Most of the time, I sit down to write my weekly email and have either a really strong idea what I want to write, or have to whittle down a long list of potential topics to something to focus on just one. This morning, I had the opposite problem: I haven't been able to focus enough to find anything appealing.
The truth is, I know who blame: my new 10-week-old Golden Doodle puppy, Macallan Roosevelt.
But as I sat at my desk this morning, going through the motions of working, I started thinking of the things that I've been noticing for the past couple of days:
It's been more than a year since I had anyone else at home with me during my workday. I nearly forgot how much I missed it.
Having to take a puppy down nine floors to go for a walk every couple of hours is getting my ass moving far more consistently than I have managed in the past month-plus. (Which my Fitbit has enthusiastically confirmed!)
Crate training and house breaking is bookending my daily schedule, and has almost instantly put me back into a routine that I've been struggling with since mid-March.
In a list of my Top Ten Favorite Things in the Universe, I'm pretty sure that puppy tummies EASILY beat out really obvious items like a comfortable bed or really amazing scotch.
Training a puppy is about a bunch of tiny little milestones -- like sleeping through the night, or tackling a staircase -- and when you look at them up close, none of them feel overwhelming by themselves, but accomplishing one feels like a great victory.
Being in the middle of something only to suddenly have a puppy tongue licking your toes or a sneaky set of little needle teeth grab the hem of your pants is a fantastic reminder for mindfulness.
It's nearly impossible to go outside with a puppy and not interact with people. Perfect strangers who are typically hidden in their own world inside their headphones suddenly emerge and interact.
Enjoying a sunrise over Miami Beach and the Bay, with a tennis-ball-chasing pooch bouncing around like an over-caffeinated Tigger is perhaps the best way to banish a bad mood ever.
A couple of weeks ago, in our episode of Grow or Die, Lawrence picked a topic of honoring the small things. I said that, for me, that was about gratitude. I missed an important piece, though. It's also mindfulness -- after all, you can't stop and be grateful for something if you aren't first paying enough attention to recognize it.
Like a lot of hyper-rational people who live in their heads, that's been an ongoing struggle for me, especially during high anxiety times. I retreat to my head, where I can try to order a disorderly universe and make all the edges line up properly, and neatly so that I can feel in control.
Of course, then he just pees on the floor because I was not paying attention to him trying to tell me he wanted out.