Every morning, rain or shine, blizzard or polar vortex weather, Hector wakes up around six. He starts his day by climbing into my bed, nudging me with his wet nose, and snuggling against me. Hector proceeds to wake up by yawning and stretching next to me. And on occasion, he will sneeze all over my face. Cute, right? He knows the morning is the best time of the day because it is when we go outside and run (or walk). His excitement builds as I get out of bed and get dressed/ready for our outdoors adventure. Most days, I find myself getting equally excited about our daily routine (even if it “feels like -23”). A lot can be learned from Hector and his motivation to exercise. While his motivation is something that I am personally very jealous of, his attitude on our walks is what I truly hope to emulate someday.
Hector loves sticks. This dog will pick up (or try to) a stick over a squeak ball any day of the week. These sticks range from miniature twigs to large branches. Sometimes, he even tries to grab small TREES that are still attached to the ground. I cannot blame him for mistaking the attached sticks versus the trees because the snow does an excellent job of camouflaging the intact root system for many of his conquests. As we were walking one day, I got a little annoyed at Hector stopping by every stick we encountered. I started thinking more about my puppy’s obsession with these sticks.
No matter how big (or small) the stick might be, Hector tries. He gives an honest effort to at least taste every stick we pass. I could continue about how cute lil’ Hec is when he is trying to grab sticks (or logs) on the sidewalk, but I will instead share with you the realization I had about how we can try to be like Hector.
Life is going to present us with a lot of “sticks.” These sticks could be anything. A new opportunity, a tragic setback, or a big project at work; these are the sticks of life. Stick with me here (pun intended). As we go through life, we pass a lot of sticks. We might be wise to ignore them or maybe recognize them and move on. But they will always be there. No matter the size of the stick, the weather outside, or how distracted Hector might be, he ALWAYS tries. Yes, sometimes he gets painful rejected (I cannot imagine what this does to a dog’s ego) but he does not let that rejection ruin his walk/morning. He keeps trotting along. In life, we try, we fail, and we move on. Sometime this does not happen as quickly as it should, and it has lasting effects on our day (or our week).
My challenge to you is to channel your inner Hector. No matter the stick life throws at you, you approach that stick with the confidence of Hector. He has been wrong about the size of the sticks but that never stops him from putting his best paw forward.
Be resilient. Life gives you sticks that you might not expect. You never know when the next stick you find will be the one you were looking for all along.
The human capacity for burden is like bamboo- far more flexible than you’d ever believe at first glance.Jodi Picoult
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