Sunday, January 3, 2016

Being Good in 2016

2015 was a pretty good year.  In 2013 and 2014, Ken declared every day in December: "I just can't wait for this year to be over! Maybe next year will be better."  I didn't hear him say it even once this year.  That means we were okay!  Woohoo!  As for next year, let's take that as it comes, one day at a time.

Thanks for sharing my concern about Bubbe.  She's been released from the hospital and is back at home (an assisted living facility), with a few hours of caregiver assistance scheduled daily.  Her ailments are as controlled as they can be, and I'm sure that she's thrilled to be back in her own space. Hopefully this will help her mental state.

My New Year's Eve was fabulous.  I spent it at home, cozy in my PJs, far away from parties, crowds, confetti, and noisemaking devices.  Ken, being somewhat more social than I, attended our friends' annual party, which is basically an open house for everyone in their neighbourhood.  This includes peoples' kids, therefore much YELLING and RUNNING AROUND, and CHAOS.  Ken maintains that it was a great party and I would have hated it.  I believe him on both counts.

I don't have any resolutions for 2016, nor any ambitions, other than to do my best every day to be a good-natured and reassuring presence in the world.  I mean, of course I will continue to do all of the things that I feel are sensible, like eating vegetables and saving money.  But I feel that we have collectively created unrealistic standards of what it means to be a good human.  We would do quite well, some of us, if we could just be as good as a "good dog" or even a "good tree".

A good dog doesn't have to earn lots of money, or wear fancy clothes.  A good dog has to be friendly and loving; stay calm under stress; enjoy playing; and not be destructive.   That's it!  There is no dog Nobel prize and no great novel written by a dog.  That's okay.  All that the good dog has to do in order to make a huge, positive difference in the world is show up with an open heart.  If I can accomplish as much as a good dog on any given day, I feel satisfied with myself.

On days when it's too much to ask of myself to be a good dog, I try to be a good tree.  A tree has to do even less than a dog to contribute.  I mean, who doesn't love trees?  A tree is beautiful by its very presence.  It doesn't require interaction, or visible growth.  It can do its own thing at its own pace, and yet still contribute to the landscape.  Basically the tree has to hang in there through the winter and be present during the other seasons, and most of us, consider it a blessing to have it around.  When a tree is lost it is sadly missed.  Aren't all trees good trees by default?

So, when in doubt, sit, stay, and shake a paw.  Or just hang out and wait for spring; it's coming!

11 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

Why does being good always involve eating more vegetables? Why can't being good include eating more cupcakes? I spent New Years day in the States. I was in bed by 9.30pm. :D Happy New Year!!

Gia said...

Aw, I like the good dog metaphor! (Plus, good dogs get treats. I'm a big fan of those.)

DarcKnyt said...

Other life lessons from dogs: if there's not a lot of tongue and slobber involved, it's not a real kiss. And always leave room in your schedule for a good nap. :)

We had a New Year's Eve like yours. Very comfy, watching the kids play their new video game console. Eating too much. Enjoying every moment. It was a good couple of weeks off for me, and I don't really care if anything went south while I wasn't looking. Also, I'm not looking forward to going back tomorrow. Ah, well. :)

Happy New Year, Spark. I'm glad I can share it with you.

Abby said...

Great advice for the New Year!

Thanks for visiting my place. I used to enjoy a quiet night and call it quits around 10:30 on New Years. Several years ago, my kids were trying to get me to stay up, and I said the only way I'd stay up until midnight is if someone would go out and run a "midnight mile" with me. Much to my surprise, they all wanted to do it! And we've done it every year since. So much for cozy night in my PJs! Happy New Year to you!

Granny Annie said...

I could be a good tree as long as a good dog doesn't come along to pee on me:-) So glad Bubbe is better.

Ginny said...

I'm with Joe. I wish being good was eating more cupcakes ha ha. I do like my veggies though so that's something at least. Happy New Year!

Snowbrush said...

I believe that WANTING to stay home on New Years and NOT making resolutions are both a sign of aging. Something else I’ve noticed is that one stops wishing for years to be over, the fewer of them one has left. I’m down to maybe 15, and that’s if I’m lucky, so to wish for even one of them to hurry up and end is to wish a significant portion of my life away.

Jenny Woolf said...

That is a positive attitude to 2016. Those resolutions never seem to work - at least not for me and most people I know! I am glad things are looking up for Bubbe. And a happy 2016 to you!

wigsf3 said...

2016 will be a long year. Loo-oong.
Sorry, don't mean to be a gloomy gus, but it will.
a) it's a leap year.
b) winter will still be half the year, only later in the year seeing as how it hasn't started yet.

But if length appeals to you, then it will be a great year.

Lynn said...

Glad your Bubbe is better. And I never make resolutions - but like your spin on them. :)

Vanessa T said...

Dogs and trees are good - although sometimes I think dogs don't like trees all that much. Or, they like them too much.

I'm so glad Bubbe is doing better. I pray for the sweetheart. You've brought her so much to life I feel as if I know her.

Rooting for and epic 2016 for you, dear Spark! You deserve it! *hugs*