texas destroys my computer works by deciding to sit on my keyboard, he takes a second to be upset that I shoo him off my desk and he'll return 5 minutes later ready to claim my love and attention. Pets live in the moment, they let go of the past and though they learn to avoid behaviors that upset their humans, they do not burden themselves with resentment. If we all learned to be more present, to look forward instead of back into our past, we would be a lot happier. After all, most suffering is created by being hung up in past hurts or rooted in anxiety over future possible outcomes.
3-Learn to be fun and to look for fun. My dogs and cats can turn a paper towel into a tug of war game, or the broom into a game of "catch this moving toy" as I try to sweep the kitchen. Fun activities are everywhere and most are free! They do require that you turn the phone off, share with your loved ones and fur kids though. So, let's use our creativity more, let's be like our pets and use what we already have and make it our goal to have fun with it. Your dog or cat doesn't care what brand of toys you buy them nor how much they cost, just that you are there playing with them. On the same vein, your loved ones want you to be present, to be fun and to just do something together!
Let's add "being more like my pets" as one of our New Year's resolutions, we'll all be the happier for it!