Hugs, Puppies, and Dreams

I was dreaming of puppies again.doxies

There were four of them. Four adorable, cuddly, and very frisky little doxies (dachshounds). They were quite a handful, literally and figuratively, as sometimes I seemed to have them on a tether, and other times I was trying to carry them in my arms, and in some instances, I was carrying two and trying to hang on to the tether for the other two.

I call it a tether, rather than a leash, because it wasn’t strong enough for a leash. In fact, for the two friskiest dogs, the tether was more like a long, thin strand of thread. I was constantly afraid that it was going to break with all their pulling, twisting, and antics, and I tried hard to control them without holding them back too much.

The two less frisky dogs had a tether that was more solid. I kept wondering why I couldn’t exchange the thread-like tether on the two friskier dogs for this one, which was sturdier. Yet, I could never keep the frisky dogs quiet long enough to swap out the leashes. So, eventually, I stopped trying.

I stumbled behind the foursome of dogs letting them lead me where they will, often picking up the two quieter ones so that we could all keep up with the two rambunctious puppies. Eventually, realizing that I just couldn’t keep up with them, I let loose of the tethers for all of them and let them take off.

Feeling bereft and alone, I turned to go back home, but then the two quieter dogs came back and insisted on cuddling. I picked them up and they licked my face and seemed genuinely glad to be with me. I waited a few moments more, hoping the other two would also return, but they never did.

Although, it broke my heart to give up on the two rambunctious puppies, I realized that they didn’t really want to be with me. So, I went inside with the two puppies that did.

So, what does all that mean? Well, what it means to me, is that I need to understand that not everyone wants to be my friend; not everyone is going to care about me; and not everyone is going to accept me…and that’s okay.

That’s the big key…it’s okay. I’ve been trying so hard all my life to be accepted, by myself and others, that I couldn’t see the people who did like me. I never saw that I had friends and family who cared, because I was too focused on winning over those that didn’t. I get it now, though (it’s taken long enough;-). But instead of trying to win over those people who just aren’t ever going to understand, don’t want to understand, and who don’t want to know or like me as I am, I need to appreciate those people who see the worth of me. I need to appreciate who I am and what I bring to “the party” (as it were), and I need to appreciate all those people who have liked and loved me for who I am all those years.

We’re all special, and we all need to recognize and appreciate that. It’s taken me way too many years to understand that. But for all of you have seen something special in me…I thank you. And I hope the hugs I send in this message can in some small way show you how much I appreciate all of you.

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Rockin’

I received a version of this story as an email from one of my friends and liked it so much I decided to share the original with you all…

A professor stood before his philosophy class and on the desk next to him he had a two unopened containers of coffee, a jar, and several containers of unseen objects. Once the class was seated and paying attention, he wordlessly picked up the empty jar from the desk and proceeded to fill it with river rocks.

Holding the jar of rocks out toward the students, he then asked them if they thought the jar was full. Some of the students looked puzzled, but they all eventually agreed that the jar was indeed full.

Nodding at their decision, the professor turned back to the desk and picked up another container. Facing the class again, he emptied the container of pebbles into the jar.

He shook the jar lightly and the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks. Again, holding the jar toward the students, he asked them if the jar was full. Although some of them appeared a bit suspicious, they still agreed that the jar was full.

Nodding once more, the professor picked up another of the containers from the desk. Swishing the contents a bit, he then poured the sand from the container into the jar.  Of course, the sand flowed between the rocks and pebbles, filling up the nooks and crannies. 

Once more he turned and held the jar out to the students and asked them if it was completely full. The students responded with an unanimous yes, and again the professor nodded at them. He could see by their expression that they now expected an explanation for demonstration that he had presented, and he set the now heavy jar on the desk where the students could easily see it.

Still silent, the professor took the lids off the two cups of coffee, and lifing one of the containers as if to drink, he poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students gasped, and the professor laughed. Then as he lifted the second cup of coffee and took a large sip, the students laughed, too. 

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The rocks are the important things, like your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions, and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

“The pebbles are the other things that matter in your life, like your job, your house and your car. While the sand is everything else, the small stuff.

“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18 holes. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter! Set your priorities. Because all the rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised a hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked,” he answered. “The coffee shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”