Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Dear Friends

Today I am adopting my new dog and I'm a nervous wreck. It's taken me several months to feel I can share my life with another furry friend after my sweet Homer died last August, but now I'm ready. I hope.

Homer was so laid back that he was almost not a dog. He was completely blind and because of that he made his way through life slowly, presumably not wanting to crash into anything. It seemed as if he slept 23.5 hours a day, including through my arrivals home (no meeting me at the door) and the doorbell ringing (he was pretty deaf, too), and if he deigned to go for a walk, it wasn't very far. Sometimes I was lucky to get him to the end of the driveway. Like I said, he almost wasn't a dog. And if ever there was a dog person, it's me. I'm up for walking a dog for miles, having one meet me at the door as if he hasn't seen me in ages even though all I did was walk to the mailbox, and for having to actually do some training.

My new dog is going to be a handful, though. Found as a stray, he's been at the shelter for 9 months. He was probably an outside dog and thus has few social graces. He's strong, he's energetic, he's smart, and I'm pretty sure he'll be sleeping a lot less than 23.5 hours a day.

For the past several weeks, I've been waking up in the middle of the night, fretting about endless 'what ifs.' What if he is too much dog for me? What if his vet bills are too expensive (he has neurological issues)? What if I'm not the person he really needs? And on and on. I wish I could turn off my mind and rely on guidance unaffected by what scary scenarios the mind can drum up in the middle of the night.

When I was younger I had the ability to take risks and trust that all would be well, period, but these days I'm entertaining tons more 'what ifs' than I used to. I'm not sure if it's because I now have years more life experience under my belt (and am more familiar with the consequences of poor choices) or if it's because of fear. I hope it's the former and not the latter. I hope my caution has to do with being more realistic about what can actually go wrong if I make one decision rather than another. I hope all this concern is another word for 'wisdom' because I shudder at the thought that my caution is fear-based, nurtured by the omnipresent fear that sells the evening news and so many of the products with which we clutter our lives.

Through all of this what-iffing, I worked myself up enough so that I ended up chuckling, realizing that if I'd gone through the same worried machinations before getting pregnant, I probably would have never had kids! So, after all of my extremely thorough worrying and questioning, I ended up listening to my gut, knowing that whatever the future held for my new dog and me, things would somehow be OK. There is so much out there to discredit or drown out our gut instinct nowadays, but I know it can be just the guidance we need to steer us through the choppy waters of simply too much thinking, analyzing, and worrying.

In the year ahead, my wish for us all is that we remember the wisdom within our gut and listen with an open heart to that wisdom and go ahead and get the dog — whatever that may be.

Other Issues:
From our archives -- Offering Wisdom to New Moms

From our archives -- The Best Good Deed

From our archives -- Embracing the Wonder of Children

From our archives -- Encouraging children to live their bliss

From our archives

Holiday 2013 -- Embracing the World of Wonder

Winter 2013 -- Recipe for a Happy Thanksgiving

Fall 2013 -- Finding Beauty in the Everyday Tasks

Late Summer 2013 - Taking Our Own Advice

Midsummer 2013 -- Appreciating Nature's Bounty

Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Late Spring 2013 -- Having Realistic Expectations

Spring 2013 -- Offering Mothering Wisdom

Early Spring 2013 -- Being True to Our Nature

Holiday 2012 -- Appreciate the Goodness

Winter 2012 -- Enjoying the Anticipation

Early Fall 2012 -- Looking Back to Appreciate Now

Summer 2012 -- Chinaberry's History & Future

Early Summer 2012 -- My Dad

Late Spring 2012 -- My Satisfying Yet Untraditional Upbringing

Spring 2012 - The Consequences of Our Actions

Early Spring 2012 - Learning From Experience

Winter 2011 - The Small Moments

Holiday 2011 - The Good Deed

Fall 2011 - Gratitude

Late Summer 2011 - Overwhelmed? You're Not Alone.

Midsummer 2011 - Louise's Gallery

Early Summer 2011 - Flying 101: Giving Them Wings

Late Spring 2011 - Letting Them Fail

Spring 2011

Early Spring 2011 - Encouraging Your Kids to Live Their Bliss

Fall 2010 - The Chinaberry Commitment

Late Summer 2010 - In the Blink of an Eye

Midsummer 2010 - It's Her Story

Early Summer 2010 - Weathering the Storm

Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Enjoy the Ride

Early Spring 2010 - Enter the Land of Dirt and Bugs

Winter 2009 - Less Cleaning, More Meaning

Holiday 2009 - Finding Gratitude Every Day

Fall 2009 - Teaching Children Through Our Actions

Late Summer 2009 - A Spoonful of Sugar

Midsummer 2009 - Give Your Kids the Gift of Boredom this Summer

Early Summer 2009 - Who's the Kid and Who's the Parent?

Late Spring 2009 - Making Connections

Spring 2009 - Fully Engaging With Our Children

Early Spring 2009 - Building Character While Playing Characters

Winter 2008 - Never Underestimate the Value of a Good Hello

Holiday 2008

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Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

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Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

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Late Spring 2007

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Holiday 2006

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