My 12 year old Bichon, who we call Dobby, is bored. Yes, in case you are wondering, he is indeed named after Harry Potter's favorite house elf. Poor Dobby misses Brooke. While he loves all his people, his favorite roll-around-on-the-floor playmate is Brooke and she lives in Boston now.
The reason I know he is bored is that he is driving me berserk. He follows me around the house staring at me and when it gets within 2 hours of dinner time, he starts the hard core whining and begging. Being that I have less people to care for lately, I have decided that Dobby and I need to try something new, so that I don't have to kill him.
SO, we have started taking walks! TWO DAYS in a row we have gone for a walk! For those of you who have been walking your dog for years and do not understand why this warrants an exclamation mark, I should explain that we have a fenced back yard and we have always just let Dobby out back to do his business. His exercise routine has consisted primarily of chasing a Kong across the family room. But we are mixing it up here in Chantilly and we are going for walks. We are crazy and spontaneous that way. :-)
Today on our walk, I was thinking about the phrase "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" and laughing about Dobby and me....me just turning 50 and I suppose Dobby somewhere around 84 in dog years...learning how to go on walks in our "old" age. So far, we aren't very good at this walking thing. He tends to strain at the leash, pulling ahead in his excitement to smell all the one million smells and course, pee on every immobile object we pass. He wanders off the path to smell something new and I probably yank a little too hard instead of just calling him back. My guess is that we will probably get better at it, in time, should we choose to continue this experiment. I've found that is generally how these things work, although I much prefer being good at new things right from the beginning.
As we are walking, I'm thinking about the connections to all the other things going on in my life and how there might even be blog material to be found in this little outing. I've started doing that again....seeing my life through the lense of what I could potentially write about it. When I was blogging and writing regularly years ago, I tended to see connections and spiritual metaphors everywhere I looked and, even if I didn't end up using what I discovered for a blog post, I always found blessings in being watchful for God's simple graces in the ordinary days. I found there was usually a theme to what God was growing in me and it deepened my faith to see repeated connections as I explored them through my writing.
So I am finding myself drawn to the writing again and the theme these days seems to be new beginnings. The manna ceased and God is doing a new thing in this season of my life. I am starting to explore what practices and disciplines I need to start or change as I adjust to my new normal. From past experience, I've learned that doing a new thing requires repetition and perserverance. So I'm trying to show up and do the things I know are good for me. And now, I think that includes writing something every day. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is just practice. I am learning to be ok with that because I have learned that showing up consistently is 90% of the battle for me. So we will see where this leads. And, for the record, I do think an old dog can learn new tricks!
Back to our walk for a minute. So, I'm thinking about these things as we walk...trying new things, establishing new habits, not being too old to try something new, how in the world does this dog possibly have enough urine to continue to pee on everything we pass....and then this happens!
Sometimes when we try something new, something completely unexpected happens. Who knows, maybe a delightful blessing might be just around the corner...