Tag Archives: road trip

My Dog Is the Reason I Keep Going

Life is a treadmill run. A hamster wheel sprint. Boxes to check. Items to cross out. Duties to finish. Obligations to fulfill. Appointments to schedule. Tasks to accomplish. Habits to maintain.

Commitments. Responsibilities. Itineraries. Pointless repetition without real purpose. Ceaseless pressure to be productive. A self-generated tinnitus-causing crack of a constantly snapping whip refusing to rest.

For someone with that rare combination of being both tetherless and rudderless, this modern world is an impossibly burdensome weight to manage.

Shoulders can only struggle and labor under a load of stacked resistance for so long before they start shaking.

Until you get a dog.

The realization that things were indeed darkest before the dawn feels too poetic to be fact and not fiction. But the arrival of a truly selfless soul with the primary imperative to simply love and be loved is authentic and grounded.

All the clichés, memes, and T-shirts were right all along. Who knew?

Vastly superior to humans in myriad ways, these canine companions are here to teach us more than we thought we needed to know…and to allow personal growth to take shape, regardless of how much we resist against the grain.

They are the world’s best listeners and perfect partners, armed with a finely tuned radar for our pain…and bottomless patience for our delays. They’re watching us when we think they’re asleep and waiting for every opportunity to connect. They are honest, forgiving, tolerant, loyal, hopeful, eager, dependable, and genuine.

Always up for an adventure, they jump at the chance to hop in the car and drive all day without a destination…and find delight in even the most mundane things. A simple walk is a constant cause for celebration. A special biscuit is an impossibly precious reward.

Any time together is time well spent.

You are their leader, protector, and very best friend.

Sometimes there isn’t much of a reason to keep grinding along.

Until you get a dog.

Adolescence Interrupted

Sharpened Perspective

Thank you for being a wonderful mother

It’s often too easy to get lost in the mundanity of daily life. The interval between turning a white noise sleep machine off and turning it on again can feel like a timeless loop of repetitive habits, vibrating on skipping needles, powered by hamster wheels.

My Groundhog Days are normally of little concern. I accept that baby steps lead to Olympian leaps, so I tackle my routine tasks and always sweat the small stuff. As a writer and proofreader, details are kind of a big deal. These are my cards, and I’m happy to play them.

But, sometimes—even when the marathon tennis sessions have beaten my body and emptied my energy reserves—I find myself squirming inside my skin for a change of pedestrian pace.

Normally, I ignore these impulses and continue punching computer keyboards in my never-ending attempt to accumulate tension headaches. But, two weeks ago, I was delivered a surprise fuel injector in the form of a fellow tennis aficionado from NY with the desert on her mind and a pro tournament in her sights.

Mom knows just when to rescue her overthinking, word wrestler of a son from his stationary bike, and exactly how to throw some excitement and a change of scenery into the mix.

It was just what the proverbial doctor ordered, and I was able to unplug and detach from the busy, serpentine track of LA life.

My chiropractor believes that the mountains in Palm Springs have a way of inexplicably extracting the stress from our bodies and, although I don’t normally subscribe to  teachings of the mystic variety, I’d have to agree with him.

So, now it’s back to work and back to that hamster wheel. But, like mainlining lemon-lime Gatorade, I feel refreshed and ready for the race ahead.

Thanks, Mom…for always knowing what I need, even when I don’t.