I have a dog, Watson, who believes his soul purpose in life is to keep our yard clear of chipmunks. When I take him out on his leash, he leads me on a specific route, around the foundation at the back of the house, over to the woodpile behind the garage, up the property line along the lilac bushes to the back woodpile. Chipmunks squeak their warnings from the safety of the stacked logs, egging Watson on. Only after every nook and cranny has been sufficiently sniffed will Watson take care of our purpose for going out.
Sometimes on these walks, I look ahead and see chippers frolicking about the yard. Watson doesn’t see them, he’s focused on the woodpile, shoving his face in every hole, barking at the perceived chipmunk’s hunkered down inside.
Today, while sitting on the deck, I watched Watson, on point, head through the guardrail, scrutinizing a chipper pathway below. He quivered with excitement, sure a chipmunk would show up any moment. Gated on the deck, there was no way he’d be able to chase one if it did show up. Out in the yard two chipmunks scurried from trees to flowerbeds and back. Watson didn’t see them. (I have to admit, I didn’t point them out to him. His bark is deafening.)
Watching him, I realized that I had also been focusing on a problem that I could do nothing about. How blind have I been to all the wonderful blessings around me? It’s so easy to focus on what isn’t right and forget about all that is right in our lives. Gratitude. I’d like to pay more attention to all the things that I am grateful for. Why give my focus to something I can’t do anything about? Why allow sadness to have more weight in my life than joy? If I can let sadness rule, why can’t I let joy rule?
John Locke, an English philosopher said “What worries you, masters you.” I prefer to let joy master me.